Ask Dr. Tim: ...she also convinced me that I too was ill…when I was not.

Ask Dr. Tim: …she also convinced me that I too was ill…when I was not.


I recently attended a memorial service for my mother. This is the same person who spent my early years convincing me that I was the reason for all her physical ills. The real trick was when she also convinced me that I too was ill…when I was not. I don’t know if she had the power of hypnotism or not, but her methods certainly worked with me. Every time I showed some emotion, she told me how it was a sign that I was physically ill.

At her memorial I actually found myself grieving for a few moments. But then I shut down because “I didn’t want to get sick”. I know this is irrational behavior but I am still doing it. The other reason I couldn’t continue to feel grief is that I had to “take care of” my sister and her son. I am just beginning to understand how harmful all of this is for my body. What do I do with all this?

Sick of Being Sick


Dear Sick of Being Sick:

As you have already suggested, your maternal training was quite thorough. You have been train very well by a mother who had much to gain from her and you being ill. As insignificant as it may seem, the fact that you have figured this process out to this point is actually quite significant. Understanding is the first step in healing. As you continue to understand your emotions and differentiate them from physical illness you will be served well. It will be important that you come to understand that your feelings will come and go, just like the clouds in the sky. They are just feelings, of themselves they will not hurt you. It is the power we give to them that gets us into trouble.

I trust your grieving will continue, and go well.

Dr. Tim

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