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Why isn't anybody proud of me - why do they put me down instead?

Community Member

Growing up, I often dealt with my mother interrogating me about topics I was offended at. She would start by passing the blame to my father & open the conversation up, with: "Your Father thinks that you...." and out with the shocking accusation. An example of what would follow is: "...are a prostitute?" (before I had even had sex - at that very delicate time in a young lady's life). I'd be hurt because they were always massive put downs. I'd have to beg and plead my case, that I wasn't the horrible thing I was being accused of being or doing. Finally my mother would go "ok, I believe you" (as if she had been convinced of what Dad said and I had to then convince her of my innocence). It was tiring and emotionally damaging. As an adult - I am angry that my mother would even pass on such things & even worse, think maybe she was just being manipulative in some way. My teenage years were actually super hard and I became a major rebel (something which saw my life destroyed through drug addiction & the wrong kind of choices). I often consider the effect of these questions on my very early, formative years - did I believe that I was the bad, horrible monster I had always been told I was (that I had to beg and plead I was not).....did I finally give in and be the person I was painted as - or as close to this person as I could get? That would actually explain it all! Deep down, I have a really bad feeling = that this is the truth. After all, they were my parents - they are a major factor in who I become (what they want me to be = or who I am to them.)

Now, as an adult - I fear I am repeating my childhood by attracting non-supportive people. I just think "Why can't anyone be proud of me?" & say something positive about my achievements? I've fought me whole life to never need others' supportive or appreciation (so that I can stand on my own 2 feet) - but sometimes I need it to get me through. And if I don't get it, I don't get through. How can I devise new ways of getting this support when my family fail me?

Any suggestions or comments to help are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

You describe your issue very well.

As children we look up to our parents as if they are far greater beings than they really are, with good reason, they are the number one influence in our lives, they are our DNA...how could they be wrong?

But "wrong" is indeed in all humans, the real problem being- they don't recognize it or want to. You are their child, you should respect them they portray..even if they are wrong. This commanding persona isn't ideal and we grow up with hangups that we face with despair as we cannot see a way through. We've tried the screaming matches, the showing of evidence but nothing makes sense...that's questioning their authority.

That has occurred in my life also. The "wait till you father comes home" then 6 hours later well after the arguments are over before dad entered the door she'd have tears running down her face "discipline Tony please love, he's been a bad boy" then whack! My beautiful father in an instant turned into a weapon.

Eventually resentment builds and over time as we grow further towards knowing right from wrong we realise a parent is destructive and even more desperate to keep a hold on us, to revitalize the power they are slowly losing. Then one day- it all is too much for us and we sever ties. The to and froing of severing and making up continues until we realise that the nature of the controlling abusing parent can only be overcome by permanent cutting of ties.

That might not be the case with you, I hope it isn't. In my case a friend told me many years ago "read the book - walking on egg shells by Dr Christine Lawson". Well I never did but I did google extracts. Google

Waif witch queen hermit

This presented me with characters my mother was- all four. It all made sense how I could never get harmony with her. I'll leave you to read that on Google and make your own assessment.

We aren't in this life to live up to others expectations. We should be on this planet to grow as confident adults with our own mind based on teachings and role models- guidance not dominance.

The fallout of these attitudes can come in the form of rebellious attitudes especially in our teens. I think as an adult now some soul searching based on the fact that you were a child and a/ should not be reminded of your adverse behavior b/ that all teens are rebellious to various degrees (so there is an degree of normality to it) and c/ that you are not that person now.

Google - beyondblue topic fortress of survival.

Repost anytime


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi ChrissyStar,

I’m so sorry you had to go through that, that must have been awfully confusing, hurtful, and damaging for you. As children, we are conditioned to expect that our parents are always right and want the best for that, but sometimes it’s not true, sometimes they are messed up in their own ways, emotionally, or have a desire to control their children, or pass on what was done to them. But I’ve come to learn over the years is that how a person treats you says a lot about them and very little about you. I know that doesn’t help your situation, but at least you have insight and you know not to treat people that way.

Regarding why you seem to attract these people, I had a conversation with a psychologist one time and what she said really resonated. You see, I grew up with a mother who could be very loving one minute, but turn on me in the next, being very cruel and not stopping until she achieved her goal (to have me in tears and inconsolable). Fast forward and the man I fell in love with was very loving, until eventually he showed that there was darkness in him too. When I asked whether there was something damaged in me, a weakness that these people see, she responded that something about this behavior felt familiar to me. Most people would leave a relationship the second it became abusive, but I recognized something in it and somewhere I associated love with this type of behavior, it felt normal/comfortable in some way. But, like you, I know that isn’t right and I want better for my life. So I’m now expecting more, and I think you should too. If you attract people that put you down or make you feel bad, then you can not have them in your life. You may not have been able to choose then but you can choose the people now. Also, when you’re strong enough, I would recommend having a conversation with your parents about how that made you feel and why they did it. You may not get what you are after from them, but it may give you some satisfaction.