Steve: scared and confused

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Steve is the middle of three children. 

His father was a schoolteacher and his mother a nurse. His father had a hard time showing affection. When he was a teenager his father left his family for a woman at the school he taught at. Steve felt like he wasn’t wanted the way he was and began trying to become whatever he thought people wanted him to be. He was never able to find the love of his father he was still looking for. In high school he started drinking and using drugs so he could feel normal. He was bitter towards God for making his life a miserable one. He quit using several times but each time returned. He was ashamed of his appearance, his personality, and heartbroken by what had happened to his family. Relationships were characterized by a fear of rejection and the anxiety of thinking he was only one mistake away from it.

In counseling Steve began to realize that he was angry at God and had been angry with him for a long time. He blamed God for allowing his Dad to break-up the family. He felt animosity towards for God giving him a life where awful things happened he had no control over. At times he wanted to quit. Seeing himself as a bitter and angry person, over time, was a wake-up call. Steve would sometimes comment, “I’m already an old man.” It bothered him his life had gotten to that point. Being also a softhearted person he really wanted to have relationships. But people frustrated him in the same way he was frustrated with himself. Over time he came to see loving people for who they are instead of who he wanted them to be was the way out of his loneliness. In turn he was also able to start receiving love from people that began undermining his fear of rejection.

Steve eventually started to forgive his father. He had a conversation with his father where he kindly told his father what he thought about his father’s choice. Holding his father responsible for what happened instead of God, he began to hold himself responsible for his life too. In the course of it he learned that his feelings were something he experienced, and not something he should always follow. Steve was becoming his own man. Steve now works at a recovery program where he is recognized for being a good man with a very soft heart.