Dear Dr. Archer,
It's been two years since I have traveled from abroad to work and study in the medical profession. My problem is that I feel worthless and lonely.
My childhood was a disaster. My father was an alcoholic who was violent and verbally abusive to my mom and me. He was very dominating. I couldn't develop my social skills, as I was not allowed to interact with neighbors or other people.
I am now 27 years old and have no one in my life. My parents hardly bother to call to see if I'm lonely or happy. I am trying to find my life's partner. I have gotten many proposals in my life, but my family scares me by saying that you're not supposed to find your life's partner by yourself.
I can do whatever I want, but then my family won't accept me. I also have insecurities on trusting others. Due to my father's image, I find it very difficult to trust men. I am confused, lonely and feel worthless and insecure at this point in my life. I feel like, if I don't have someone, then what's the point of living?
I don't know what to do. This is affecting my studies, as I feel like I have no one to lean on.
There are countless people who come from less-than-desirable beginnings. Some excel despite their past, while others fail because of their inability to let go of their past.
I want you to excel, as I'm sure you do, too. While it can be difficult to break free of your upbringing, you do have control over your own reactions and the choices you make today.
Please realize, Sheena that your past is done, history, over. Reject the notion that your past dictates your future. You are now free to carve out how you live your life. It is in your own best interest to realize, also, that you cannot change your father's way of thinking.
You can only change your own, and I'm hoping you will have that breakthrough and realization. You need to be good to yourself and realize that the best person to find your life's partner is YOU. It may go against centuries of tradition, or even your culture (though I’m not sure where you are from) but I believe that it is the truth.
While you struggle with your issues, the first thing you must do is to stop looking for a mate- that’s right, immediately stop looking! Concentrate on your studies and your work. Focus on activities that make you feel good and happy. If you feel like you need to talk, visit with one of the school counselors or chat with a friend. Laugh! You are putting too much pressure on yourself.
At 27 you should be having fun and enjoy being single and hanging out with friends. You have much to live for and much to give others, Sheena. Everybody, everybody, everybody has worth. Develop some hobbies. Working and studying in the medical profession is tedious, yet you need breaks from it, as well.
Get motivated on developing a relationship with yourself. Figure out who you are and what you want out of life. Be happy making friends and being a friend to many. The rest will happen naturally and in good time and a prospective partner will find you when you least expect it. Good luck