On Self-Loathing

27 May

I hate myself.

I say those three words in conjunction with each other on a fairly regular basis. Most of the time, I’m joking – if I’ve screwed up while trying to do something easy, for example, I’ll roll my eyes, laugh and say oh God, I hate myself. Sometimes I say it in a half-kidding, half-serious way, like if I’m really frustrated with a situation that I feel is somehow my fault. Sometimes, though, I really, really mean it. Oh fuck do I ever mean it.

I hate every little thing about myself, but what I hate the most is how annoying I am. I hate the grating sound of my voice, the way I start to cry, publicly, when I’m too worked up or angry, and I especially hate what a goddamn Pandora’s Box my stupid heart is. The minute I open it, everything awful flies out. Worst of all, once that happens, I can’t seem to stop talking about all of the awfulness. It’s like there’s another me, standing there watching myself go on and on and on about  everything, and I can see the glazed, irritated look on the other person’s face, but I can’t seem to stop. By that point, I’m annoying even myself, but I just keep on going, digging myself in deeper, thinking that the words that got me into this mess will somehow get me out of it.

I hate how often I look to other people for reassurance.

I hate how insecure I am about myself.

I hate how no one can fix this but me, but for some reason I seem to keep asking the people who love me to put me back together.

I’ll believe anything about myself, so long as it’s bad. I can hear a thousand nice things about the way I look, or how smart I am, or how great my writing is, but the moment someone criticizes me, I assume that they’re right and everyone else is wrong.

I sometimes think that one day I’ll go in for surgery and they’ll cut me open and there won’t be anything inside of me, nothing at all, just a black pit of self-loathing that goes on and on and on.

I sometimes think that I don’t believe in good things anymore, just things, regular, plain old things, each with their own unique capacity to hurt.

I sometimes think about myself and I feel sick. Actually, physically sick, like, the type of thing where you taste bile at the back of your throat.

The hardest part about all of this is the tendency to purposefully, if subconsciously, damage everything positive in my life. Because I know that I don’t deserve anything that makes me happy, so I set little traps, miniature emotional minefields for myself and other people to ensure that I stay miserable. And then I stupidly act surprised when these tactics work.

God, I hate myself so much.

And before you ask, yes, I see a therapist. I’ve seen a string of them. They always want to talk about stuff that happened when I was a kid, or how I feel about my parents, or when this all started. And I answer these questions as honestly as I can, but those answers never get me anywhere. It makes no difference knowing how or why you got somewhere when you know that you can’t go back by the way you came, and all the ways forward seem blocked

Part of it is probably that it’s easier to hate myself than anyone else. If someone else hurts me or upsets me, it’s so much easier to turn all of my bad feelings inward. That sounds counterintuitive, I know, but think about it this way: if I’m angry at someone else, then I have to use up all kinds of mental and emotional energy being upset with them, plus I have to take all this time explaining to them why what they did hurt me, and on top of that I may not even be in the right anyway. In fact, I’m really bad with conflict, so if I try to argue with someone about who was right and who was wrong in any given situation, I will invariably end up feeling like everything was my fault. So it’s much less complicated to assume that everything bad that happens is because of me, and leave it at that.

If I were a different person, I would probably try to kill the way I feel about myself with drinking or drugs. I would go out and do self-destructive things, I would lose control, I would, for even just a few minutes, feel completely different. But I’m not that type of person – for one thing, I’m terrified of not being in control of myself. For another, I have a kid, which isn’t really conducive to that type of lifestyle. So instead I sit at home and seethe with anger at myself, anger at how stupid I am and anger at my inability to change. I sit and make a list of all the ways that I’m toxic to other people, all the ways that I’m unintentionally hurtful, all the ways that I keep fucking up.

And then I go to bed and I don’t sleep and in the morning, when I get up, I’m still my own stupid self.


49 Responses to “On Self-Loathing”

  1. TriDevi Diva May 27, 2013 at 2:40 am #

    It’s like you are in my brain. I am the same way. I can’t seem to pull myself out of this abyss of my mind. I’m always analysing myself and what I have done/said and I come out as the bad guy. Even when I am not. Even when things have nothing to do with me. Especially when it’s out of my control. Doesn’t matter what others say, I don’t believe them. I cry, I sulk, I mope. I listen to sad, angry songs. I stay away thinking and over-thinking. Then one day, I am ok and feel normal and wonder what the hell that was all about. It lasts for awhile and then I am inevitably sucked back into the vortex and the cycle begins again. Why is that?

    • bellejarblog May 28, 2013 at 2:39 am #

      “I’m always analysing myself and what I have done/said and I come out as the bad guy.”

      Oh yes, this so much.

      I hope things get better for you soon, love ❤

  2. armsakimbobook May 27, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    I am aching as I read this. Aching for you, for the feeling I know so well – and that you describe so grippingly, for the unjustness of it. I won’t bother repeating the things others know about you – all the fine and wonderful things that are parts of you. It doesn’t matter, not in those moments when the hatred takes over. I will merely say that I understand, I identify, I empathize, I know. And thank you for being open, and honest, and brilliant.

    • bellejarblog May 28, 2013 at 2:44 am #

      Thank you – for all of that. And especially for understanding, though I wish you didn’t have to ❤

  3. Onegirl May 27, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    Just an idea… Have you ever tried writing as that part of yourself that feels hateful? I have a voice inside me that tells me all the ways I’m not good. I once did a performance piece about it and although it didn’t erase the voice, I learned a few things that were helpful.

    • bellejarblog May 28, 2013 at 2:46 am #

      Whoa, no! That is a really interesting idea. I will for sure try it next time I’m feeling rotten!

      • Eve May 29, 2013 at 2:02 am #

        You are right, Onegirl.
        I’m trying to write too when things get messy, and so far, it help a lot. If you haven’t try, Anne, I think you may find some relief in doing so. I hope you will.

  4. lizhawksworth May 27, 2013 at 2:52 am #

    I understand this so much more than you know. So much more. I’m here. And I hear you. *HUGS*

  5. Amy May 27, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Oh. My god. Did I just write this?!?!?! Have I been blogging in my sleep, or was I slipped a roofie at my office job that caused me to coma-journal with no forebrain awareness? I…seriously can’t believe how much you just expressed everything about my life, everything I feel always. You keep doing that. Over and over.

    I don’t like that we both feel this way, but I like that I know I’m not alone. And I empathize with every cell I’ve got.

  6. Matt May 27, 2013 at 3:03 am #

    You are not annoying. Not by a long shot. I may be biased on this, but I don’t find your voice annoying. And as far as opening a Pandora’s Box goes, that’s what we do–all of us–when we get close to someone. We trust them, and our defenses lower a little bit around, because we’re comfortable enough to maybe peel the mask away a bit.

    And because of that, I think the “glazed, irritated look” you describe in your listeners’ eyes is something that only you are seeing. You talk about what’s in your heart because you trust the person with that knowledge. And I know you well enough to know that you don’t pull the mask away easily, so when you talk about what’s in your heart, the person you’re talking to cares deeply for you.

    So when you look to others for reassurance, it’s because you know that they believe in you in aspects that you don’t. The fact that you do this (and, by extension, that you’re self-aware enough to recognise it) is a good thing, because it means that your subconscious wants you to know, consciously, that you’re doing things right.

    And as far as the utility of therapy goes, you hit the nail on the head when you said that you’re the only one who can truly fix this. Therapists go back to the beginning, and try to figure out where the damage started, in order to help you make the repairs to the foundation. I think you know better than most that if you just try to wallpaper over a collapsing wall–if you just plaster on a happy face over a depressive episode–it does nothing to improve the real problem.

    And introverts like us will naturally internalise strife with others. The western world almost fetishises extroversion, telling us that there’s something wrong with us when we don’t want to party. It’s not surprising that we continue to assume that it’s because of our weird selves when a relationship gets awkward, regardless of what actually happened.

    I don’t really have a good way of closing this essay off, so I’ll just say this:

    You are a wonderful, beautiful, conscientious person. You are a force for good in the world, and in the all the time I’ve known you, I can’t think of a single instance where you’ve done something wrong and it’s damaged a relationship with someone.

  7. mieprowan May 27, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    This does not sound easier than getting angry at people.

  8. Mama T May 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I feel this way sometimes too – I feel like I am engaged in a constant fight with those negative voices, and oh man are they loud! Keep fighting them. Keep writing it down. I love your voice.

  9. Louise May 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    That Matt guy ^^^ is a keeper. When someone hurts me, I’veve learned to let it be about them. I let myself feel compassion for them. I KNOW I face each day with the best of intentions. Sometimes, I fuck up. But I own it, I apologize. When I’ve done nothing worthy of criticism or hurt, I hand it back to the giver. It’s theirs to fix. Not mine. xo

  10. rheath40 May 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Why are there so many of us like this? Why do we keep looking for approval outside of ourselves? Why can’t we just be happy?

    These three questions are asked of me quite often. I can’t answer them. Seems none of us can. Let’s just keep writing till the murk clears and we see that we are okay. We are.

    Even if our friends and family don’t get it.

    Great post honey. Thanks for sharing.

  11. cjphilpott May 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    This morning after reading your post I didn’t feel so alone. I go to this same place and somehow always find my way out. By sharing you let us know this is a journey many of us share, and for that I thank you from the depths of my soul.

  12. Kyle May 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Man, I go through this so intensely. It’s the same for me with people assuring me I’m great, but deep down I feel like I’m the most annoying person in the world. I irrationally think I’m bugging everyone. I say “Sorry” when it makes no sense to. Thanks for writing this, and reminding me I’m not alone in struggling with this.

  13. Kathleen May 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    I hope you keep trying to find the therapist who works for you – the work is long and hard and so very worth it.

    When I’m feeling self-loathing and thinking hateful thoughts about myself, sometimes it helps me to say (out loud, if possible), Stop. Then I take a breathe and try to clear my mind. When another hateful thought comes in, I say Stop again and take another breathe. Eventually it gets kind of funny and I start laughing.

    You are so worth all the time and care you can invest in yourself.

  14. Samantha Theriault May 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    You are me. I love you for saying these things because I can never find the right words.

  15. Ben Bruges (@benbruges) May 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    I don’t have anything to add to the above points except a minor one about therapy – the ones you describe are Freudian / Yungian or neo-versions of either. They should be discredited by now. For example – re-living trauma (a key component of both approaches) has shown to be positively damaging for soldiers – that no therapy at all is actually more beneficial than therapy that forces the most damaging memories to be re-created (which is what happens when memory is re-lived – in fact it it re-created). On the other hand, more structured therapies, that start with occupation, daily routine, dealing with symptoms, working systematically towards the desired end state (ie what could roughly be called behaviourist approaches) were shown to have a more positive effect than non-intervention. My take home is twofold – that ‘wrong-headed’ therapy (for example virtually every Freudian approach on the planet) is quite literally worse than useless; and that approaches (whether therapy or practical living) that focus on symptoms, on the desired state, on building confidence etc is vastly to be preferred, and might not need expensive professionals for its efficacy.

  16. Jane May 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I can’t possibly give you wise advice, or say anything that will make you feel just the way you deserve to feel. Excuse me for trying. Please know you’re not alone, it is alright to annoy others (it’s not perfect, but that’s another discussion) and that you are going to get there. Don’t run, you’ll miss out on a bunch of brilliant stuff. And thank you.

  17. Peggy Ganong (@SkepBy) May 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    I much prefer people with a dash of self-loathing to pompous jerks drowning in self- love and entitlement. I don’t know when or how I internalized this mocking critic who constantly tells me that I am not worthy, that I am a fraud, that I am not likeable… One sleepless night, long ago, I realized that I was spending the time before a big exam listening to a voice inside that was reviewing every past failure. WTF?! I was setting myself up to fail! A small moment, but a big revelation for me. The voice is there, still and always, but I try to ignore it by singing or humming louder than it, drowning it out. I find it helps, too, to accept that not everyone will like me if I dare to be, and that’s okay because it beats not daring at all. Women are hard-wired to care too much about what others think. Our challenge in life is to crawl over this barbed wire, again and again. Does that sound depressing? I hope not, because it isn’t meant to.

  18. flyingonemptythoughts May 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    This post is so brutally honest that it just sits there somewhere in my brain.Made me recollect and identify some memories about myself and how I went through all of that pain. Sometimes still do. I really think you’re brave , you have the guts to write down all that. Kudos but please be kind to yourself. The only person that can get you through from this life is you, you take your crap more than anyone else, it’s time to be nice to yourself .It will take a load of time but make it happen, you deserve it, you are not annoying but brilliant and so is your blog. tc.

  19. Alison Moore May 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Just as others have said, this speaks to me, and indeed I might have written it myself. It is a comfort really to feel, as well as simply be told by a self-help book or a counsellor, that others are treading this path alongside me – companionship is heart-warming.

    I find Buddhist loving-kindness and compassion meditation practices – there are plenty of guided meditations out there – very helpful since slowly and with practice I am learning to treat myself with as much compassion as I do others who tell me of such inner ‘demons’. Often it can feel like a mechanical exercise, but gradually I’ve found over the years that new neural pathways and habits are laid down, so that I more quickly associate the awareness of the feelings of self-hate and loathing, and at least go through the motions of speaking words of compassion and forgiveness to myself. Often I simply repeat to myself the sort of things I would say to small children who are crying for a reason that they can’t communicate – just non specific words of comfort that remind me of occasions in my childhood when I felt loved and supported. I don’t think my basic tendencies are likely to change much, but I can emerge from them more quickly, and with less shame, than I used to be able to.

    I wish you comfort and a soothing hug – or maybe just a warm hand placed gently and reliably over the centre of your upper back. Maybe even a lullaby as you fall asleep …

  20. Victoria May 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Lately I’ve been playing with the idea that depression is an addiction: an addiction to self-loathing. It’s a pattern which, though horrific to live through, has a certain dim comfort of familiarity to anyone who suffers from it. And, of course, the more you do it, the more you want to do it, because you hate yourself for indulging in it. I’m wondering if the 12-step method would map onto quitting self-loathing…you hit your rock bottom, you stop? I don’t know. But I do know that it’s a compulsion, an obsessive thought. I haven’t read enough of your material to know where you come down on medications, but I do recommend fast-acting anti-anxiety agents – it gives a nice thump to your brain, and dulls the obsessive-compulsive aspect of cataloguing every single thing that’s wrong with you. That’s a good thing, right?

  21. Caitlin May 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    I encounter this brand of self-loathing on a regular basis. Most recently, in moving to a new city in a new country where I don’t speak the language, I have come up every day against a very acute kind of social anxiety, the kind that makes it hard/impossible to put on clothes, to leave the house, to look other people in the eye and say words to them (in any language!). It’s been strongest recently in work situations (my work isn’t good enough, I’m not intelligent enough, I don’t fit in with the crowd, no one will like what I do, so why try anyway?). But I also have this kind of dialogue with myself in other social situations, even with very close, dear friends.

    My beautiful mathematician husband has given me some very helpful tips along these lines. He had very extreme emotional barriers to overcome in his 20s as well. Being scientifically-minded, he took a rational approach that I’ve been trying to emulate. I’m writing below how I see it working, but I’m definitely not saying that I’m a master at this. It is hit and miss, a process that might take a lifetime to feel comfortable with.

    The idea is basically to separate my emotions from the things which cause me to have these emotions. There are the inputs, and then there are my responses to the inputs. I have no control over the inputs, but I do have control over how I respond to them. It’s like writing an essay by building an argument logically from thesis to conclusion, with the evidence and topic provided for you. You write amazing essays, so. This is super nerdy, and a bit muddled for me still, so bear with me.

    As an example, let’s take that glazed look that you might see in a listener. Let’s say I am in a kitchen at a party, talking to a friend I have not seen in some time. She asks me how I am, and I start to answer this question honestly. I choose to give an in-depth answer based on the fact that my previous relationship with her has been close and supportive. I talk about some health challenges I’ve faced recently. Halfway through a sentence, I notice her eyes drifting away, and her “umhm” becomes mis-timed with what I’m saying.

    I now have the following inputs:
    – I am talking to someone I trust
    – I am talking about a serious topic, and am in a position of emotional vulnerability
    – I perceive two items of body language/conversational drift in my listener

    As a result of these inputs, I (almost always) notice myself becoming more physically tense. My shoulders and jaw clench, my voice raises in pitch, I exhibit all of the physical signs and symptoms of stress. This is the moment I am trying to work on noticing- if I can catch myself physically, I can usually link it to my inner monologue and emotions getting away from me.

    So: I notice my shoulders up around my ears, and check in with myself. As a result of the inputs above, I have made the following assumptions:
    – I have interpreted the listener’s body language as being a reflection of my listener judging me negatively
    – I have also interpreted the perceived negative judgment to be a direct result of what I am saying to her.

    If, by some miracle, I manage to be aware of myself and honest about the information above, I am now able to reinterpret the situation. My conclusions and assumptions are not valid for the following reasons:

    – Negative judgement about what I am saying is only one explanation for the listener’s change in body language. She could be distracted by something behind me. She could be having gas pains. She could be overwhelmed by how loud it is at the party. She could simply be looking away to better picture the things I am talking about. Whatever it is, I have no way of making a good guess about the reasons for this, unless I ask her outright. Therefore, there is no point in changing my behaviour based on this perception.
    – As stated above, she is someone I trust. I made the logical choice to respond to her “How are you?” in an in-depth way based on my interactions with her in the past. She has chosen to continue to spend time with me, and ask how I am. Therefore, it is unlikely that she is having negative thoughts about me as a direct result of what I am saying to her now. Until I am given a concrete and logical reason not to, I choose to continue to trust her, based on past experiences.

    So: I now have a little essay on the event:
    – having strong physical and emotional reactions to a situation (thesis)
    – figuring out what stimuli caused me to have these reactions at this particular moment (examples)
    – stepping back and subjecting these stimuli to a reasoning process (analysis of the examples)
    – deciding whether my instincts are valid in this situation (conclusion).

    This last point is important. Humans are able to read each other’s body language for survival reasons. Our perceptions are really, really useful, much of the time. But we also have many, many layers of social training that affects our instincts in unhealthy ways, and we need to re-wire our brains in these situations. [insert your next posting on the socializing of young women to constantly assume the worst about ourselves].

    I have found that the easiest place to start this process of re-wiring my brain is with people I know and love. An old friend, for example. Let’s say we’ve been friends for exactly half of our lives. Though we now live in different cities and only see each other a few times a year, I decide to make the following assumptions about all of our interactions:
    – I love her and respect her. Therefore, I choose to believe that she loves and respects me.
    – I choose to spend time with her, because I enjoy her company. She is intelligent and interesting and funny as hell. She has overcome massive barriers in her life, and is living a conscious, meaningful life, and I am proud of her for that. Therefore, when she chooses to spend time with me, I assume she feels similarly about me.
    – I trust her to act lovingly towards me, because I make every attempt to act lovingly towards her.

    With these three things assumed (love and respect, a conscious choice to be in my company, and trust) I am better able to notice which of my thoughts are rational and which ones are not when I am in her company.

    Let’s go back to that kitchen party. I’ve gained a few pounds since I saw her last, and am growing out a really embarrassing hair cut (see language barrier problems, above. What the hell is the German word for “layers??”). So, when I see her attention drifting from me while I’m talking, I immediately think to myself, “I bet she doesn’t want to hang out with such a stupid-looking, unstylish woman, let alone listen to her problems.”

    And then I notice that thought, and compare it to the assumptions above. Because I have made the choice to assume that she will act lovingly towards me and wants to be with me, I can safely dismiss the idea that she might think me ugly or unworthy of her time. Because I have made the choice to assume that she respects me, I can dismiss the idea that listening to my problems is a burden on her. We listen to each other’s problems, because we are friends. That is what friends do.

    It becomes more complex when you don’t know a person as well, or when you feel your listener might not be honest with you. But, by practicing on Matt, you might be able to get the process sorted out.

    One more thing- one I’m still really struggling with- is whether it matters. Once I reach my conclusion, and decide that the person I’m interacting with is really bored, annoyed or unimpressed by me, I sometimes have one step further to decide if their reaction matters to me, or if I will let it change my behaviour. Obviously, if this is a close friend or family member, it does matter. But many, many times, another person’s judgement doesn’t matter nearly as much as I had first assumed it to. So my colleague thinks I have terrible hair. So what! He’s still going to work with me, because my hair has no bearing on how good I am at my job (thank god.)

    Anyway. None of this is hypothetical. I love you and respect you. Please trust that your friends feel this way about you!

  22. Karen P. May 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    i wish I could get you into an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) meeting, I really believe it could do you a lot of good. One thing that would help is to change the way you talk about yourself. Instead of saying, “I hate myself,” stop and say, “I love myself.” It might sound silly at first, but you get used to it.

    I do it regularly, because I used to swear at myself and say lots of negative things about myself, like: “Damn it, why am I so stupid?” or “Jesus, I really SUCK!” When you get upset, you can say it under your breath (or out loud) several times, and if you do it regularly, it will seriously start to make you feel better. I promise.

    I’m not saying it will change you overnight, or give you immediate relief, because it takes practice. Practice, practice, practice. Loving yourself does seriously take practice, just like learning any new skill.

    Look at me, talking like I know everything, when I really don’t. I sincerely hope that you can start loving yourself soon. ((((BIG HUGS)))

  23. Andrea May 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    As a bi-polar,dyslexic,disabled,lesbian,abuse and rape survivor I can really empathize. Now, FCOL get up and change your thinking. I know that probably sounds like little freakin’ Mary Sunshine but it’s hard to get out of this mood unless you JUST.DO.IT.

    There’s an old 12-step addage: fake it till you make it. Most days it’s how I overcome my inertia. Maybe it’ll help you

  24. Celeste May 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    I’m so sorry that your brain does this to you. I can definitely relate to the constant chatter that goes on; my depression uses everything that my brain knows about me to keep me in a state of depression. And my brain knows all the shitty shit I’ve ever done. I mean, it knows all the awesome stuff I’ve ever done, but depression doesn’t feed on the awesome. It feeds on the shit. Humans do shitty things, and I’m pretty damn human, so my depression has a lot of food. Stupid depression.

    Anyway, I wanted you to know that I am so impressed and amazed and honestly moved by your words here. The guts it takes to put something like this up here – TWICE – is just effing badass. I hope that in between all those lapses of feeling terrible, you have many lapses of feeling just how warm and funny and caring and supportive you are. Because you are a complete package, and worthy of love and support and an unwavering faith in your abilities when you’re annoying as well as when you’re an absolute peach.

    Much love, lady. I’m glad that you were here for me to find.

  25. wrded May 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    So many feel like this.. thank you for opening the conversation.. just knowing that these feelings are experienced by others is a tremendous comfort. Buddhist teachings on self, compassion, and equanimity have helped me, especially the practice of meditation. And time with my beautiful friends.. one in particular kind of specializes in helping introverts – you might find some helpful advice on her site/page http://claimyourtreasure.com/ Maria

  26. Agata May 28, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    Another “I hear you” here. Self-loathing is horrible and really difficult to overcome. I think (hope) that it is possible, though.

    Some of it has to do with changing one’s thought patterns. Have you heard of ACT – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? This approach has less to do with trying to figure out what in your past caused you to be the way you are, but rather it focuses on how to handle what you are experiencing in the present in a way that is more helpful and healing. It has a lot do with changing your thinking from “is this right?” to “is this helpful?”. You may find it helpful if you are not interested in dissecting your past.

    The other thing that popped into my mind when I read this “I sit and make a list of all the ways that I’m toxic to other people, all the ways that I’m unintentionally hurtful, all the ways that I keep fucking up.” was – have you tried to consciously make lists of the good stuff, i.e. all ways that you enhance and enrich other people’s lives, all the ways that you are caring, all the ways that you overcome obstacles and achieve goals? It may not be possible to make positive lists in the middle of an intense self-hate episode, but when you are feeling a bit better, this could be something you could do and then look back on when you feel worse. Just an idea and I’m sorry if I’m overstepping the bounds by offering advice.

    Last thing – I’d like to share with you a post one of my friends wrote about self-loathing (http://sarahkreece.blogspot.com.au/#!/2012/05/i-hate-myself.html). I found it very interesting and inspiring.

    You are not alone, for what it’s worth xx

  27. Carl May 28, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    I can identify with this ar too closely. You describe it well, and you have a wonderful blog audience that won’t let you feel alone with this. I’ve been working with multiple therapists also, but the one I’ve had for the last three years is helping, and I am getting better. She teaches me to argue with myself, to laugh at myself, and it’s better. However, there are these frequent remissions when I hate myself for not being all of the way better.

    A friend told me to create a mantra to offset these feelings, and it’s goofy, but it helps here and there: “I am a loving human being; I’m loveable; and god loves me.” (god being whatever higher power one may wish to recognize…a creator, maybe.)

  28. eddiethewalrus May 28, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    It sounds like your real therapy is writing. I really liked the voice of this piece. I can definitely see it really evolving into a great nonfiction narrative with highlighting some sensory details. Kudos!

  29. Maria May 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    “I sometimes think that I don’t believe in good things anymore, just things, regular, plain old things, each with their own unique capacity to hurt.”

    This. I woke up this morning feeling exactly this.

  30. Heather May 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    We’re always told to “love ourselves” and “love this person” and “love that person.” Personally, I am sick to the teeth with it. Yea, it’s good to have self-love but not to the point were we’re so condescending and pompous.
    I don’t love myself but I don’t hate myself either. Love and hate are strong words and should be used with care. I kind of like myself but I would never date myself.

  31. sheepinabasket May 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    The therapy. Maybe it doesn’t work because you don’t need therapy. Not everyone with anxiety needs therapy. I know by experience. Maybe it’s physiological – and if it is, you can’t change it unless you know it and someone has the courage to treat you for it. Just thought I would say.

    But I like for putting it in writing.

  32. Madame Weebles May 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    My brain does the same thing. I can easily believe the worst, most negative things about myself, no matter how twisted. But even if hundreds of people were to tell me one positive thing about me, I’d dismiss it. “Oh, they’re just being nice, oh, they don’t really mean it, oh, if they only knew me for real…” It’s brutal. I try to tell myself that my brain is WAY more biased against me than other people are, but it doesn’t always help. Sometimes it makes me feel better, though, to realize that my brain really can’t be trusted on the subject of me. It’s liberating to feel that I don’t HAVE to listen to it.

  33. Val May 30, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I’m you, sometimes. I’m you much less than I used to be, though the anger and hatred of myself has pretty much given way to dullness. I suspect that’s a low-key depression that I live with and have lived with much of my life (though I do get respite from it sometimes).

    The thing about hate is it’s a very strong emotion. Even though love would be preferable, hate is stronger. Much stronger. It’s also easier to sustain, unfortunately. So with self-hate, we’re giving ourselves a strong identity when we feel we have none. That’s the way I see it, anyway.

  34. Jo June 19, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    God, I really feel you. My sister has borderline personality disorder, and I have depression. I just wrote about feeling like I’m punching myself in the face on my blog… I kind of wish I could… Like it would feel good sometimes…

  35. Merry June 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Oh Belle Jar; you so know me. I too attempt to traipse through life with a mask of self confidence until that ugly little troll of a persona that is ME comes to life. And as it digs at my brain, striping away what little self esteem I may have squeezed from a momentary encounter with an acquaintance, I can hear it laughing as I crumble, again, into a self hating heap of human waste. My ears burn, my throat clutches and angry, red splotches cover my neck as my concentration descends into a torrid of internal insults that pierce my pseudo-armored soul and I know just what they are thinking: “What a sniveling little twerp! She’s rambling like an idiot, is making no sense at all, her eyes dart like a cornered cat burglar and why is her neck blotching like blood-spray?”

    Oh God do I hate myself……

    • Merry June 20, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      Part 2: but then there are times I meet a person and our conversation flows like a unencumbered stream trickling around unseen bends of common truths and beliefs and scraping over rocks in the pain we have both felt and I think: “why do the eyes of this individual dance with a joy that seems so sincere and non-judgmental?” And I my thoughts ferry back to personality types, of which I’m an INFJ, and I realize they too were most likely from the world of INFJs. Basking in the almost magical warmth it emits, I use that feeling as a shield to ward off the sneers and misunderstanding glances of the others. So I ponder: is it really self-loathing that pushes me deep into my bottomless hole or is it the fact that I’m an INFJ: an wonderously internal-run being who sees what others don’t see, feels what others don’t feel, and absorbs both the light of love and the darkness of hate…..and it hurts….a lot. Could that dark hole represent both an imprisonment of my mind and a womb of protection simultaneously? only allowing me to peek out when my invisible wounds have healed?

  36. Felicia September 27, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    I’ve struggled with feelings like these for–well, nearly thirty years. This passage especially felt similar to how I’ve felt: “Part of it is probably that it’s easier to hate myself than anyone else. If someone else hurts me or upsets me, it’s so much easier to turn all of my bad feelings inward. That sounds counterintuitive, I know, but think about it this way: if I’m angry at someone else, then I have to use up all kinds of mental and emotional energy being upset with them, plus I have to take all this time explaining to them why what they did hurt me, and on top of that I may not even be in the right anyway. In fact, I’m really bad with conflict, so if I try to argue with someone about who was right and who was wrong in any given situation, I will invariably end up feeling like everything was my fault.”

    I don’t know if what worked for me will work for you (or whether you’ve perhaps already tried this), but if you’re interested, try intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy (ISTDP) based on the “affect phobia” model. For me it wasn’t quite short-term, as the therapy took about a year–but with the help of my therapist, I practiced feeling the anger that I’d been avoiding, and coping with it. I don’t need to run from those emotions anymore; thus anxiety, resentment, and self-loathing have lessened (I do need to keep reminding myself, and practicing, to avoid falling back into old habits!). I don’t hate myself now. I hope this finds you well, and hopeful.

  37. MM February 17, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    You are not alone in feeling this and seeing you write my innermost thoughts on my lowest days has brought to me that I need to stop. I need to stop trashing myself. We all have good and bad in all of us, so why do we focus on the negative so much? I hope you and all the other commenters find inner peace. I’m trying to.

  38. anonmess September 12, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

    Reblogged this on An Anonymous Mess and commented:
    This. Exactly this.


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