Grief is work (part 2)

The people who are closest to me have the uncanny ability to send me into a downward spiral. When I hit bottom, I encounter a sense of worthlessness that is difficult to recover from. Oddly enough, professional relationships and acquaintances don’t have this effect on me. Now that I’ve exposed my vulnerabilities to my therapist she can make me feel bad about myself (as was the case from the last visit when I felt stupid about my run-away mouth).

I must question this entire premise, of me believing these people “send me” or “make me” feel a certain way. How could they when they don’t even know how I feel from what they’ve said or done? I typically suffer in silence without letting on how I feel to the offending person. Therefore, I will re-word the issue I’m addressing here.

What causes my self-depreciating reaction when people that I love and who love me hurt my feelings? No, re-word again. What causes my self-depreciating reaction when I feel hurt by those that I love and who love me?

From the top…

What causes me to feel worthless when I feel hurt by people whom I love? Why do I react that way? Am I just so sensitive that I get my feelings hurt easily?

A few examples that can put me in a funk:

When my husband acts like one of the children, for instance he moans and groans when I suggest a day at the museum or taking a family trip to a historical site.  Instead of supporting me, he complains.

When my mother retells history and blames me for her woes.

My dad (before he died) criticizing me with words like, “Your best isn’t good enough.” Or telling me “Watching TV is a waste of brain cells.”

My grandmother (who also died) telling me how ungrateful I am for not sending thank you cards.

These may seem inconsequential except I carry this shit around and remember the feeling of my loved ones putting me down. I CAN’T REMEMBER THEM BUILDING ME UP!

I suspect this sadness I feel at the mere memory of these events is a sign that I have very low self-esteem. Loved ones  need only make one negative comment and I fall hard, hating myself.

This brings me back full circle to the void I feel, the emptiness in me. It is palpable. I wish I didn’t feel so worthless.

What I am describing is not “major depression” because I am not ruminating, neither am I feeling low on energy nor feeling the desire to isolate myself. If I took a depression test right now I would pass. My medications are treating my depression.

Sidebar—it’s been quite awhile since I mentioned the medications I’m currently on so for those interested: I take all generics but they are equivalent to Wellbutrin SR 100MG, Celexa 10MG and Klonopin 0.5MG. If I had to rate them I would say the Celexa helps most for my depression, the Wellbutrin counteracts the side effects of the Celexa (low sex drive, carb craving and drowsiness) and I take the Klonopin at bedtime because the Wellbutrin is a SR (sustained release) and I was waking up at 4 am.

The emptiness I am so acutely aware of came to the forefront when I began delving into the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough? This self-help book hit close to home. I’d say it’s almost too much to read. But, I am reading it and I’m doing what the author suggests to heal my past trauma. I read part one and intellectually understand how my narcissistic mother often didn’t validate or acknowledge my feelings. Cognitively I get this and I’m beginning to see how it plays out in my life.

The author states that once I intellectually understand I must move to step 2 which is learning how to “deal with those difficult things called feelings.” The real work begins now, processing the feelings in order to release them from my body. It’s not fun but it’s necessary. I’m sure that’s why I have this constant sense of worthlessness that is not depression. I recognize it as steps to recovery. I must accept and grieve for the mother I didn’t have and the negative feelings that I transferred to myself. I didn’t get to be a child who felt loved, safe and secure. I am deep in the grief process of feeling that reality. ♥ Daylily

“If an individual is able to love productively, he loves himself, too; if he can love only others, he cannot love at all.”

Eric Fromm, The Art of Loving

4 responses to “Grief is work (part 2)

  1. This one hit home today. Feeling worthless for no good reason. And understanding does not remove the feeling. Hugs to you for going through this hard work of healing.

  2. You make perfect sense to me and I’m sorry you had such terrible things said to you. I think most people, if honest, would describe similar feelings even if they didn’t go through tremendous abuse. It’s part of being human and being raised by unprocessed, screwed up people, I think. Being ‘highly sensitive’ is a wonderful gift if we’re surrounded with good people (hightly sensitive is a term I’m just learning about through another blogger who had a narcissistic mother), but in the wrong hands, a highly sensitive child will drink down all the negativity and not challenge it (because they don’t know how to do that yet)- and all the negative lies about being worthless become the inner critic/voice of the child as she grows up, simply continuing the role of the abusive N parent. It takes a lot of deprogramming to override such messages…keep going. It might not feel like it sometimes, but you are doing the painful, sacred work of learning the truth about how much you’re loved. 🙂

    • Yes, that is exactly what I am “highly sensitive” but most of my life I’ve hidden that side of me as it didn’t get me anywhere within my family. It is hard work learning to accept and love that part of me. Thanks for your support!

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