All I want is to be happy. I want to be the mother I use to be to my children before the shit hit the fan. I want to have the energy I use to have before the sadness, loneliness, and fear tried to steal it from me. I fight it but I feel it creeping into me and I feel it in the bottom of my stomach, churning. I feel it toss and turn, like it’s pulling through my body. I feel it’s darkness, it’s sleeplessness, its failure. It’s sticky. I can’t seem to detach from it. It thinks it owns me but it doesn’t. I just can’t break free…yet.
I’ve lived the last few years with so much grief. Dare I admit it was abuse, because admitting that hurts too much. Why did I allow someone to mistreat me so badly? Why was my self worth so low that I would tolerate one second of it? I think mainly it was fear. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 8 years. I have no income of my own and I have been reminded of that so many days since I became a mother. I know it was just another way for him to abuse me. It did at times make me feel less worthy, although deep down I knew he was wrong. Why do I still feel so worthless at times?
Yesterday in group therapy I listen to the stories of two beautiful, strong women, that were so similar to mine. I’ve heard them before, these were just updates. We shared our fears and encouraged each other, like only the group of us could. We’ve all been abused. Some worse than others, but all the same. The ones of us with small children, fear for their futures and try to understand that we have no control over their fathers. We can only control ourselves. We cry. We laugh. We get angry. We share common traits. One being we don’t like asking for help from others . We’d don’t want to put someone out. You know, we’re not worthy, but we over five of ourselves for others. Too guilt ridden to say no. Always willing to lend a helping hand, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. Our therapist, a blessing to all of us, read from a book we’re all reading, a list of traits that most partners of NPD or BPD have. Mine was on the list. My deepest darkest secret….my self worth was low. The scale that I judge my worth on, is based on what I do, not who I am.
I am the third child born to my parents. An accident, 6 years after my youngest brother, 8 years after my oldest. My parents had hit a sweet spot in parenting. Both kids were now in school and then I came along to change all of that. I was a girl so that was a great thing, being that my mother always wanted a girl, but I think from the start I was never what she wanted me to be. Maybe I was when I was a baby and a younger child but when school got a little harder to manage and my lack of organization got me, I struggled. This was new to my parents. My brothers breezed through school, without much help at all. Their grades were always good and no one ever helped them. They didn’t need help. I did. My parents, made jokes to their friends, “I always wanted a little girl in the honor society, but at least I got a little girl.” My favorite, an insult framed as a compliment. It hurt but I laughed along. Blowing them off. Making jokes of my own. Acting like I didn’t care. I hid my report cards, I was always disappointed in myself and I didn’t need to hear their disappointment too, but they always found out and I got to hear their disappointment. “Just apply yourself, honey.” “You just need to study and do your homework.” “Friends aren’t important right now, you don’t have time for them.” They didn’t see I did try harder but the results were always the same as if I didn’t. No one believed me. The teachers called me lazy. They knew I was smart. I tested above average on all all the end of school tests. One teacher even told my mother that I had a “go to hell” attitude. You bet I did after that. I mean what was the point. Luckily, I did make friends easily and I knew I was smart, even if my grades didn’t show it. I tried to focus on my social life but even then I felt “lucky” that my friends excepted me when I was such a bad student and they were all scholars in AG classes and honor societies. I was the lucky one, I thought. Now I know they were lucky too because I’m a good person with a gigantic heart and I’m loyal. I’m epathetic to a fault. I feel this is a good thing. I’m warm and open and once I let you in, you’re in for life. But I don’t like anyone to help me. I don’t feel worthy.
This is just one of the reasons my self worth is so low but how do a stop being this way. How can I make myself feel that who I am is enough to be loved and treated well? How can I stop planning to be loved again but not now….one day, when I have the right job, weigh a little less, make enough money, not need anyone to take care of me. One day when I don’t need anyone for anything. Is this really what I think?!?!?! I don’t want to feel this way.
I just want to feel worthy. I want my children to feel worthy too. Not entitled but worthy. I have to lead by example, right? I just don’t know how.
My divorce will be final in a couple of months. It’s hard to think that with just a pen to my name will end something that was so important to me. All the years I invested. But it’s a new beginning and one day I hope to find someone to love and to love me without feeling like I’m not good enough. I hope I learn to trust again. My husband made me believe he was that person years ago. I pray I’m not tricked again. I fear it. It hurt too much. Can I even take the risk?
I hope for better days but today I feel alone.
Today I’m afraid.