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Something’s not right

Leonie1
Contributor

Low self esteem, still 😒

I'm almost 70 years old.  To make a long story short I've made a lot of progress but still if I send someone a message and don't hear back within a day or two I automatically assume I've done something wrong.  In actual fact it's generally because the person is busy.  I have made progress because at least now I'll ask if I've done something wrong.  I don't just go away and feel bad.  And what I'm finding is that people say "Why do you ask that?  Of course you haven't done anything wrong.  I've just been busy".  So after all this time this shouldn't be my immediate thought.  I'm the same with tradesmen, friends I've known for decades, new friends.  I'm sure it's because I was abandoned by my mother at age 11.  I grew up hearing things like "a face only a mother could love etc".  So this low self esteem at my core.  Anyone else?

33 REPLIES 33

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

@Leonie1 Yes I find that I feel the same way too, even if the responce is vauge and leaves me feeling unsure of the meaning behind it my first thought will be im not wanted.....Also talking to a group leader recently (days after  I "reacted" rather than pausing and responding) and she said my presence in the group add value and I didn't believe her as ialways feel im worth nothing to others and add no value to the lives of others

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

Oh I'm so glad I posted this.  You are not nothing Blessings.  You are beautiful πŸ’œ.  I know my value and my confidence is coming back but I just wish this wasn't my go to feeling every time I don't get a reply.  I've just come through a particularly difficult period of several years.  For the last six months I've been recovering from a serious accident.  I feel very strong.  I feel as though I'm not afraid of anything so why at my CORE do I feel I'm not wanted? I don't want to be like this any more.  It doesn't serve me.  I don't think it helps that all but one of my dearest friends have passed away.  I have made new friends but these were people I'd known for decades.  People who knew me well and loved me and let me know πŸ’œ  

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

I figured it out. Over the last several years I have experienced levels of betrayal I never expected. From people I really trusted including my sister and closest friend. Betrayal is the worst emotion of all in my opinion. It shatters you. I'm still shattered and I think I anticipate betrayal because I've experienced so much of it. The people who betrayed me are no longer in my life. They are dead to me.

I have had so much counselling that I don't want anymore. I don't think I could be bothered telling my story to a stranger again. It makes perfect sense that the amount of betrayal I've experienced would seep to my core. Furthermore I am a Melbourne girl who moved to the Bush. I fit in perfectly in any big city but I don't fit in here. I have been bullied a lot which is something I've never experienced before. And all because I travel to the beat of my own drum, guard my privacy and live a very interesting life. The path I am on, the path I chose, requires strength so I thank the bullies and the rednecks for making me strong. I'm conscious that the feeling I have of being rejected/betrayed comes from being constantly rejected and betrayed over the last many years.

I have enough people who really love me to fix this up. Sometimes we just need to talk it through to work it out. I think my nervous system is still out of whack but every day I get better. I've got this. Thank you for listening and allowing me to reach out. This is a very safe place. I need that πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

Hi @Leonie1 

 

Lovely to meet you here! I'm one of the peer moderators here at SANE. I completely understand how you feel. I tend to do the same. I am not as bad as I once was but nevertheless, I am guilty of thinking 'what have I done wrong'. I honestly believe our early childhood experiences have a lot to do with it.

 

My mother didn't abandon me literally but every time she was feeling sad/angry etc she would not speak to me for days on end. I clearly remember her doing this as early as my preschool years. I was on the bus going home from preschool with her (she didn't drive so we bussed it). I remember asking her a question and she wouldn't reply. I remember thinking, 'what have I done to make her mad'.

 

It set a pattern for the rest of my life basically. I became afraid others would do this to me as well so always tried so hard to be the 'perfect' friend, sister, etc. My dad, thank goodness, never did it to me. But I was so scarred from that early lack of unconditional love from my mother. I mean I know that she did love me but her actions showed me that her love was sort of precarious. 

 

I am fortunate to have a loving husband and four beautiful kids of my own. I often talk about how my mum was and they can't believe it. They believe me of course but just find it hard to believe this lovely grandma they have would be like that to her daughter. 

 

I'm glad you've begun to ask people why didn't they reply and that they have replied honestly that they are simply busy. It's the reality isn't it. Not what our anxious minds are telling us! 

 

Warmest wishes

Hanami

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

 

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

What would we have done without our fathers? My Dad was wonderful and I didn't like my mother. That's a long story but she never ever told me she loved me and she was completely immersed in her extra marital affair and didn't have time for me. I was a Daddy's Girl and my sister was glued to my mother. Dad bought me a pony after my mother left and that was a good exchange as far as I was concerned πŸ˜ƒ

I'm so glad you replied. It helps me understand myself. Whether I liked my mother or not, being abandoned at such a critical age had a profound impact on me. And she didn't just abandon me once. She totally abandoned me again when I was 32. Back in the early 60s there was a lot of shame attached to divorce too.
Dad got married again and I felt abandoned all over again. He didn't talk to me about it and my step mother hated me.l and vice versa. I was an inconvenience. My brother tried to drown me when I was a few weeks old. My sister was always jealous. My step brother and step sister hated me too. All jealous because Dad loved me most. I was the one who picked up the pieces when my mother left, at 11! My father was absolutely shattered. He told me he would have put his head in the gas oven if he didn't have me to look after. That was such a burden. Then he went and got married to someone who constantly threatened to send me to Reform School (jail) and said "There's something wrong with her. She reads too much". They never asked me what was wrong. I ran away from home regularly with my pony. It was clear something wasn't right. My Mother emasculated my father. I could never forgive her for that. She didn't even ask to see me on her deathbed. I was the one who gave my Dad permission to die. The one who asked him if he was ok with dying. The important stuff. The rest of the family was telling him to hang on. For them. He had cancer and he thanked me when I told him it was ok if he wanted to go.

Amazing I turned out as well as I did really. I left home as soon as I could and my life has been one big adventure.

I only care if I don't hear from someone I care deeply about. I couldn't care less what other people think. I'm glad I've found the courage to ask if I've done something wrong because the answer is always No and I may always have that initial reaction, but I think if I keep asking the question it will put me on firmer ground.

I'm glad you have a beautiful family. I hated my childhood so much there was no way I was going to have children. It's a decision I have never regretted for a minute. I have 4 beautiful horses and a devoted dog πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

PS:. Sorry if this doesn't make a lot of sense. I know I've jumped around a lot πŸ’œ

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

@Leonie1 

Makes total sense!

Thankyou for sharing, sounds like things were really rough for you and also your dad. 

I can understand you not wanting kids. I think my reasoning behind wanting kids so desperately was because I thought I will finally get unconditional love. Well, I realise as I become older many kids do not actually give that at all so I'm truly grateful I have four kids who are amazing. 

x

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

You are truly blessed. You are probably an amazing mother πŸ’œ

Re: Low self esteem, still 😒

Well yes and no. We're probably not as busy as a lot of people. But I just got an immediate response from one of my dearest friends who is very busy. My handyman didn't reply for two weeks. So I asked and he's been very busy. He doesn't hate me <br><br>We are old school I think. The important thing for me is not to assume that I've done something wrong just because I don't get an immediate response. Much better to ask. I've come to realise it's not a lack of respect at all 90% of the time πŸ’œ
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