Advanced Self Loathing

I struggle every day with the concept of self. What is this jumble of things inside this body that makes me who I am?

I have always wanted to be someone special. All my life I’ve thought about the ways I wanted to matter to different people, how I have wanted to impress and see the look on someone else’s face when I have accomplished something profound. And yet there was never any real sort of satisfaction in the kind words and congratulations of others. It all left me feeling more empty than ever before. If not that, then what? What am I searching for and why, no matter how fucking hard I try, can I never seem to find it?

For as long as I can remember I have been completely terrified of people. I have no recollection of where or how this started, only memories of all the times I’ve let it get in the way of living.  I’ve allowed myself to become so burdened by my insecurities that I now look at where I am and what I’m doing, and I feel a very real sense of disappointment.  I had so many dreams at different points in my life, all pushed aside by that stupid voice in the back of my head that always told me I could never be good enough.  After years of therapy and careful introspection I’d like to think it would have subsided, but it is still there sometimes, jumping out of the bushes,  pushing me down on the ground when I least expect it.  It always comes in those moments when I start to get my footing and feel sure of myself.  And I talk about it as if it is an entity separate from myself when it is, in fact, a monster entirely of my own creation. I am the one telling myself I’m not worth it, I am not beautiful, I am not smart, I am not talented, I am not ever going to be enough.  And it can become so overwhelming sometimes to feel like you have no control over your own mind, that you can’t tell that motherfucker in your head to fuck the hell off.  And there is no amount of talk or reassurance that anyone around you can offer to ever make you believe that you are, in fact, not a loser.

I make a concerted effort  not to let this part of myself show because I am well aware of how unattractive it is; how sad it is to admit that there are times when you see yourself in such a distorted view that all you know is complete and utter hate and disgust.  And yet it is there, it is a part of me only because I allow it.  And I want to say it here because I know I’m not the only one.  I know I’m not the only person who let’s that negative self-talk shit all over their potential, kicking it like a building made of blocks and before you know it the pieces are scattered all over the basement and lodged in the wall.

I don’t have any certain wisdom or resolution to offer up in all of this.  I imagine that if I did,  I wouldn’t be here to write it.  It’s so easy to look at other people and see how inexplicably beautiful  they are (and holy fucking shit, people, you are GOD DAMN STUNNING) and then to never recognize the same things in yourself.  Certainly not when you need to see it the most.  And I don’t know how to get there but I’m fighting so hard for it because I know it’ll make me a better wife, sister, daughter,  friend and above all else, a better me.

14 Comments

  1. March 10, 2010

    While I can’t comment on how you feel besides telling you it’s totally valid – I can say that just the other day I was having a conversation with my wife and I said “you know, my blog friend on the west coast, she always says…” so it’s like you’re a celebrity. you’re something over here and I’ve never even met you. I’m not sure what that says about me, but it says that you’re important enough to impact a family you’ve never met. Go you!
    .-= meridith´s last blog ..Too Hot To Trot =-.

  2. heathen
    March 10, 2010

    Meredith – I think you just about made my day and you also made me cry. DAMN YOU.

  3. Robin O
    March 10, 2010

    Linsey! So not a loser! I send a hug.

    There are way too many things I could say in response to this, but for now, I’ll say that I have known quite a few people that I would actually consider losers. (Sorry, I don’t have a pollyanna-ish world view. Some people suck.)

    I’ve also known many people who get down from time to time, worry if they are some version of loser, and wonder what they could do personally to make themselves or their lives better.

    They’re almost never the same people.

    If you (the collective you) even have the capacity to introspect and self-examine, and wonder if there are ways you could be a better you, you’re probably already pretty fantastic in some important ways. It’s almost a given.

    I firmly believe that one of the defining characteristics of “loser” is a belief that to whatever extent your life isn’t perfect and/or not enough people love you, it must be everyone’s else’s fault.

    (And I’m quite certain lots of people love Linsey.)

  4. March 10, 2010

    The thing is that you TOTALLY do NOT come across like anything but confident — even when you’re being self-deprecating. And I’m a really good reader. I went to university for a really long time learning how to read critically; learning to read the meaning behind the words and in the words and in the way the words are put together. So, here’s what I’m thinking…I’m thinking you have a facade of confidence and self-acceptance and even self-love which you wear for public viewing. Beneath that facade is the insecurity and self-dislike and stuff. HOWEVER, beneath that, your actual true self is confident and strong and self-assured and intelligent and spiritually beautiful. Because, that’s what I read in your writing. No matter what you’re writing or writing about, the essential you will always be evident; will always shine through. This is true of every writer. So, I think that’s pretty interesting, don’t you? That at your core, you actually are the person you wish you could be? Go back and read the stuff you’ve written and you’ll see I’m right. You should also know that I won the Lily Bell Memorial Award for English in my final year at university.
    .-= XUP´s last blog ..The De-Stinkers =-.

  5. Hannah
    March 10, 2010

    For what it’s worth, I can completely identify with what you’re saying. I recently found a photo that was taken of me when I was about 12 and I immediately thought, “Wow. Who is that self-confident person? Where the hell did she go?” I have some memories of feeling kind of kick ass and moments of beauty, but whoa. They are really far away.

    Meredith, Monica, and Robin have all written beautiful things that I hope you will take to heart. All I can add is that I am lucky enough to know your wife and I’m pretty confident that she finds you beautiful and funny and smart and kick ass, and that she’s right.

  6. Hannah
    March 10, 2010

    And what XUP said, too!

  7. heathen
    March 10, 2010

    OH MY GOD I’M CRYING AT WORK. I love you all so much.

  8. E's Mom
    March 10, 2010

    And my legacy of the start to you crying at every job you hold lives! Wait – all this self loathing isn’t because I made you cry that one time I was your boss, is it? I mean damn, neither of us even knows WHY or HOW I made you cry. If anything you should loathe me, and not yourself. Which I guess in turn would mean that Janie should loathe me for creating the monster within you, and shit this is not boding well for me here. Ok, so maybe I am the root of all evil and the cause of your problems, but that shouldn’t stop you from having me over for Taco Tuesday on Friday. I’m just sayin.

    Yo, on the real – you my dawg yo. Shit, isslike dis…you and me, we the same like. Bitches tryin to stop our shit and shit, ya know? Yous a good person, and yo, I ain’t want no other homie tellin you you ain’t nothin, ‘cuz you are yo. You are.

  9. Cas
    March 10, 2010

    Miz Linsey Heathen,

    Your writing and personality are one of the bright spots of my days down here in Arizona! I laugh out loud when I read your posts, and/or am nodding, going “yeah, that’s true!” or being touched by your thoughts.

    I also get down. One of my dear friends told me, “Be gentle with yourself; very gentle. And don’t feel like you have to rush these processes.”

    So that’s what I thought I might add, in addition to the awesome comments above. And thanks for putting yourself out there on the net. You bring good things to life, just like General Electric.

    Cas

  10. heathen
    March 11, 2010

    Wow. Just wow, you guys.

    Robin – Your advice and opinion are not lost on me, ever. You’re probably one of the most straight-forward and honest people I’ve ever met and I love that, absolutely.

    XUP – I’m going to take some considerable time to think about that. It feels good, and it’s coming from someone brilliant enough to win the Lily Bell Memorial Award for English and that’s just about enough to make me think that you’re probably right.

    Hannah – I think you’re pretty kick ass.

    Carrie – If I blamed you I’d have busted a cap in your ass long ago. I’m straight gangsta that way.

    Monica – When you come to Seattle you can meet Robin and learn how to diagnose properly. But I love you anyway.

    Cas – Be gentle. I like that. Thank you!

  11. D.
    March 11, 2010

    Linsey, you are killing me softly with this. If you don’t believe all the amazing things all these people are telling you – all of which are true, by the by – and can’t objectively see what’s so super about you – consider using those around you as a barometer of your (very low, likely fails to register) place on the loser scale. In other words, would your smart hot wife really choose to be with you if you weren’t equally brainy and beautiful? I’m silly busy and would I voluntarily give you a summer of my life walking all over this damn city with you and your whining if I didn’t find you witty, funny as hell, kind, and insightful (not to mention dogged)? Um, no. Give us some credit for being able to be selective and chosing you wisely. xoxoox

  12. March 11, 2010

    I called by on recommendation from Monica to read this entry specifically. I can now understand why she recommended this particularly one. I can identify with much of what you have said and whilst I cannot offer anything but a mere acknowledgement of understanding I wanted to make a comment nevertheless.
    .-= Eliza´s last blog ..Meltdown =-.

  13. heathen
    March 11, 2010

    Thanks D – I adore you and I know you’re no dummy in who you choose to surround yourself. I’m glad to make the cut because you’re one of my most favorites.

    Eliza – thank you for your comment and welcome. 🙂

  14. Awesomeleah
    March 13, 2010

    Damn girl you rocked me. I’m reading your posts backwards. Not as in the words are backwards but, nevermind. I’m on the iPod which makes reading & commenting harder but I can’t *not* say anything. I have often wondered if a lot of this stuff we have is something from other lives lived, or picking up other people’s *stuff*. I’ve just recently found a good reason for these bizarre voices that tell us we suck when we don’t and plan to write about it soon after I stop crying from reading your awesome words.

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