You Just Don’t Understand


By Elizabeth Alraune, Guest Blogger

I was about 13 years old and it was one of the worst years of my life. I had a tough time in school, and did not want to go, and often did not. It was a miracle I even made it to 8th grade (a miracle in no small part by the aide of my German Teacher who frequently taught me at home).


  • I had angry outbursts.
  • I often felt like I was going to explode.
  • I threatened to commit suicide.
  • I felt insane.
  • I felt very much alone.


My poor grandparents, who raised me, were likely beside themselves.


What to do about Liz.


Probably needing some reprieve from the chaos I was creating, my grandmother took me to a psychiatrist who asked me why I was acting like I was. I don’t remember my answers, but I know I “justified” my emotions by what was happening in my life.


Funny thing, though, deep down I think I knew it didn’t make “sense” that I’d be so angry from these things. After all, my life had always been that way, why suddenly was I an erupting volcano?


The doctor prescribed a “calming down” medicine. 


As an adult, I have looked back and asked questions. I found out that even two years earlier, I was already beginning to show signs of “trouble.”


As an adult, I discovered that I am empathic. Basically I can hear, see, feel, experience things that some might call me crazy for. I discovered the roller coaster ride of emotions often felt in my life often has a lot to do with those around me. If someone is up, I feel up. If someone is down, I feel down. If someone would ask me why I feel as I could “justify” it with what’s happening in my life.


Looking back, I remember how unhappy my grandmother was. She was in a diabetic in a wheelchair, and could barely see. She and my grandfather frequently yelled and fought. It was extremely upsetting and unsettling to me.


I suspect I was picking up on their anger, their frustration, their sadness, and it became “mine,” since when you don’t know that you’re picking up on another, whose feeling – other than your own – could it be?


I wouldn’t be surprised if my threats to commit suicide came from my grandmother as well. Perhaps she didn’t want to live any more, and I interpreted it as, “I want to die.”


No one knew the things I know now. There was no one who could truly help because they were treating symptoms without addressing cause. And any “cause” that anyone came up with was nothing like what I have come to discover.


There was – and is – nothing wrong with me. What was happening, if it had been identified properly, could have been treated in a way that didn’t have me stifling horrible emotions I believe that I am not alone in this.


Others often relate to my experience and story:


  • I have spoken with a mother who recognized her young child’s behavior in my experiences.
  • I have spoken to a 20-something woman who felt I understood her and her experience in a way no one else ever had.
  • I have spoken to adults who know of that “roller coaster” ride.


I wasn’t crazy. I just felt crazy because I didn’t know what was going on, and didn’t know how to deal with it, and no one else around me did either.


There is no worse feeling than when you are suffering and you feel like no one can help or understand. When I finally got clear about a few things, my world shifted. I was truly amazed at what a difference a perspective could make.


But, oh boy, what a journey to get here!


 Elizabeth Alraune


After leaving Corporate America, Elizabeth has worked for myself as a Life Coach and Hypnotist, Intuitive, Healer, and Speaker for over 12 years. Over the course of the years she has had well over 12,000 conversations with clients regarding a myriad of issues. Life took a turn in 2012, when she was diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer. Because Elizabeth experienced her own version of cancer hell, she now helps others through what she knows of the “cancer experience” as well as using other things she has learned along the way about love, relationships, and life. Elizabeth supports others in living their most honest life – true to themselves and the voice of their heart.  Learn more about Elizabeth on her blog at



The Teen Toolbox utilizes youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.  We are committed to supporting and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teenagers in the foster care system.

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