I am currently working through modules on Self Esteem. I can honestly say, it’s tough reading!
So much does relate to me it hurts to read it. Already I am wishing for answers that I need. It’s like, I know and understand what I am reading and acknowledge it as a fair representation of my current state but, where is the hug? The reassurance that it’s all going to be OK?
The issue, for me, of doing this sort of thing is that it highlights possibly the greatest issue I have, I am alone. Someone special to hug up to, to talk to when I need it, well, I don’t have anyone. Perhaps that is a good thing because, right now, I’d probably question all their motives, what is their ‘real’ agenda? Even knowing where those feelings come from, where they started and so on is not yet helping me to overcome them. I’ve become somewhat insecure and full of self doubt, all negative stuff. Frustratingly, I can damn well see it too, it’s like there are two of me, am sure someone would say that’s because I am a Gemini. Part of me is full of this stuff I have in me which prevents me from valuing myself whilst another part of me sees the results of my existence on others and feels I must be getting something right.
OK, let’s analyse this a little … I do recall a lot of critical comment growing up. Every school report said ‘could do better’ in every subject. This was repeated by parents and spoken off around the wider family. I remember some nightmare additional maths lessons with an uncle one summer listening to the rest of the family having fun and glorious summer evenings whilst I was forced to ‘do better’. Needless to say, I never did do better. I have been told by historical family that I am a failure and a disappointment. I am sure I was told a great many things but that sort of things stuck with me. I remember many of the women in my life as a child were positive. That said, my Nan always used to say, ‘You are the best boy in a girls class’ and that always left me feeling inadequate. To me it meant that, in reality, I’d not achieved at all because being the best boy in that girls class meant I was also the worst, it was nothing more than standing still.
I can think of a lot of things which left me feeling ‘less’ throughout my life. I actually thought I’d licked it all, sorted it all out, come to terms with it being just misjudged comments from people thinking they were helping. Of course, it wasn’t always words which damaged me, hearing loss and height have been another two important factors. It’s quite difficult to keep up with a conversation that can’t be heard properly when I also have the issue of everyone else speaking over me, physically over me. Talking to ‘a’ taller person is easy enough, when everyone in the group is taller and all are standing then, they talk on ‘their’ level leaving me with a desire to slip away unnoticed. It’s a horrible feeling. Coming more up to date we have the Facebook generation where others say the most horrible things. When I have read from several different people of how awful I am supposed to be, after a while I’ve found myself questioning my former belief that I am actually an OK guy. I’ve been accused of being a control freak, obsessed with money, superior (in a negative way). Some downright insults such as being fat, ugly and so on. Some who I allowed to get close to me emotionally abused me, stole from me and generally made me feel like utter crap. As much as I tell myself that it was them, not me, still I have this feeling, this questioning of, what if they are right? What if others just tell me I am OK because they want to be supportive but really I am a complete wanker?
Another issue is, being 50+ is when we perhaps like to think we’ve sort of worked stuff out. When we have learnt enough life skills to know the good from the bad people but, I reckon the contrary is true. I believe that the older we get the more desperate we get to make things right. I know I have been terrible certain that I have to get others to love and appreciate me, that there is something really special about me and if I just try a little harder they will see it and be my BFF! Oh, come on, that’s obviously complete nonsense so, why do I find myself doing it over and over?
Accepting kindness and support … I question it all the time, if not the person offering it then the opinions of others seeing it. If I accept a kindness off someone, a ‘freebie’ then, will others think I am just using them? Why should I worry what others think? Why indeed! But I do. I don’t want to, I want to honestly not give a damn whether they approve of me or not but, I have this stupid need to be approved of. Approving of myself just doesn’t seem to be enough.
Dreams, I used to always believe that no one has the right to take our dreams away but, of late I have amended that to, people have the absolute right and often do destroy every tiny bit of happiness I have. If I am having ‘me’ time then others will think nothing of making it ‘their’ time, even if briefly. If I travel alone then others will make a point of having zero interest in what I’ve done. It was really upsetting, more than I think anyone realised that I did this huge trip in 2014, made up a reasonable video for it and only one person watched it with me, perhaps a handful watched it alone or parts of it, no one spoke to me about it. It was the same with Florida in September 2012, because of the person I went with, no one was interested in my stories. It means any pleasure I derived from an experienced is destroyed, I feel guilty all the more so for enjoying myself at all. It enforces my belief that me having a good time just isn’t on, I am not here for me, I am here for everyone else. I sometimes feel I just need to accept this but, you know what? I really don’t want to. I want someone else to take a genuine and deep interest in my life without any other motive than they just value me as a person. Sure, I want a life partner but, I also need a friend who just enjoys my company, where I am not the one they don’t invite along to the pub because I don’t quite fit in with their other social group, in truth, some genuine best friend not in love with me, not wanting to shag me, just a friend. Maybe one who has a partner, who has no other reason to like me other than enjoying my company. I feel I sometimes get close but, never quite there. It’s one of the real issues of Facebook indeed, I see those who say I am a great friend ‘like a brother’ and yet, every weekend they are off out with their mates and, not me. In life we’re lucky if we have one close friend. I do have at least one but, each friend I have, and I value them and adore them dearly, with possibly one exception, does have their own issues they need me for (I really don’t mind that at all).
That seems to be terribly ungrateful to those in my inner circle, it wasn’t meant to be, remember, this is how I feel, it’s not stating any facts, I could be a million miles off the mark with my assessment but, if I don’t share my feelings then, well, how does someone get to know me? Can you see the low self esteem though? I mean, even when logically I have some people who just value me as me, I will immediately look for the cracks, the underlying reasoning, the negativity. I dislike it muchly and, why ‘muchly’ isn’t a word is beyond me! I don’t have enough friends my age, not close anyway and I mean geographically close here. It’s obviously difficult for someone in their 20’s to relate to me not least because a huge part of their thinking will place me more in line with their parents than them, that’s ageism but, understandable as it seems part of the British culture to have to pigeon hold every difference on a level of acceptability, I really don’t feel I am going to change anything.
Well, this CBT stuff has 8 modules, I am currently on module 2 and finding it tough going!