Relationship problems, wanting to have a babyQ I had quite a good childhood – I was an only child who had plenty of stuff, nice holidays, pretty dresses and toys – but yet I still feel so sad inside.

I’ve been self-harming since my teens, have an eating disorder and I’ve even tried to kill myself in the past. My dad was a busy business man and we travelled around a lot and I went to several schools. My parents divorced and I lived with my mum from the age of 12. She was depressed and a heavy drinker.

I’m trying hard to make a go of my life, but I’m still single at 35. It’s becoming late for me to be a mother and I fear this will never happen now, but more than that I fear that I’d pass my own sadness and problems on to my child too. I hate my own company, and yet when I do get a man I change into this suspicious, scared and clingy little kid and I despise myself for being like that. It causes arguments and split-ups. I push people away because they can’t cope with me. I’m so sad underneath my smiley face. How can I find a happy relationship and have a baby with him?

A You’ve raise several points here – and my written response can’t cover them all fully – but I’ll share my main thoughts with you, and perhaps you can then decide if you’d like to get additional professional help to fill in the gaps.

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.

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Self harm emotional overwhelm
Q I’ve recently noticed several straight line scars and what look like small burns (as if from a cigarette) on the inside of my new girlfriend’s thighs and inside her upper arms.
When I asked her about them she got all defensive, and changed the subject onto finding fault with something I’d apparently done wrong a few days earlier.

She did say that the marks were from ages ago when she was going through a bad patch in her teens; but some of these scars are still red and look more recent to me.
She seems too ashamed to talk about it with me beyond that. We had a row a couple of weeks ago, and I’m wondering now if that’s why she cut herself again.
Why would she do it where it can’t be seen? I’ve seen several girls around who seem to proudly flaunt their cut up arms and legs.
And another thing – I don’t want to have to tip-toe around her and not fall out with her ever again in case she hurts herself. It feels like emotional blackmail.
She has lovely parents who spoil her rotten, so I don’t get why she hurts herself. What can I do to help her?

A Her ‘lovely parents’ might not have allowed her to develop her own emotional resilience because they stepped in and did things for her, and gave her an ‘easy life’ – no doubt with the best of intentions.
I’ve come across this before. It’s as if the person hasn’t been able to

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