I had this crazy thought in the shower the other day about writing blog posts based on judgements we have about ourselves and others.
The first one that came to my thoughts was “self hatred”.
The dictionary defines this as an intense dislike of one-self.
Come on a journey with me..
The bell rings and I walked around to the school library where my mum was a volunteer, she would give me some money for the school canteen for the break and I would go and get myself something to eat. This day a number of girls (popular girls) wanted to hang out with me and in my desperation to be liked and fit in, I acquiesced, but it all hinged on me buying stuff at the canteen for us all. Laughing and joking and food in hand we walked around the school building, we talked about where to go and sit and then as we rounded a corner, I hadn’t noticed, but they had begun to drop behind me until they at that moment ran away from me from behind me. Heartbroken again, I was alone. Tears came to my eyes and I remember going into the toilets of the little kids because they were the closest. I will never fit in I had said to myself. No-one likes me. Why should I like me, there’s obviously something wrong with me.
When I think about this, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is the dialogue internally that runs without having to have the switch flicked, and it is the dialogue that says “there’s something wrong with you”.
For many reasons this dialogue begins in our lives, for adoptees it begins in the womb. It begins when the natural/birth/first mother determines that they don’t want to keep the child. That message is sent through the cells, through the voice, through the feeling to the child and the child inside does not have language for it, but rather instinctively has received the message that there is something wrong with them.
I see this dialogue play out in my world from time to time, I can be having a normal conversation and it begins to cycle through under the surface and I can leave that conversation feeling worse than I ever did when I joined it. Comparison plays a large role in this. All the “why” questions.
Why would I hate me? Seriously? Why would you hate you? Seriously?
You and I were made with intricate design and made well. You and I are unique human beings with gifting and talents and unique ways to love and care.
I built my house of self-hatred beginning with the foundation from the womb. My birth mother decided she wanted to abort me, but then relinquished me to the land of adoption.
From that moment on messages received were received through that very filter, that I wasn’t good enough to exist, so why should anyone love or care about me? If she didn’t, why should I? Now whether you see that as rational or not, remember this is how the baby first thinks, because the baby doesn’t have anything else to compare this to. This is the first message.
As an adult I have still had to battle with these thoughts, they play out in conversations whether I realise it or not.
Most recently sharing vulnerably with a bunch of people that I trust that there are some areas I feel vulnerable in. That took a truckload of guts for me to do because I feel like it is putting a weakness on display and I hate that weakness. It’s another opportunity for people to see the weakness and to not like me. I don’t like me with the weaknesses.
What does it look like to be either living or having experiences with self-hatred?
* Comparing yourself with others – they have a better car, house, husband, wife, children, job, skills
* Talking badly about yourself (in your mind or out loud) – I’m too fat, too thin, I have a fat face, butt, thighs, I’m ugly, I hate my hair, my feet, my nose, my eyes. (Those I am statements!!!)
* Not standing up for yourself – Allowing others to walk all over you. Being the doormat. Not holding others to be accountable to their word. Not holding yourself to your own word.
* Treating yourself badly – through food, lack of exercise, over-indulging in many things, whether it is food, alcohol, drugs, exercise.
* Keeping people at a distance because you don’t want them to see the real you.
* Not asking for help when you need it because you don’t feel like you are valuable enough to have people really want to help you.
What does it look like to begin living a life where self-care and self-love is not only important but foundational?
* Recognising your own worth – your own dreams, your own value and your own journey. Not everyone is going to have lots of money, or houses, or significant others or children, but loving you for where you are on your journey.
* Talking well about yourself – Appreciating the amazing creation that you are, your hair (curly or straight), your eyes, your strong legs, your powerful glutes, your petite or flat wide feet. Every part of you enables you to do things that maybe someone else cannot. You are unique!
* Standing up for yourself – Recognising that you are worthy to be cared about. That you can say hey that hurt and not be ashamed to say so because your feelings are valuable.
* Treating yourself well – this can mean how you choose to eat, what kind of exercise you do, getting sunshine, going for walks in nature, laughter, spending time with friends.
* Learning vulnerability with others – there is something so powerful about having those vulnerable conversations and letting people see that there is more to you than the strengths you display.
* Asking for help **gulp** another layer of vulnerability here!
This was a very high level chat about this topic, self-hatred is destructive and you and I are way more valuable than we realise. So often we go through life not even recognising it is there, or we ignore it in its entirety. Knowing you are worthy and that you matter is powerful. Be vulnerable with those who are trustworthy in your world, they are your cheersquad to being all you can be!