I Believe Your Lies: Reasons I Am Worthless

I Believe Your Lies: Reasons I Am Worthless

You sit on a throne of lies. You stink. You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa.
— Buddy, Elf

Today is Thanksgiving. For many, it’s a time to gather with others and reflect on what we have to be thankful for. For others, it’s a difficult time. Some of us place expectations on ourselves and have so many outer expectations that it may be difficult to see our value. Others of us may find it difficult to celebrate and give thanks when we’ve been through a devastation such as sexual trauma.

When children and adults are nurtured and respected, they learn and hold onto the knowledge that they have value. They can have confidence of who they are, confidence in their decisions, and confidence in their future. Trauma interrupts the process of building, or shatters this process of holding, positive self-esteem. It is our boundaries, our right to say no, our bodies, and our mental health that is invaded and violated. The consequence is that we feel powerless, worthless, and hopeless.

We are often ignored, blamed, isolated, exploited, told we are stupid or lying, that we’re only good for sex, that it wasn’t that bad, that we are trying to bring up things that should be kept in the past. These messages make it hard for us to feel confident in ourselves.

It makes it hard to feel any other way than:

Bad                                Dirty                                            Ashamed

Powerless                      Different, worse                          Broken, damaged

Hateful                           Unmotivated                                Stuck

Unsafe                            On-edge                                      Self-destructive

Distrust                           Vulnerable                                   Afraid

Confused                        Misunderstood                           Misused

Disconnected                  Alone                                         Anxious

 


The nerve of those Whos. Inviting me down there – on such short notice! Even if I wanted to go my schedule wouldn’t allow it. 4:00, wallow in self pity; 4:30, stare into the abyss; 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one; 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me – I can’t cancel that again; 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing… I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear?
— The Grinch, How The Grinch Stole Christmas

 

Trauma does this. And the message surrounded by sexual trauma victims perpetuates it.

Many of us are directly told the above. But even if you weren’t, the fact that you went through trauma still taught you that you were powerless, unworthy, and hopeless, and alone. Your value was denied. When you receive such strong messages, you begin to believe there’s truth in those messages. It is as if you were programmed, groomed, to negate the positive self-esteem you had before the trauma. We become self-destructive to our bodies, our minds, our esteem and are constantly at war with trying to rebuild our self-concept in a positive light.

We have to face those negative views of ourselves and ask when it started. Ask yourself if it is a lie that someone once told you or implied. Then release the grip of those negative internalized messages.

Your feelings about yourself may fluctuate and will as you move through the healing process. At times you may feel worse than you did before – because sharing your untold story and facing your trauma means uncorking the memories and feelings you’ve tried to keep tightly bottled up. Yes, there is pain in healing. I would be lying if I told you otherwise. Facing your trauma doesn’t mean you won’t feel pain on a deep level – you will. But facing your pain and confronting healing will allow you to learn to love yourself again.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll discuss some ways you can learn to love and accept yourself again. The holidays sometimes bring added pressures that make us forget or make it more difficult to love and accept ourselves.

8 Ways You Can Learn To Love And Accept Yourself Again

8 Ways You Can Learn To Love And Accept Yourself Again

Sorry, Support Heroes Can’t Read Your Mind!

Sorry, Support Heroes Can’t Read Your Mind!