June 21st, 2008 (12:24 am)
current location: Manchester
current mood: crappy
A few days ago I saw a link from thalinoviel on how much is your cadaver worth. I ended up at about the $5k. This, I thought, was a suitable introduction to my consideration of my own worth, and how it needs to change.
I'm going to refer to some stuff which I blogged on a different site (actually blogging on that site, where I knew no-one would read it, helped me be honest). The two things I'm going to refer to are the fact that I was sexually abused at my first school, and how that affected the rest of my school life. Because of those two, I've been in counselling most of my life. Some good, some bad. The one person who spent 15 minutes showing me a video clip from a website for something she thought I should try is probably the one person I'm not going back to. I spend my money on counselling to have them listen to me, not the other way round.
I've also been using CBT, which is a great technique for dealing with issues in the past. This bases itself on the fact that many people process their thoughts incorrectly. For example, I recently did an exam. I know I did really well on the first part of the exam (60% of the marks). The second part was pick 2 questions and get 20% per question. I fluffed the first question I tried, and ended up having to do 2 different questions in about 50 minutes (instead of 35 per question and then 15 for checking). I came out of the exam convinced I'd failed, and would need to re-sit; simply because I blew 1 question. I managed to answer 1 other completely, and got 15% of the final one. However, because I'd made 1 mistake I was willing to believe that I'd failed. This is a classic case of a bad thought pattern.
The way CBT works is firstly to identify the bad thought patterns, then to challenge them. In order to challenge them you have to come up with a justification as to why the thought pattern you are putting in place is more accurate. In the case above, I'd managed to do all the first part, and 1 and 3/4 of the 2 questions in the second part. I hadn't blown the exam at all, and in fact done more than enough to pass, and possibly enough to get a distinction (I'll let you know later).
All this is great. You feel crap - you find the bad thought - you identify the flaw in the reasoning and put in a good thought which points out the flaw and makes you feel great. There is only one thing wrong with this process - what happens if there is no good thought to put in place?
Given my past, I really do have this belief that underneath it all, I'm totally worthless, and only exist to allow other people to bully or abuse me. No, I'm not overreacting here - that is basically how I feel. Read the two posts mentioned above to have a vague insight into what happened to me in my formative years, and you'll see there what gave me this belief. So, how can I, if I really do believe that I'm worthless, create a basis on which to build self-esteem?
theozzardofwiz asked me what I based my worth on (that actually was the line of thought which brought all this crap out). On thinking about it I can see some things I do base my worth on.
1) What things I can create. I'm an avid cross-stitcher, I also knit lace (I'm in the middle of a 1ply lace shawl) and do bobbin lace as well.
2) How much money people are willing to spend on me/let me spend. When I was earning a lot of money, I tended to feel better about my self than now (although now I have a better insight into my condition - for those who don't know, as well as being sexually and physically abused as a child - these probably caused me to develop bi-polar depression.)
That's all I can think of at the moment.
I'm also made me really distrustful of other people. If I tend to behave rather reticent towards you, it's not that I don't like you, I don't trust you. As far as I believe, you could just be trying to get me to like you so that you can then hurt me and laugh about it to all your friends. I'm sorry if this upsets you, but that is my honest reason for not trying to be likable. In the past I have had people do this to me. I even had the three people who I counted as friends throw itching powder down my back on the penultimate day of term. Did you know that itching powder will start to sting if you don't wash it off.
So, I'm now stuck here, 1am in the morning, pissed off at my life, and wondering how in the hell I'm going to get to a point where I can consider it worthwhile to get up in the morning. I do it anyway - I pretend normality, I play along with the others because if I can remain a face in the crowd, if I don't stand out, then I don't get dumped on. The problem is, well not so much problem, more possiblity. The possibility is that I'm a stubborn cow, and if I put my face to it, I'll not back down, I'll find that brick wall and run into it again and again until it falls down.
This morning I was planning to go and have a tattoo done. I've never had one before, but it was a way for me to say "fuck you" to my past. I had been pushed into this "I have to be a good girl" by the whole bullying and abuse stuff, I was going to rebel. I say was, because just as I was getting dressed, the tattoo studio called to say the tattooist was ill and could they re-schedule... to August. I was totally ready to turn up, bear my arm, and say "let's do this. Sod the pain, give me that piece of unique artwork to last me the rest of my life." only to have my thunder not only stolen, but removed to an entirely different month.
Now, however, I'm staring at this whole lump of total crap that I'm going to have to go through - to look at in counselling, work out how to get rid of the bad bits, and put in place a foundation of worth in my life. It's looking like it's going to be a long, hard road. So I'm on the loo (I do a lot of thinking on the loo), and this just stares me in the face, and the cow part of me starts to rise. <Moo> I look at the road ahead, I see the amount of time and money I'll have to put into this, the amount of effort needed, and a part of me says "Ok, let's do this. Sod the pain..."
Well, perhaps there is hope for me yet