Scared to Get Close

Dear Dr Love,

I really enjoy your advise column. There are lots of enlightening insights.

My dilema is the following: I grew up with a mother that was judgmental, unaccepting, abusive, controlling, aloof, and a host of other 'negative' things you can think of. This has hurt my self-esteem dearly.

As a result I've been going to therapy with a psychologist for the last 9 months or so. My counselor has been a lot of help and has helped me resolve many issues. I've also done my homework by reading books (and ur advise column :-) ) and writing a lot. But still I feel like I want intimacy of some sort but feel uncomfortable when getting too close to someone, whether it be for friendship or love purposes.

I'm afraid that I will be judged and not accepted, and that my own issues and feelings will scare the person away.

For instance, I feel very uncomfortable with physical contact with anybody. I feel like I'm almost there, but not quite, as far as opening up completely goes. What should I do to overcome this fear and live the happy life with great intimate relationships that I've always dreamed of?

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