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#264106 - 11/27/08 10:14 PM Worthlessness and self-recrimination
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
I know I'm returning to this again, ---- and I actually feel a bit silly for mentioning it after me saying things were going better, but I'm stil having a real problem with feeling my own worthlessness.

Over last monday-Wednesday, I had a distinct sense of myself as being pointless, being worthless, not being worth anyone's time, care or trouble, ---- even my own.

I got incredibly, really amazingly angry at myself. Afterall, I've been in recovery for over a year, I know that that is the opinion of my abusers talking, not people I'd trust a lot more, shouldn't I be better than this, stronger than this, ----- able to cope with more than this? Where was my creative energy? why couldn't I se in myself what others claime to see in me? why couldn't i do any of the things I'd resoved to do this week to make my life better, ---- things like practice singing, get work done, go to stuff I enjoyed.

I got tawn betwene apathy, self disgust and self-recrimination which was a very bad place to be in. Heck, betwene the desire to get this sorted out myself, th desire not to dump on the people here, and my feeling of general self loathing I didn't even post about this on Ms, ----- which i admit was a major mistake sinse posting here would've been a great way to clear things.

Finally, Thursday morning I just woke up feeling better for some unexplained reason. i don't know whether it's my default chemical balance kicking in or just that I couldn't maintain those sorts of feelings, or maybe me coming to my senses, but I just woke up feeling better.

I can't think of any cause at all for why I started feeling down in the first place, ---- unless maybe after having a great time with my parents coming up and staying in my flat last weekend, and us going out and doing fun things together, I was in some way punishing myself.

Nor do I know why I suddenly started feeling okay on Thursday, ----- in fact if these episodic attacks didn't start when I started recovery, and have (I have to admit), diminished as time has gone on, i'd have to wonder if something was chemically wrong with me, sinse I can rarely find a trigger, a flashback or anything else.

My counseler said on thursday that it seemed really sad to her that I was prepared to plow into and deal with hurtful feelings, than except good ones and complements, ---- I'm not sure how this works at all.

But I'm getting bloody sick of being the slave of my uncontrollable feelings of worthlessness, and getting bloody sick of myself for not being able to get out of this!

What the heck! is wrong! with me! Shouldn't I be further along by now?

Sorry about this wrant, but I'd really appreciate some people's advice or opinions here, sinse even though things seem to be better these days, at some points (like over last Tuesday and Wednesday), it feels as if I'm stil banging my head against a brick wall, ---- and surely I should've learnt not to do that by now.


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#264107 - 11/27/08 10:22 PM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: dark empathy]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi darkempathy,

Recovery is a roller coaster, in my opinion. And sometimes it speeds along and takes jarring, sudden turns without warning, while at other times it's rolling along relatively safely on a plateau. But after you ride it a while, you get used to the shock of it all and begin to expect the unexpected.

On the points of feeling worthless and self-recrimination, when I get into those valleys I have to remind myself that this is the lingering effects of the abuse talking in my head and that I have to shut it down because it simply is not true. I have to literally think that so that those bad feelings about myself do not take hold begin taking me places I know I don't need to go with self-loathing.

We all recovery at our own pace, so don't try to put yourself on any kind of timetable. We deal with what we can, as we can.

_________________________
Eddie

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#264119 - 11/27/08 11:36 PM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: dark empathy]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
I can really sympathize, bro. I think for me a lot of my shame was tied up in other peoples approval. Tonight I had Thanksgiving dinner with family and it was an eye opener 4 me to see how much I have grown since previous experiences of family members saying things to make me feel like shit about myself (but always in the sweetest, most caring sounding way).

There was the traditional turkey and stuffing and cranberry relish and a huge helping of shame....except tonight I passed on the shame. It was given to me but I didn't eat it. I realized that shame, unlike cranberry relish isn't yours just bcuz it's given to you. It's being given to you means that it is actually their shame, so by rights, it is they who need to deal with it not you.

Not eating the shame this time made my digestion of the meal MUCH better!


_________________________
My Story
My Art

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#264128 - 11/28/08 12:30 AM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: blueshift]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Egl.

My thing with the recovery ride is that it desn't seem to stop and I'm getting bloody sick of going through the same stuff again. It's not tat I'm comparing myself to others recovery, ---- it's more the sense that I'm getting sick of feeling like this, being like this, and really think that by this time I should be doing better than I am. This might admitedly be unreasonable. When i asked a friend if I was wrecked, he replied that given what had happened to me, my reaction was in no way disproportionate, and on that scale I wasn't wrecked, but it's been over a year sinse I started on this and I just wish I could say I was further on. Whenever something good happens and I get to a sign of progress and think "Oh, I must be better" my old friend worthlessness pops up to say hi once again.

As to the truth thing, ---- at wrisk of sounding steriotypically philosophical, ----- I really don't have a way of deciding what is or is not true about myself except via the opinions of others, as soon as I try and apply a "good" truth, even something as symple as me having a good tenor voice, ---- it just feels incredibly wrong! If I let those srts of complements in it's so wrong it hurts! It therefore really pisses me off that I'm being forced to take on the opinion of a bunch of idiotic near strangers from my teenaged years, rather than my wise, inteligent and compassionate friends.

Thanks Blueshift, I'm glad you had a good thanksgiving, ----- though obviously that's not something we have on this side of the Atlantic.

Though I have on occasions been given those big helpings of shame to swallow, it's more the sense that I feel i'm perpetually worth nobody's time or attention, than I hve actually done anything wrong which requires paying for.

In those down moments, If I feel shame for anything, ----- it's existing as the waste of space that I am, rather than anything specific at all.

Once again, I can't claime this is anyone else's fault but mine.


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#264146 - 11/28/08 07:29 AM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: dark empathy]
Dusty Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 280
Loc: Australia
Dark empathy i hope your rant helped. And think you did a goood job by putting it out there. I want to encorage you to keep going
with your recovey and agree it can be shit. i want to share some of my journey. It started with several personal growth workshopes i gaind tiny help. Suddenly in. 1992 the fog lifted and i realised that CSA was the root problem. I saw some bad T's and still got some help and learned it was not my fault that I felt this way and that i had to be kinder on myself. I decided to go it alone with kindness and when i felt the shame/guilt put it back on the perps. I had a self destruct pattern that has lessened over the time. It would have been better for me to keep searching for a good T, I didnt and even now I dont beat myself up fo not doing so. The good part is now is that I have realised that i need help and today started that process and am clear on where to go with my T. Mymantra is that I was abused and when they were not abusing I coul not take over for them and if I found myself doing this I started nameing posetive things about myself, this reduced the sting and helped me from mental harm. I have had trigers lately and see them as new area's that I have to work on. Finding this site has been a wonderful experience for me and I have ups and downs, the good thing is that the downs have not been as low as before. For me 44 years of abuse and denial cant be repared in a short time.
Keep going and remember to give yourself credit for what you haave achieved.
Dusty


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#264151 - 11/28/08 08:27 AM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: blueshift]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
whoa that's some powerful stuffing doug! right on!

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#264189 - 11/28/08 12:20 PM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: Sans Logos]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1961
Dark,

I know the feeling of having the 'voices' of what should be insignificant people from the past still ringing loud and clear. Even before I was sexually violated (man I still struggle accepting it was abuse given factors, but hey it was what it was and it wasn't fair), I went through a period when I moved into a new neighborhood where I was treated like shit and made to feel like dirt. Sometimes I can tell I still have the internalized feelings deep inside of me, and I never did anything to deserve them; they were lies and bullshit that served their needs, and did nothing but make me feel like something I was not. And then I wonder how that stuff all related to a peer getting his way with me. But I digress. I just completely understand, but take it easy on yourself and don't listen to those old tapes; that's bad music to your ears and mine as well.

Doug,

Great post about shame. I have enough internalized myself that I don't need others dumping more on me because they refuse to take ownership themselves. But it happens anyway I am starting to notice. Maybe that is one dish I will refuse to eat going forward!!

Eric


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#264317 - 11/29/08 12:36 PM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: ericc]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Well Dusty, I'm really glad your able to be positive about yourself and are so determined with recovery, ----- that's great.

My problem is as soon as I try being positive, either it feels so wrong, or a litle voice pops up telling me I'm being arrogant, and if I catch myself being arrogant i really! feel guilty.

It's bad because I know I can be very opinionated about other people sometimes, so it's something I have to be careful of.

Eric, I think we actually have this in common as well. I remember you mentioning how you were feeling before your own experiences due to other circumstances, ----- and I was very much in the same position.

I lost most of my eyesight at the age of 7, went to a boarding school where while I wasn't physically abused, ----- I sure as heck was emotionally, and then at the age of eleven my best friend who I'd known from the age of 6 fell in with a bad crowd of people and was involved in a break in into our house.

Then when I was 12 bad stuff started happening at aschool. My T actually asked me to describe myself at the age of eleven on Thursday, and said i sounded incredibly confident and very resiliant, and it was the three years of abuse that ground that out of me, along with my self-worth.

The problem is I really don't know how to get back to get back that sense at all.


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#264333 - 11/29/08 02:23 PM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: dark empathy]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1961
Dark,

First off, apologies to you or anyone else that might have taken offense to my swearing in the post above. I have been in a mood lately. Maybe no apology needed, but I wanted to say this.

About the bad stuff happening when we were younger and what it did to our self esteem (and by we and our, I am referring to anyone who can relate). It isn't just dealing with the incidents and the pain that came from how others treated us, or things that happened back at the time they occurred. But I think it is also, and maybe even more so, needing to deal with the skewed paths these things helped send our lives in motion toward. So not only do we need to deal with the incidents themselves, but also all the damage that has ensued since that time. Speaking only for myself, I know that a sense of shame and worthlessness was instilled in me and has held a deep-seated place inside myself. Initially it was related to things others placed upon me; stuff I didn't deserve. But then, in many ways, I became the person I was defined as, a real loser in my books. So now I not only have to battle the shame and worthlessness instilled upon me, but I have to fight those same feelings I helped perpetuate. Even if you don't have the issues related to creating your own shame, I think the shame that was forced upon us is something that gets deeply lodged inside.

I guess what I am getting at is that I think one really needs to keep working hard on this and see that they didn't deserve to have the worthlessness placed upon them. It was the actions of others who did so to serve their own needs; selfish needs at that. But it happened and we deserve to challenge these feelings, and keep working on removing their internalization one step at at time. Dark, be easy on yourself and don't worry about being arrogant. If you do notice that you are being truly arrogant (I'm not saying even that you are, but hey we are all capable of being so at times), just take a look at yourself and try to get a sense of where it is coming from. No big deal really. And by the way, being positive isn't arrogant so don't beat yourself up over good feelings. I do know there are good days, and there are bad, so take it all in stride as best you can.

Take care,
Eric


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#264373 - 11/29/08 04:50 PM Re: Worthlessness and self-recrimination [Re: ericc]
siranthonysghost Offline


Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 24
Loc: Hawaii
Darkempathy,

I think one of the most valuable things i find here on MS is the fact that I am not alone in the incredibly confusing and frustrating cycle of unexplainable emotions that seem to wash over me a few times a day. Please know that I have empathy for you, and it is not dark at all smile

I have recently read a book called 'breaking the cycle of compulsive behavior' it is really fascinating how our minds choose to process our actions. In this book they lay out a pretty simple but very true to life pattern. It begins with 'feelings of isolation' which leads to actions of 'self indulgence' to numb the pain, this of course leads to 'feelings of self hatred' which inevitably leads to 'actions of self concealment' so that nobody knows just how awful we are (at least, thats what we tell ourselves) It is important to recognize when we are caught up in this cycle and have a preset plan for getting ourselves out. Talking about your feelings on this board can only help, and finding a good friend or a trusted T to talk it out with is also very beneficial for me.

I have also felt the need to try to figure this out on my own, it my problem right? So why shouldn't I fix it? Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. It was relying on my own merits to fix myself that got me into the mess that i am today. "Never be apprehensive to seek help in any way" is the hard lesson I have had to learn.

This is getting long, so I'll just say that my heart goes out to you and I hope that you are able to work through these difficult emotions in a positive and healthy way.

-Mike


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