What's The Bloody Point?

Hi.  I suppose writing about a lifelong habit of self-loathing is a sign that I still hold out hope at the relatively advanced age of 51 that I can do something to stop the critical voices in my head.  I grew up as the adopted child of working class parents, who as flawed as they were, loved me and did the best they could by me.  I don't remember how young I was when they told me I was adopted. but it feels as though I always knew.  It was never an issue for them or for me.  They were my parents in every meaningful sense of the word.  End of story.

My paternal grandmother was the first person in my life for whom I could do nothing right.  As I learned towards the end of my father's life, she had pronounced that I wasn't like her other grandchildren because I was adopted.  Damaged goods.  My adult self realizes that she was also reflecting the prejudices of her generation, but to this I day I still think she's a *****.  The point of every visit to her home seemed to be to humiliate me, and for some sick reason my father would stand by and let it happen, hoping it would toughen up his little sissy boy.

Because you see, I felt I was gay from probably about seven years of age.  I would get this boy crushes, and while I don't think I acted out on them, they were there and I sensed that my feelings were shameful and not like other boys.  I liked books, music, collecting stamps and I LOVED (still do) the movies.  I would go over to my neighbour Jennifer's house and secretly play with her dolls.  I would get teased at school, partly because I was clever and partly because I wouldn't even pretend to be interested in the things that other boys liked.  

I never developed a thick skin, although I did develop a thick waistline and my weight has gone up and down for most of my life.  I grew up thinking I was unappealing physically and emotionally, even though there were periods in my twenties when I was pretty sexually active.  I wish I had the resiliency that I see other people have, who let stuff roll off their backs.  I'm much more comfortable (not happy) on my own because I'm afraid of the demands of the give-and-take of relationships.  I have a few friends who are kind and I am grateful for them, so I try not to go on at length about how miserable and disgusted I feel.  Who needs it?

I'm an introvert in a world where extroversion is far more prized, introspective in a world where superficiality more often equals popularity.  I can't do anything without hearing that voice in my head, my mother's voice saying "No wonder you don't have any friends."  I don't feel I'm entitled to my feelings and that I'm unimportant and that if I died tomorrow no one would notice until the smell wafted out the door and down the hallway.  I'm self-loathing, self-pitying and self-dramatizing.  I constantly make sure my apartment is tidy and that everything is boxed and labelled so that when I die it will be easy for whoever has to clear away the paltry evidence of my life.

expo67 expo67
51-55, M
5 Responses Nov 12, 2011

First of all let me say how cruel your grandmother was.She was a bully who picked on a vulnerable child because you were more sensitive than other boys and did not conform to the way boys should act and be, according to her.Your father was misguided in letting her humiliate you this way but in those days people were often misguided in many ways and often child abuse was passed off as "discipline", people appear to be better informed now and therefore better educated,to me the fifties was one of the worse era for erroneous thinking.Your grandmother did you a lot of psychological and emotional damage,she made you feel worthless,life it appears taught her nothing, some people never mature.I have had such people in my own "family" and I was not adopted,but often if felt like I was being fostered out and my presence resented.This is certainly not conductive to making someone able to form fulfilling relationships during the course of their lives.Often people who have been emotionally abused find it very difficult to relate to others,they become "people pleasers" to be accepted and often that cause them more heartache as they are shamelessly taken advantage of,or they have difficulty in believing people truly care for them and drive them away or they feel they are not worth loving and so do attract unloving, abusive people in their lives because they do not have the boundaries required to keep such people at bay and they tolerate shoddy treatment beyond what a more emotionally confident person would.They stay in such "relationships" when they should run away fast! And so we remain alone in life or often in a destructive relationship.Personally I prefer to be alone,at least I can be whom I want to be and not the "non person" some people can make one into.I talk from experience.I too will never forgive people who have damaged me emotionally,they will always like your grandmother remain ***** to me.You ARE a worth while person,no one has the right to make you feel differently.They simply projected their own crap onto you.You have to start accepting yourself,then healing can begin.Take care.

I like the connection you make between childhood experiences of feeling unwelcome and adult relationships with people who reinforce those feelings. I have made great progress in being able to forgive the adults who made me feel so wretched because holding on to that resentment only entrenches negativity in me. I so desperately want to be free of that negativity and live the rest of my life with a sense of joy and discovery. On really good days I achieve that, other days not so much. However, the overall balance is tipping in favour of good days. What do you do on days when you're alone and you don't want to be, but the people who are in your life aren't available? I find I can be great for three or four days on my own, but then I get a pretty deep seated need to make contact with friends. This can get a little fraught when none are available, and going out and casually connecting with strangers is hard. I'm not really a small talk kind of guy.

I know what you are saying.

It is sad that you feel this way about yourself. You have been programmed since childhood to think this way, and it is time for a change. You are a worthwhile person, and you are valued. You have a lot to give to others, and you are strong on the inside. You have to be a strong person because you've survived this mental abuse for so long. You have written about it, and you have reached out through EP. Don't give up. I, too, had feelings of self-loathing for a very long time. Sometimes I still do. Through counselling, I have discovered that this is my little child inside me reaching out for healing. As I get in touch with her, and sit with my feelings, I realize that I can change my programming and "rules" form my childhood. The key now is to nurture my little child within, while recognizing that I can now look at the past with the eyes of an adult. The adults in your life were not there for you, and that is very sad. You could not speak up for yourself then because you were a child. Now you can speak up for yourself, and you can speak loudly! You can tell those adults that you are grown up now and fighting for yourself! You don't need them in your life. Stick with the close friends you have, and keep them in your life. You are a precious person! Fight for yourself!

I'm currently wrestling with a self-critical inner dialogue at times. Honestly, when the antidepressants are working it's way less of a problem.<br />
<br />
A friend of mine has told me about a technique he used to reprogram himself: When your internal negative dialogue fires up, you reply to any negative statement about yourself with one that is opposite and positive.<br />
So "I'm ugly and worthless," pops into your head.<br />
You'd say in response "I'm attractive and worthwhile."<br />
It sounds really stupid, but I have found it to work with practice.<br />
<br />
Another trick I've used: when the dialogue starts I say "stop!" aloud. People look at me funny when I do this in public; they do that anyway, so no worries... but I will be saying "Stop. Stop. Stop." every few seconds.<br />
Another trick is to chant Om...that can be done pretty quietly, or really loudly if you are by yourself and you're really having trouble shutting the voice up.<br />
It also helps me to realize beating up on myself doesn't improve myself-in fact it makes me less able to function.. Maybe you don't beat yourself up for your flaws, though.<br />
Good luck.

I wanted to play with boy toys and im a girl that likes girls and guys oh andy I get dragged by family I am thin skin to im po without lo homeless veteran mother of two living in chaos without confusion and love haters but I feel okay with my self plus image and ego

A point could be you can go out live a little let your hair down have fun no matter what you only have one life to live I know dating and seeing people sucks but it's a part of life dating and seeing people I have to do it also i can be vunerable we all are have fun