Posted by: Fallen | 2009-07-05

Relationship Issues

Dear doctor

I will truly appreciate your detailed advice today as I really need it.

I am a 21 years old, living with my father and stepmom and step siblings. My stepmom and I both have very strong personalities and we are both considerably stubborn.

We had a family meeting earlier in the year where we pointed out one another' s weaknesses and discussed our differences. After that things went well again up until recently where some misunderstandings set in. Recently I withdrew again not speaking to any of them but my dad.

I made the parents aware of my homosexuality about a year ago and only recently met someone that I can regard as a soulmate, which I recently made known too.

Myself and the steps obviously and understandably don' t always get along very well, since there is always that mutual " feeling"  of inferiority. My dad and I have always been very close and lately I fear losing him a lot. I spoke to him about it today and he reassured me that all will be fine the day he is no longer there, but that does not heal my fear. I often feel that the two of us don' t spend enough time together, but he also has a significant amount of stress on him and works very hard. Now that I met this other guy it almost feels as if I " miss"  my dad more, even though we live together under the same roof. I don' t understand my feelings, can you please help out here.

After speaking to my dad today he suggested that we get back onto track again with regard to the household situation in order to maintain the peace all-round. He said I should rather join in and be part of them all, and if the steps don' t want to join in, they will be the ones feeling out, but when I am unhappy and withdrawn it affects him as well, which then affects my stepmom and eventually the relationship she has got with her own children as well = vicious circle and situation.

As much as I am happy for at last finding someone decent with good values and who cares a lot about me and all other people in his life, these feelings aren' t an easy task for me.

I suppose some family counselling for which the Medical Aid can pay will be beneficial, but where does one find a good person in the Pretoria area? Can you make any suggestions? Is this an option/suggestion?

Thank you for your time doctor, much appreciated.

Kind Regards

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Our expert says:
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I understand that you'd like detailed advice on the complex situation you sketch, but that really isn't practical in this format --- we'd need much longer conversations that are possible in this medium, to examine all the relevant aspects of the situation. And I also understand you want to remain close to your dad, and not to add to his stress.
For many people, early in life, death is something which only happens to other people, and it can be as late as one's 20's or even later for whatever reason, that one realizes that it also happens to US. And then one may feel acutely the vulnerability of a loved one, and the prospect of losing them.
What you really need is to see a good local psychotherapist, to explore these issues, including self-confidence, in detail and to work out a more comfortable and sueful way of handling all the issues troubling you. Temptimng though it is for me, it would not actually help you for me to start guessing or making more speific suggestions at a distance and only partially informed.
In addition, family counselling could indeed be useful, if the others would take part sincerely and recognizing the mutual interest in improving things. FAMSA might be able to suggest some local counsellors / family therapists experiences and available.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Fallen | 2009-07-05

I would just like to add ...

I still love my family and especially my dad as much as ever after coming " out"  last year, and being who I am does not mean I want to spend less time with them. I want them to still be involved in my life and know about my life. I do not wish to exclude especially my dad and I still long for our closeness :-(

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