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Redirecting focus

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Problem: I have a real problem with my attitude or way of looking at life. It seems like other people see the positive in life and I just do not seem able to see that. I came from a family who focused on anything that could go wrong. My siblings and I were taught not to trust people. I am not sure who did the teaching, whether it was Mom or Dad, but I just want to move past this kind of thinking.

I have spent a lot of time in some pretty awful relationships. It seems like what I was taught came true. You really cannot trust people because they do take advantage of you. The confusing part is I am not sure if it is me or them. My expectations of things not working out seems to happen each time.

Is it possible I was brainwashed into believing life was eternally bad and nothing good was going to happen? My parents did not seem to have much good going on, and for the most part I avoided them. I was not a happy kid, and I knew I was unhappy around them, so I just avoided them.

Discussion: You really have some deep questions about your life, although you did not give too many details. Question one is could I have learned to have bad relationships from observing the relationships within the family? Yes it is possible. If you were taught at an early age not to believe other people were good but the opposite was true, how would you have known what the truth was?

You have almost proven to yourself that relationships do not work, based on your history. A simple question is what made these relationships not work? You had to have a part in the relationships, so what is your part of having relationships not work? If you go into a relationship expecting the worst, you will probably find it. In other words, the program running in your head is: Look for the worst. You could be making poor choices but then again maybe you have not learned enough about you to make good choices. You see we often attract people at our similar emotional level. If we have not grown enough to choose better relationships, part of the responsibility is on us.

What is the answer? Do some of your personal work, build your self esteem, examine your belief system and the challenge that belief system. You are using antiquated ways of thinking and you do not seem to have created the thoughts. You have gone along with some pretty faulty ways of seeing life. Not everything or everybody could be bad.

I would suggest getting some counseling and allowing someone to help you get a better handle on relationships and life. It sounds like you are at a place where you want answers.

To submit problems, contact Juanita Sanchez, psychotherapist, by email at jsanchez1448@sbcglobal.net or contact High Plains Journal.

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