Friday, March 20, 2009


I hate myself. That's the short of it. I have struggled with this as long as I can remember. In talking with my therapist this week, he reminded me of some of the reasons that I am a good person. I hear it, my brain processes the words, my heart wants to believe it, but then the familiar words of "if he only knew" creep in and consume any hopes of believing it is true. Sad thing is, he does know. He knows more about me than any other person... he knows the nitty gritty details, the good, the bad and the dark & ugly. So if someone who does "know" can still find the good in me, then why the hell can't I believe it?

It's frustrating. I don't enjoy walking around feeling like this. Shame is my cloak and hatred follows me wherever I go. I envy the people who have good self-esteem because I am not one of those people. My husband is one of those who just looks comfortable in his own skin. My skin is too tight. So I cut.

I was taught to cut. By someone close to me who was hurting me. It is almost as if it was their calculated attempt to hide my feelings from the world and show me how to turn them inward. The sad thing is, cutting as I was taught did ease my feelings of guilt, shame, anger, etc. It was my release and my best means of controlling my feelings. A simple cut was a distraction to the larger pain. I believe this is where my self-destructive behavior took root.

Over the years my self-destruction has taken many forms. Alcohol, prescription drugs, more cutting, binge eating, purging, not eating, and pushing everyone away who even attempted to love or care for me. "I will make them leave before they can decide on their own to leave me", that was my constant thought. I've always thought it to be better anyways because anyone who got to know me surely would be repulsed by my secrets. I work hard to ruin my own success because I'm terrified of the good happening in my life. Good means that it can turn to bad. However, it sure is a lot of work to live my life like this and from the outside looking in, it must look strange to watch me ruin the good things going for me. I know my husband sees it as strange; a frequent argument between us is my resistance to let him love me. He knows me, maybe not all the dark and sordid details but he still knows me. And even then, I still resist the good that is him in my life.

All this leads me back to the silent treatment. I ignore my own feelings, thoughts, emotions, and dreams. In a sense, I give myself the silent treatment. And in return, that pain created by the silence, leaks out as self-destruction and hatred. When the good comes in my life I embrace it for a time and actually attempt to feel. But then, like clockwork, I shut down and the silence begins. An internal temper-tantrum eventually ensues, screaming to get my attention only to be met with more silence until I can no longer ignore it. By then I am so out of control that I resort to self-destruction which temporarily cures the larger pain in my life.

In writing this, I can see that I'm actually quite predictable. No wonder people close to me are maddened to watch this process happen time and time again. So here goes, I'm going to start listening to myself and hearing them out instead of screaming back to shut up. Hearing myself has to be easier in the long term than continuing to make a mess out of my life through self-destruction because now, for the first time, my own destruction is hurting those around me who love me and that is something I cannot continue to do.


mtyler77 said...

Oh my dear--I just want to wrap my arms around you and give you such a big (((((hug))))). What can I tell you? I understand how it is to hate yourself--I grew up loathing myself and this self-hatred took me on a long, painful, and destructive journey in which I nearly lost my life.

You are doing the right thing in seeking therapy--and even though it is painful at times (and perhaps might even seem like it is not working), if you stick with it, it will work.

My therapist (at one point) had me complete affirmation for myself--where I would be forced to write down and speak aloud all the good things I felt about myself. I felt stupid doing it but after awhile, the words became more comfortable and then in more time, the belief started to become comfortable.

There is light at the end of the tunnel--and please know how many of us abuse survivors are out there. We're all cheering you on.

Take care, my friend--if you ever need to talk, contact me (via my form on my site).


Shattered said...

Funny you should mention an affirmation list. I did one when I first began therapy with him and over time, it did help. I've lost the original list and your comment reminds me that I need to make a new one. Thanks... :)