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What Is Wrong with Me? I Feel No Remorse

I need to know what is wrong with me. I don’t feel any kind of attachment towards people/anything really. I’ve been worried about bringing this up with a psychologist because I am a mother I’m worried they will call CPS on me. My child is in absolutely no danger. She is fed, cared for etc. I think I care about her, I miss her when she’s gone but I don’t feel any connection towards her. She is four. I respond in ways I have learnt to over the years because I think ive never really felt a connection to anyone. If she gets hurt, I offer cuddles, kisses and tell her it will be alright. I try to be as soothing as possible. But the problem is I have no maternal NEED to do these things, from talking to friends with kids, when their children as an example get hurt, they have this NEED deep down to make them feel better, to comfort them etc. i don’t have that, I do it because I know its the right thing to do. I try to do lots of bonding things with her, take her places, we have special one on one time at bedtime where we read a book and sing a song before I tuck her in. But there has been no zing. And it’s like this with pretty everyone else in my life for as long as I can remember.

I also feel no remorse, or guilt. If i accidentally hurt someone’s feelings, the only time I feel upset about that is if it affects me directly. E.g I’m not upset because I upset them, i’m upset because they are upset at me because I upset them. if that makes sense?

I also Have these awful urges to hurt people, or animals. I have NEVER acted on them. And when I get these urges, they frighten me. As an example, if my cat climbs onto my lap I have a thought of how Good it would feel to pick it up and fling it into the wall. These thoughts scare me, and I quickly move myself away from the cat because I don’t want to act on my impulses. Please help me. I don’t want to be like this, I need to know what’s wrong with me.

You are making assumptions about how you “should” feel and then comparing yourself against those assumptions. The problem is that your assumptions are most likely inaccurate.

For instance, you write about “maternal need” but no such thing exists. There are maternal instincts and maternal behavior but there is no such thing as a “maternal need.”

The fact that you care about these issues separates you from the people who have no remorse and empathy — people otherwise known as psychopaths. Psychopaths would not worry about these types of things. They simply do not care.

You also described how you feel when you hurt someone else’s feelings. You only care when they are upset at you. That is perfectly normal. If you upset someone, it causes problems in the relationship. If there are problems in the relationship, then it is a problem for you and thus your being upset would make sense. If no one is upset, there is no problem.

In addition, you mentioned the urge to hurt people and animals. You’ve never acted on this urge but it worries you. Again, the fact that you care separates you from the psychopath who does not care.

These issues are perfectly acceptable to discuss with your psychologist. You did nothing wrong and thus there would be no reason for them to call CPS. Thoughts, of any nature, are not illegal. There is no such thing as the “thought police.” Therapy can ensure that you never act on your urges which is why it is important to discuss them in counseling. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

from Ask the Therapist

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