Can I overcome the problems my mother has caused me?


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Dear Stanton,

I know for a fact that my mother was doing crack when she was pregnant with me. And I know for a fact that I was a crack baby. I have seen a picture of myself as an infant and I don’t look normal. I have been told that I had colic up until I was about one because I never stopped crying. I was three months premature and did not get released until I was seven months old. I have turned out physically normal, but not mentally.

I am trying to find an explanation to my problems. I am withdrawn in high school, I have a bad case of ADD (used to be ADHD), I have a bad problem with anger management, and I have extreme mood swings. I have just been re-introduced to my mother (she is in and out of prison due to her drug and stealing problems) and I have bouts of anger towards her. I fight with her every time I talk to her. I blame her for all my problems.

Is it right to assume that my mother is the cause of all of this?


Dear Albert,

It’s not best to think about yourself as trapped by your mother. Of course she had a major impact on you. But explaining your problems – well, that’s a small beginning. Overcoming them, and believing that you can, is what it’s really all about. I know it’s hard to forgive your mother, especially when she is still troubling your life. But you can’t get anywhere until you make peace with her and your past (even if that might mean not dealing with her much in the present).

You can make it – you are obviously thoughtful and intelligent. I don’t know much about whom you’re living with or what you are currently involved in, but try to get involved in positive activities and with positive people – that is the best way to overcome the negatives you have faced in your life. Also, is there any opportunity for you to have counseling in your school or community? You have a lot of things to face in life, and it would be good for you to have help in getting beyond these problems. But you can do it from here on.

I believe you have good things in front of you.


Stanton Peele

Stanton Peele , recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts by The Fix, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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