Tag self-worth

3 posts

Depression and Spiritual Abuse

Looking back, it’s no wonder that all of the feelings and self loathing that lead to my depression, brought depression. I was taught that I was worthless, that I should never think well of myself, that I needed to be humble, I was never allowed to show any emotion that was not a plastic smile. Perfection was constantly demanded, and perfection is what I was incapable of. I am, and was keenly aware of my failings, of the places I don’t measure up, where I don’t meet parental wishes or requirements – those were held over my head, brought up in arguments to coerce me further into being my family’s slave.


I remember times when my parents would sit there and berate me for hours (under the guise of “concern” and wanting to “help my [spiritual] walk”) and tell me that because I missed doing laundry one day, misheard or misunderstood a demand, that I was a bad sister, a person going down a path of destruction, away from god, if I kept up this “rebellious” attitude.
I remember being bragged about to people (when convenient) only to be later pulled aside in private and told to shape up. I remember dismissal and invisibility. I was a pawn, a tool, a broom.

I related strongly to cinderella and everyone thought it was cute, but they didn’t realize that I felt as worthless as the dirt she was mopping. That I believed I WAS as worthless as the dirt she was mopping – to know and be told in actions that I am only loved and approved of when I DO things in a certain way, with a certain demeanor regardless of feeling, ill, tired, or stressed. When I was imperfect (as all humans are) I was punished – verbally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, mentally. I internalized their words of my failures and believed that I was a failure, who didn’t deserve any good.


This was not aided by the fact that my family explicitly believed and taught that it was better to live a life of suffering (by gods hand, of course) than to live a happy life. That god did not want us to be happy (and by unspoken extension, wanted us to be miserable or persecuted).


It’s no wonder that between the bullying because of my imperfections, and the toxic theology of my parents, that I internalized at the most impressionable ages, my total and utter worthlessness and the only way to deal with that, was to hate myself as much as I perceived I needed to be. It’s no wonder that it escalated. It’s no wonder I shut down, became numb, stopped feeling, and felt robotic. It’s no wonder I was and at times still am, utterly ashamed of being a woman (someone who is less because of different anatomy)*.


*by people like my parents, the tendency of republicans in positions of power, and people who perpetuate the theology of “equal but different” where differences justify belittling.

The Strongest Woman I Know

I had intended to spend the day painting my dragon (Archangel) for my Horde army that I need to pick up the rest of on Thursday. But while in the shower, thinking about the meaning of life (as you do, and then quickly do that thing we call “washing” 2 minutes before the water turns cold) I realized that a large reason that I’m not bat-shit crazy, and the reason I attribute to my marriage being awesome and not abusive, is because my grandmother on my dad’s side was my rock.
I struggle and have always struggled with feeling worthless, like I’m nothing more than a broom with a brain and octopus arms for doing my mother’s bidding (or now, cleaning my apartment like there’s no tomorrow). I wonder, sometimes, why I’m not with some asshole of a guy, someone who is manipulative and mean, I wonder why my story is different. Why am I with this guy who’s been nothing but a catalyst of/for freedom and acceptance of me in all my nuances and idiosyncrasies. Who loves me for my intelligence and heart (as well as my boobs)?
I think, it’s because of her. My parents did a lot of lip service to self-worth and not settling for people who don’t treat you right, but they proceeded to treat me horribly. My Gramme?
She is the strongest person I’ve ever known. She was the second-youngest in a huge family, and the “all bad” child in the eyes of her mother (even though, like me, she spent her life slaving away for her family), she was neglected and abused and the most loving, accepting person I’ve ever met. She was brave and unafraid of anything, she was my original escape plan. She was the one, who, by her unconditional love and acceptance instilled in me this sense of I-deserve-to-be-treated-well-by-my-friends (family I was kinda screwed with, but *my* circle, I deserved to create to feel safe in).

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She was the type of person who wouldn’t sit quiet if her kids were wrong, if her grandkids were hurt she would fight for them. She was my defender. I knew that if things got bad enough, I could run to her and trust her to protect me (not that I would have, but she was *that* kind of safe place).
When she died I was devastated. I’ve grown up around death – my first funeral was at 6 months old. My great-grandparents have passed, my uncle, two siblings, friends…my Gramme is the only one that still affects me. I still cry and get choked up when I talk and think about her (so I usually try not too, because there’s a huge gaping hole where she should be). Sometimes, 5 years later, I still do a double-take on the street because I see her dopple-ganger. If I were spiritual, I’d take it as a sign that she’s looking at me (instead of just some random elderly lady with the same haircut).
When I think about how she’d feel about me, I feel so so secure in that she’d still love me – that I could still tell her anything and she’d keep it between us, that she’d be supportive, that she’d be proud, she’d tell me I’m brave, and she would understand.
My gramme is the reason that I am so strong. She’s where I got my stubbornness from, she’s where I got my I-will-protect-the-shit-out-of-the-people-I-love-screw-you-if-you-hurt-them impulse, she is why I value acceptance and completely unconditional love.
She is why I am so lucky. Because without her just loving me? I would have been so different. She taught me, without either of us realizing it, that I am worth loving because I am me – that people who don’t accept me for me are not worth my time. And that’s why my marriage looks the way it does, that’s why I’m lucky, that’s why I built a circle of friends who genuinely cared about me, a circle that my family couldn’t penetrate.
I am lucky because as a child, I had a tether – and when all hell broke loose, when the shit hit the fan, when the abuse left crushing and devastating imprints on my soul – I KNEW that someone loved me unconditionally and THAT was right.
That’s why my story is different. That’s why my marriage is actually healthy – the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had.
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[in]significance

I struggle (and I always have) with feeling insignificant. With my self-worth and self-value. Anything that has to do with thinking I’m a remotely okay person who has a value slightly above that of a cockroach I’ve battled with. Extensively.
I blame myself for everything and anything. If it’s raining and I didn’t bring an umbrella I apologize because I feel like it’s either my fault it rained, or I should have known it was going to rain at that moment and brought something.
I have a responsibility complex which makes me feel like the world is on my shoulders and I just KNOW it will all end in nuclear war if I don’t clean my kitchen RIGHT NOW. But I hate having to spend so much energy on tasks that need to be repeated and I’m the one who does them all the time (and I don’t mind generally). But after a good long time, it comes back to my feeling less and less significant and like my primary function is home-hygiene. At that point, I just need to be a robot named Rosie. Or better yet, have a robot named Rosie.
When I get to the point that I feel like I don’t matter, I don’t do well. It bothers me because I know I matter in my head. I know I have people who like me around and think I’m relatively cool and that I’m a pretty decent human. But that does nothing to diminish the trapped feeling I have inside of myself – like I’m shackled to something and I don’t know what yet.
I take it out on my gender, and for the most part I’m okay with that. I don’t like being a woman. I just want to be a person without connotations of what women should or shouldn’t do or be in which circle, because I just want to be my complete self and I think a lot of that has to do with A) being human and B) being an ENFP (apparently, valuing individuality is a common trait).
Also, I get attacked by sharks and hormones every 3 weeks and someone needs to make that stop. It’s not healthy, I tell you!
But honestly, it would be nice to not hate myself for something I can’t help at some point. It would be nice to not lapse into an I-can’t-do-anything-unless-I-really-force-myself-and-then-take-a-nap depression when everything goes wrong because all I can manage to do is figure out a way to blame myself and try and take responsibility for something that I have literally no control over…which leads me to feeling useless and irresponsible and well, yeah, worthless.
It’d be nice to accept that sometimes I can’t do anything and that’s okay…and that somehow, my value as a person isn’t based on my ability. Is it intrinsic? And what does that even mean?
I want it to be, so badly. But I just can’t bring myself to believe that I am intrinsically valuable, even though I believe that about everyone else.
Maybe I’ll put this on my list. I am completely clueless as to the implementation. I don’t even know where to start. But if I made a little progress….that might be magical. I mean, how cool would it be to not hate myself?