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I think I'm too attached to my mom.
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I think I'm too attached to my mom.

Hi everyone. I hope someone can help me figure this out a bit...
I'm eighteen years old. My father passed away when I was almost three years old in a car accident. He was an excellent man, but obviously I can't remember much of him. I feel like I have to tell you this because, even though I'm no psychologist, I'm just now realizing that this might've affected me more than I thought.

I went to therapy today and told my therapist about how shocked/afraid/reluctant I am when I have to face romantic relationships. I've never been in a relationship before...but I don't know if that's for the fact that I'm a hopeless romantic, or because of said fear. Anyways, I brought up the word 'attached' at one moment and my therapist asked me out of the blue if I was attached to someone. I knew exactly who she meant. I instantly thought of my mother, though I spent 5 minutes in silence, crying and not sure if I wanted to say it out loud. She told me that I needed to acknowledge it if I wanted to work on it.

I don't know why it makes me so sad to think that I'm too attached to my mom and how I haven't realized it before. I didn't think it was a problem. I didn't really think not having a father would be a problem at this age.
The truth is, she is true, but I don't know to what extent. To be honest, I don't think that caring for my mom or having a really good relationship with her is bad. We are very similar in a lot of stuff, or at least that's how I feel it. I've always talked to her about my crushes when I was younger, or when I fought with my friends, or when I was worried about something. She guided me and gave me a lot of useful advice. She is truly a great mom and a great person. But either way, I think I should do something about this attachment if I want to grow up, make my own decisions and face other relationships. The thing is, I don't know what to do. Anyone would immediately think: "well, move out" but that's not happening even if I wanted to, I don't have the money and I'm certainly not ready to live by myself. But I think it's subtler than that. I think there's something about the day-to-day that I have to change. Maybe stand up for myself more...I don't know. She's been really depressed lately and I feel like it's sticking to me, but I don't want that because we're two different people, even though we have things in common. Or sometimes I really want her to compliment me on something, like on my projects for college, but lately it seems like she doesn't really care about it. I wish she'd show a little more interest...or maybe I'm taking her acceptance too seriously.

I'm sorry about my scattered thoughts. I hope someone can help me figure this out a bit more.
Thank you for the space.
8 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
It's pretty natural to feel attached to your Mom when she has been everything to you. I lost my father at your age and I still needed to find someone to be " my Dad", I found that in many older men- not dating them, just as friends. What your feeling about relationships is normal, they are scary, and we often are very vulnerable to the trust and a host of other things. I am very close to my Mom, she is my best friend many times. Your not going to let her go when you date or get with someone, you will be adding to her life and more joys for her. One day you might even have a son that you may want to give him your dad's name .I think you and your Mom need to talk about the changes you both are going through. She knows it is time for you to grow and move on with your life, she knew this day was going to come and she feels sad now. Let her know how important she is to you and how you know how she is feeling and you might even suggest that you all have a special day each week for just you two. if you move away then make it that you make sure you call that day to just talk. Growing up does not mean you end your relationship with the people you love, it just will expand it more.
Now what do you really want to do in your life? How can you get there?
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Avatar_f_tn
I think its very normal for u to b close to ur mother especially wen u lost ur dad so young n had to depend on her so much. Ur mom my b depressed n distracted cuz of finances or like the previous post said BC u r growing up. My husbands father has been a pain since we got married n its all bcz he is lonely now n its hard on him seeing his boy grow up n move out n on with his life. Just stay close to ur mom but dont let her control u. U have to make ur own decisions but there is nothing wrong with being close. I lost my dad wen I was 12 n I always drifted from bf to bf cuz deep inside I was looking for that male figure in my life. Wen ur married n ur life is more steady n consistent that will all iron out:) just remember there is nothing unnormal bout being a mommys girl just dont let it hold u back from making ur own choices.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Solu,  I'm going to try to answer both of your posts here so my response will be a little long.  :)

1.  On this question,  this is extremely complex.  Your father died before you could fully know him,  and it sounds like your mother didn't date or remarry?  Back in college I did a term paper on "The effect of sex role behavior on girls with absent fathers".  (Sounds dry,  but it was REALLY fascinating research).  Girls whose mothers were widowed when the girls were tiny were unlikely to be able to,  or desire to,  form dating relationships with men.  They formed very close bonds with their moms if their moms were loving,  but in general were kind of "wallflowers" when it came to being around boys.  This sounds like you.

(In other situations,  where the mother divorced,  never married,  and there were mom's boyfriends around,  girls tended to end up more wild and promiscuous,  and precociously inappropriately sexual.  So different result).

So it's very normal that you aren't reaching out to men for close relationships,  that's something you'll have to slowly learn.  What complicates this is that your mother now has kind of shut down and is unable to function fully as a supportive mother and give you the "push" you need to fly as an adult because of her own depression.  I think you should take real steps here to seek other very bonded relationships.  Do you have a chance to join a sorority or other group of very very close peers?  How about a very supportive and bonded church young adults group?

2.  On your thyroid question in the other forum,  I think you are very wise to question the results.  Thyroid tests are SO complicated,  and if the test results don't match the symptoms,  you have to look at the bigger picture with how thyroid hormones "match" other endocrine system hormones in your body.  For example,  if you play a volleyball game and someone asks did you win,  and you said well our score was 15,  they could say well on average that's an average score for a volleyball game.  But it's not the whole picture!  It doesn't tell what the other team's score was,  and whether you were completely stomped or you completely stomped them,  or it was about an even match.  

Such as it is with thyroid.  If you ONLY know your thyroid numbers you only know well that's about average,  or that's kind of a low score,  etc.,  but you don't know how your thyroid compares to your other endocrine hormones,  your symptoms and best treatment plan may not match.

If you're sluggish,  gaining weight,  depressed with dry hair,  it's not a good idea to decide you have high thyroid and get treatment for that.

Best wishes.  You sound like a very thoughtful and bright young woman.  I think things will work out great for you -
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13167_tn?1327197724
Haha sorry about the volleyball analogy.  Doesn't work.  Think of a softball game analogy instead.  ;D
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480448_tn?1397235344
RockRose gave you EXCELLENT advice!  She's absolutely right about the thyroid testing.  Often, docs will just order a TSH level (thyroid stimulating hormone), which doesn't give nearly enough of the whole picture.  I didn't read your other thread, but to be more conclusive, the doc would have to look at the T3, T4 values, along with other labs.  If you feel you're not getting anywhere with your doc, please ask for a referral to an Endocrinologist.  You'll get a more thorough work-up with an Endo.  Diagnosing thyroid disorders CAN be tricky business, like RR said.

As for the other issues, first, I'm so sorry you lost your Dad so young.  No doubt that shaped a lot of who you are, and what you did growing up.  There's nothing wrong with being close to your Mom, but it isn't healthy to be SO close that you find yourself holding back on becoming an independent woman.  Your Mom wouldn't want that for you, even if she doesn't SHOW that she supports your move towards independence.

You're in therapy, which is great.  I think it's very important that you be very candid with your therapist about how you feel.  You very likely may feel some kind of guilt, as though you're leaving Mom behind.  That's a totally normal emotion in your circumstance.  

This is understandably rough for your Mom, you're going to need to be very honest with her...explain your plans to her, ahead of time, so she has time to process the information.  You may be more prone to want to hold back info, to protect Mom's feelings.  That would actually be worse, because if she's getting blindsided at the last minute, she's not going to have enough time to process the info and try to adjust to you becoming an independent woman.

Reassure your Mom that no matter what, you love her very much, and your relationship with her is so important.  Tell her you're excited about having a more adult relationship with her, versus the adult/child one you're both used to.    It will take some time for her to adjust, but she'll come around.  Make sure you make time for her, plan nice things to do together, etc.

Your relationship with men would be a good one to also explore with your therapist.  No doubt, you losing your Dad so young is impacting your relationship with men.  I think you sound like a very mature, wise young woman, with a lot of insight.  You're very caring and considerate of others.  I wish you the best with your life....and hope you are able to work through some of these issues, so you're in a better place.

Take care, sweetie.
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480448_tn?1397235344
Geez...get your sporting event right!  ;0)  LOL

You're too cute!
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4096022_tn?1349749060
Thank you a lot, all of you, for your responses.

@Rockrose
My mom has had a boyfriend for a long while now, but he's the only man she has dated ever since my father died. He doesn't live with us, though.
I'm really a very conservative, old fashioned person in regards of relationships...some may even say I'm too prudish. My mom has always been open to me ever since I became a teenager. She always encouraged me to meet boys, but advised me to be careful and wise in regards of sex and whom I choose to be with. She never controlled my studies or anything, and she trusts me deeply. You could say ours wasn't and isn't the usual mother-teen daughter relationship. I was hardly a rebel. I think that, like I said to my therapist once, deep down i've always been afraid about losing her, too.
About the groups: I'm currently not. I did some years of acting classes and I really enjoyed them, but they didn't go well with this year's schedule, and I didn't have the money to keep paying for it. College is draining every penny! I wish I'd be part of something, though. You're correct, I really am a wallflower.

@nursegirl6572
My mom doesn't want me to hold back from being independant, of that I'm quite certain. We've even talked about this before, and she understand that this attachment may be an issue...that's why I think this is all about me and how I feel about my father's absence and my mom, deep down. I think this is something I have to solve myself. The thing is, I never thought of this as a problem before. Now I'm uncertain of what to do. I've noticed that today I was really defensive and kind of rude towards my mom, I'm taking this issue too literally, as if I had to live all of the years of teen rebellion I didn't go through. I know it isn't like that.

About my thyroid test: if you were referring to the first results, those were wrong. The lab had gone through a change of units and the computer that prints the tests wasn't up to date. Such a huge overlook on their part...but anyway, my new results are way low and much related to the symptoms I have (which are the ones you described, SweetRose). I still need to make an appointment with an Endo to be completely sure. I'm really really confused when it comes to thyroid issues. Well, all medical issues, anyway. Hah.

One last, but very important thing: Thank you kindly for your words. You made me smile and blush a lot!! You both are lovely ladies and I'm really thankful for your dedication to answer. I wasn't expecting responses so quickly! I wish you the best, too.
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P.S. I'm so sorry about my English! I'm having one of those days where I find it difficult to collect my words properly. It's weird, because some days I find myself having thoughts in english, hahaha. I think the internet is making me a bilingual person, little by little! :P
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