Friday, June 26, 2009

Sense of Self

I had something of an epiphany today: I seem to have very little sense of self, or at least of self-worth. I tend to see myself mostly through other people's eyes, which gives people the power to raise me to dizzying heights, and to tear me down to excruciating lows. All it takes is a few words to have these intense effects on me. Tell me something nice about me, and I feel good about myself. Tell me something not so great about me, and I feel like shit.

It's not hard to figure out where this comes from, but I don't want to get into that. The point is that I've never been able to move beyond that lack of sense of self, no matter how much therapy, writing, and living I've done. If I had to describe myself, I'm not even sure what I'd say, but I suspect that a lot of what I might say would be views I've gained of myself through other people's lenses.

My ex-husband made up this nickname for me: Rambi. It was a combination of Rambo and Bambi, because, he said, that's what I was - hard and tough on the outside, and soft and fragile on the inside. For all the things he said and did to damage me, this is something I think he was right on target about. However bitchy, strong, tough I may come across, inside I am still that scared, insecure little girl who feels unworthy of love and kindness.

Where is this all coming from right now? I'm just having a really tough time right now. Michael's recovery is slow. I feel alone. I feel overwhelmed and incapable, a lot of the time, of dealing with everything that's been necessarily piled on my shoulders, with nobody really to lean on. And I'm not just talking about the practical and logistical aspects of all of this, so I hope this doesn't result in a barrage of offers of help. It's more emotional than that. I just feel alone, and this is me venting.

6 comments:

Taryl said...

Vent away, and let me know if you ever find some answers. This is one of those areas I am just as bogged down with as you, and only the love of my family ( and my God, for me at least!) provides any real barrier to a fairly harsh, hurtful world.

I'm so sorry Michael's recovery is going slowly. You have to be so eager to get him back to full health. Peter and I are keeping you and the fam in our thoughts!

Molly C said...

Vent away. and just know we are here to help.

Carla said...

Who wouldn't, under your current circumstances, have difficulty with a sense of self. Hang in there.

Eternal Lizdom said...

You know... it's totally normal, expected, and ok to need help right now. And it's totally normal, expected, and ok to need help from someone outside of yourself and your situation. Talking to someone afew times might help. And I'd bet there are resources available through the hospital or doc's office...

Lisa said...

Normal life with a large family is challenging enough. Add cancer, Ds, being left in charge, worrying about your husband (etc.!) and it is over-the-top tough. You have so much responsibility right now. Being tired (emotionally and/or physically drained) only adds to feeling low. Take it day by day, moment by moment. You are in crisis mode right now, so just try to hang on. Things will get better...

Yorlett said...

I know what you mean. Because of my early life experiences, I have always been very sensitive. In recent years, the more I have lean on myself, the stronger my “sense of self” has become. However, when in crisis, I feel most vulnerable and that’s when old issues are triggered, I can’t help it. I just try to deal with one thing at a time.

I have also realized that because I'm known as a strong person, people expect me to be able to handle everything all the time. I know, I never had a crisis that didn't make me stronger. But, when going through difficult times, I don't feel so strong, life can get quite overwhelming and sometimes I need some help.

ps: Through your writing, I can see you as a strong/vulnerable/honest/loyal/courageous person :)