April 18, 2019 at 5:37 am #289551
I feel like a complete failure. My life is not worth living.
All of my relationships have been abusive. My first, at age 16, was physically abusive. Subsequent relationships have been emotionally abusive.
I moved to the other side of the world a few years ago, hoping for a fresh start but my life feels worse than ever.
I ended a relationship last year as I felt worthless. I was convinced it was covert abuse but now I think I deserved it. He got into another relationship immediately after. I tortured myself watching it play out on their social media. They would also flaunt it in my face when they knew I would be in a certain place. They moved in together after 4 months. I think he saw me as I really am; worthless, ugly, boring and damaged goods. Watching someone else living the life that I desperately crave is the closest I’ll ever get to it. Its been 6 months now and I still cant move on.
In every job I’ve had here, no one likes me. There’s always conflict. I try to keep to myself but I must be the toxic one if this keeps happening to me.
I cant make friends. I havent had any since I was 21. I’m now 45. If anyone made an attempt at friendship I would only push them away as I’m afraid they’ll see the real me and be repulsed.
I’m in therapy but its not helping. Realising that the way my Mother treated me led to me being the failure I am was devastating. She’s the only person I have left to talk to.
I cant find the strength to go on. I’m desperately lonelyApril 18, 2019 at 6:06 am #289559
This is what I see in what you shared: you feel very, very sad. You have very little joy in life and a lot of sadness. You feel lonely and have felt lonely for so very long. You used to have hope and you moved to the other side of the world because of that hope, your objective was- a fresh start!
You and I have a lot in common, l was very lonely too and I felt like a failure for so long. But I was still hopeful and I moved to the other side of the world by myself, to start a new life. But the old life caught up with me three months after the move, when my mother visited me.
Like you, I too believed that I was worthless.
Notice this, you wrote: “In every job I’ve had here, no one likes me.. I try to keep to myself”- it could be that people don’t like you because you keep to yourself and they think that you don’t like them. People like people who like them, who act friendly toward them.
Will you tell me about your therapy, how long and why do you believe that it is not working?
April 18, 2019 at 6:48 am #289563
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by anita.
you most definitely do NOT deserve to be abused at all, never was and never will.
I have also seen someone I was in love with be happy with someone else. More than once (twice? thrice?)
Nobody really liked me in my jobs either, or school. I always had like a group of 2 to 3 people around me and that was it.
I pushed away so many of my friends I barely have any left (but the ones I do I cherish a lot).
And of course, I also had my problems with my mother and father. And therapy takes a lot of time, in the meantime it feels even more confusing since we’re taking a look at things that are difficult. It is an act of courage really.
I am pretty sure you will heal. Maybe not immediately, but eventually? Oh yes. Just hang in there, take one day at a time and feel grateful for what you already have.
Count on us in this beautiful community. We’re here for you.
Namaste!April 18, 2019 at 11:55 am #289613
Thank you for replying.
I’ve felt sad and lonely my whole life, even as a child. I found therapy useful for helping me discover how I’d learnt to not be a bother, make myself small and suppress my emotions. When the emotions do come though, I dont know how to handle them. I feel like a child again. When my therapist asks me to describe how I feel, I honestly don’t know most of the time. I can only say what I think about something instead of how I feel. The sadness and trying to suppress the urge to cry is all I know. I fear that underneath the anxiety, there’s no person there. It’s just a void. I’ve read a lot of advice about the importance of doing inner work and healing childhood wounds but how? That advice is starting to feel glib and inspirational quotes stick in my throat.
I wish I could just catch a moment of how it feels to be happy, normal and well adjusted so I know what I should be aiming for.
I had lots of friends in school but I still felt like the odd one out. In work there was always at least one woman who didn’t like me and I’ve been bullied by them. I’m now afraid to get to know people in and out of work. I’m always friendly but I’m not very chatty. I thought by not drawing attention to myself it would somehow protect me.
My whole focus seems to be on the most recent failed relationship. I’m using that as proof of my worthlessness. I’m still confused if it was abuse. He did things I found very disrespectful and it opened all my insecurities. I told my Mum but she thought I was making a big deal out of nothing. She thinks I’m a bitch and I drive people away. Whether his love was real or not, for that short time it was the most I’ve ever had in my whole life. Why was I so unhappy? Maybe I ruined it by being so insecureApril 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm #289623
“I fear that underneath the anxiety, there’s no person there. It’s just a void”.
No, it is not a void, I am sure of that.
“I told my Mum but she thought I was making a big deal out of nothing. She thinks I’m a b*&* and I drive people away”-
– here is another thing I am sure about: you didn’t drive your mother away, children never do. Children will do anything and everything for their mothers to stay. They will do everything so that not to drive her away!
So when your mother said you are a b*&^, what it means to me that she rejected your love for her. And your love for her is what is underneath your anxiety. Not a void, but love.
This is what has been underneath my anxiety all along, although I didn’t know that, until recently.
anitaApril 18, 2019 at 3:13 pm #289637
Anita – “So when your mother said you are a b*&^, what it means to me that she rejected your love for her. And your love for her is what is underneath your anxiety. Not a void, but love”
This is a complete revelation to me.
Was it therapy that helped you discover this? All I feel is my body trying to suppress my emotions during my therapy sessions and I’m frustrated. I feel like I need her to tell me the answer because I can’t find it.
I was convinced in my teenage years that l hated my Mother. I realise now I was rebelling against having to chase her for love and validation and sought it from romantic relationships instead. She was extemely hostile towards me during those years. So when I found myself in a physically abusive relationship I had no one to turn to.April 18, 2019 at 5:32 pm #289649
I will be away from the computer in a few moments and back in about 13 hours from now. From a quick read of your recent post I can see that indeed we have a lot in common. I want to read your recent post (and anything you want to add to it) more attentively and reply when I am back.
anitaApril 18, 2019 at 10:46 pm #289697
As of right now, you are living in a bubble. A bubble that you have created out of the need to rationalized what is happening in your life. And in that bubble, you keep telling yourself the stories ‘I am worthless, I have no value, I am a failure’. Your confirmation bias is also looking for other stories, i e your abusive ex, to support and uphold your critical view of yourself.
Right now, you believe those stories. You believe yourself to be worthless because your environment, the people around you, have never encouraged you to have faith in yourself. Your environment was/is hostile so what you see around is a lot of hostile elements with little safety spaces. Your defense mechanism is on alert mode, ready to leap out at the moment you perceive danger, no matter how imaginary. Because anyone can be an enemy, it is simply easier to shut out everyone, than hope for a single ally. And that’s why you are still in contact with your mother. As much as she is not your ally, at least you know her brand of ammunition. You’ve stood before her line of fire, it is something you can predict and that’s easier to response to. What’s predictable is less scary than what is not predictable. Hence, your ex was an abuser, similar to your mother. You’ve lived in that hostile environment for so long that it’s easier to surround yourself in a similar environment than change to something you don’t know.
What’s worse is that humans tend to be their own cruelest enemy because your mind is the best tool for self-torment. Especially when you were only taught by your mother that you have no worth as a person. It seems you were your mother’s verbal punching bag. She also didn’t approve much of what you did, did she? Especially if it makes you happy because you weren’t allow to be happy? At least in her eyes. And because you couldn’t be happy unless your mother was happy, you’ve learned to put yourself at second best. You’ve learned that your value lies in pleasing other people. Hence, once of the reason why you constantly seek love and affection and approval and validation from other people. You kept chasing after love the only way you knew how.
That void is what is left after the chase. It is a bit of hopelessness along with self-derision. It’s an emptiness that has hollowed out your heart. And because there is nothing in that emptiness, you don’t have anything to fall back onto when your mind constantly questions your value, your worth, your significance. Because it’s empty, you can only filled it with other people’s opinion, taking it as the truth.
You did not live an empty existence, you simply don’t know how to live a full existence for yourself.April 19, 2019 at 9:18 am #289761
You wrote about your mother, “She was extremely hostile towards me during those years”. Recently, when you sought her input regarding the recent relationship, her response: “she thought I was making a big deal out of nothing. She thinks I’m a b*&* and I drive people away”.
Like so many aggressive and abusive people, your mother too blames her victim. Her message to you is that you drive people away, there is something wrong with you! Which means that her aggression toward you all those years were your fault, not hers.
Not only that, she gives you the message that.. there was no abuse, not by this man and not by hers. Just as she said you made a big deal out of nothing regarding this man, I bet she told you the same thing in many different ways regarding her abuse against you- there was none, you made a big deal out of nothing… nothing happened.
So she sent you the message through the years that there is something wrong with you and you believed her, so you are afraid that other people will “see the real me and repulsed”.
“The sadness and trying to suppress the urge to cry is all I know”- the sadness of a girl abused is intense, no one to help her, all alone with that aggressive person hurting her. And the person hurting her is the person she loves the most in the world, the person she needs so desperately.
“I was convinced in my teenage years that I hated my Mother”- notice you wrote mother with a capital M, this is because a child needs her mother so much, loves her so much, wants nothing more intensely than her love, a mother is a god for her young child.
Like you I was angry with my mother for ages, didn’t know that I loved her all along, underneath. What the anger tried to achieve was to remove her from myself, to remove the source of aggression from my life. Only I also loved her and still felt I needed her. So I was conflicted, terribly conflicted for too long.
I had my first quality therapy 2011-2013 and continued what I refer to as my healing process since and to this very day, today on my own, that is, not in the context of psychotherapy with a therapist. Part of my healing process is my participation here, almost four years of it.
“I feel like I need (your therapist) to tell me the answers because I can’t find it”- you are afraid, that is all. Fear is very powerful, so you make yourself as small as you can, feel the least that you can, close your eyes best you can so to see … less of the things that scare you.
You wrote earlier: “She’s the only person I have left to talk to”- did you mean your therapist or your mother?
anitaApril 19, 2019 at 3:13 pm #289845
Thank you so much for such insightful comments. This is something I needed to hear a very long time ago. It’s set off a whole chain reaction of thoughts and feelings and memories.
Anita – when I said she’s the only person I have left to talk to I meant my Mother.
I remember at age 12 feeling shame and embarrassment about becoming an adult. I wanted to remain a child because I was scared. I couldn’t talk to my Mother about any issues regarding becoming a woman. She’s very astute and good at reading people, so I’ve always sought her advice. But when it comes to my romantic relationships the advice is more like platitudes. I’m still seeking advice from her about my last relationship but she’s saying how much he probably misses me, regrets what he did etc. This is like a drug to me because that’s what I want to hear. It validates me. Makes me think she means well and wants me know that I did actually mean something to him but its stopping me from moving on and making me more miserable. I’m trapped in this cycle.
Deep down I think I sought therapy to get advice I never got from my Mother, yet I know that’s not how therapy works.
I moved so far away from home not because I wanted to but because I knew I needed to. It was not an exciting, happy feeling like one should get when embarking on such a huge life change. I’d been pushed to my limit. I was running away. But the same problems I ran away from keep repeating. That’s why I’m convinced it’s me that’s the problem. I’m still surrounded by people who are nice to each other but mean and manipulative to meApril 19, 2019 at 4:07 pm #289855
I am not focused at this time and need to be away from the computer shortly. I read this sentence that you wrote about your mother: “She’s very astute and good at reading people”- how so?
(She definitely didn’t read you accurately!)
I will read your recent post (and anything you may add to it) when I return in about 14 hours from now and reply then.
anitaApril 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm #289871
If I told her about something someone had done (not a partner) and I was hurt and confused by it she seemed to know their motive. It was her clear, hard tone of voice in they way she explained it to me. I wondered why I hadn’t been able to see it myself. But when I told her about something my recent partner had done, which hurt and humiliated me, it was no big deal. Which is what he tried to make me believe when I confronted him about it.
In the early stages of the relationship I gushed to her about how attentive and romantic he was and adored me. It felt like she thought because I’ve never had a someone treat me so well that I should just ignore this other little thing that hurt me. So I continued to put up with it, blaming myself for being insecure.April 20, 2019 at 7:32 am #289913
“she seemed to know their motive.. I wondered why I hadn’t been able to see it myself”- if your mother was correct regarding that man’s motive, it doesn’t mean she is usually or always correct. After all, a broken clock is correct twice every 24 hours. Every person is correct from time to time.
Regarding your last relationship, “she’s saying how much he probably misses me, regrets what he did etc”- how does she know? She can’t. People say these things to make the person with the broken heart feel better, that is all. And you do feel better when she says these things, “This is like a drug to me because that’s what I want to hear”.
But convenient, wishful thinking stops us from seeing reality as it is, learning from it and moving forward toward a better life.
You wrote about your mother: “She thinks I’m a b*&*&… She was extremely hostile towards me”- will you tell me how do you know that she thinks you are a b*&&*- did she tell you that you are?
And, will you list the ways in which she was extremely hostile toward you?