I feel worthless. How do I get over it?

I came from a severely abusive childhood. My childhood, up until the age of 20 when I moved out, was pure hell. Extreme violence, sexual abuse and the torture of dealing with the family dynamics created by a sadistic parent - since I was the youngest, this parent set me up to be the family punching bag that my siblings learned to torture for the fun of it. I have been through therapy for this and am no longer as traumatized as I was by my childhood. But the problem is I am a sensitive person and I was a little naive about the ways of the world because of which I got into relationships that were degrading. When I was 17 years old, I dated a man who was 25 years old, he was sadistic, and I was too hungry for love and did not understand that even outside my home, I will find predators. I barely knew him when I started dating him - I was just hungry for somebody to tell me he loved me, I desperately needed to see some kindess from somebody to survive, he was cute and had delicate features so I assumed he would be a sensible kind person. Anyway, in the brief time we had a relationship, he was very degrading, including sexually degrading - I was very confused by his behavior, I thought if he was also sadistic with me, then it must be my fault and frankly I was so crushed by years of childhood abuse, I didnt even know what to say or do to stand up to people who are bullies. Something this person did to me was so humiliating, I am still traumatized by it. I had other relationships after him that were so-so. I met somebody else, I dated him for a year, he was very loving and attentive and I trusted him. I married him in my early twenties; after marriage, he started treating me like an object that existed for his use. He would launch into long monologues and if I tried to say something, he would shut me up by arguing with me. He never heard anything I said, he would just go on and on talking about himself. Sexually, he only cared about himself, he had no respect for my sexual rights, wishes, desires. There was no intimacy, no emotional support (he would make cruel comments about my childhood abuse), no one to even have a day to day conversation with. He also prevented me from having a social life and I love people. I was married to him for ten long years and they were the most wasted years of my life in terms of human contact, socializing, sex - my life came to a virtual standstill. I lived like a corpse for ten years. After I divorced him, I tried to get into the dating pool and met some creepy guys. I briefly dated somebody who did not take care of my sexual needs - I think my mistake (as it was when I was 17 years old) was to get intimate too soon, I did not take enough time to see what kind of man this guy was. The problem is that I feel worthless because of the bad relationships I have been in. I dont remember a single time when somebody truly loved me, gave me emotional support, respected my sexual desires, was there for me as a companion. I am 35 years old now and I feel like a worthless loser because of the way men treated me. I feel that me, and women in general, are worthless in this world. I am feeling absolutely utterly worthless and it is affecting me professionally and personally. How do I get past my past relationship failures and move on with something resembling self-esteem?

4 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You need to go to a place where there a re better people. Perhaps move or join a dating site. Get back into therapy to boost your self esteem and help your psyche. Learn from your past mistakes. There are good people out in the world.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I cannot say I know how you fee but I do understand you a little due to my experiences.There is some good advice given here to your situation.You asked how do you get past your troubles and move on with life right?Well for me I started to read the Holy Bible and there is some helpful advice and just plain good reading.Maybe you can start also.You and I seem to be in the same boat along with many others and just as there are different people there are that many different suggestions to offer you.So please don't feel like you are alone, and believe it when I say there is a solution just right for you.I wish you the best of health and success.

    I just thought to add if you can get the EWTN channel there is a program called "Women Of Grace" I think you might like it,especially the Thursday 16 February 2012 episode.

  • 9 years ago

    Be proactive & don't think wrongly, please try to think in another way that you are that lady who has passed a long abusive life & still you are surviving also looking for another relation or like this- I mean want to living rightly. Do meditation, do social- voluntary works & make a relation from your present life, be faithful do as usual religious works, don't think previous, live the present life cause you can't control your previous but you can control your present, best wishes.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    1. Stop dwelling on the past. These are victim stories that you play over and over again (even above, in this question), and everytime you play them, you make a deeper "rut" in your brain. People get to the point where they perversely enjoy being a victim because at least that's SOMETHING they feel in control of.

    So you have to ditch the victim stories. You just have to stand up and be a bid parent and firmly command your stories to STOP!

    Pay attention to what you are saying ... OMG. Women are worthless? I am NOT worthless, m'dear, and neither are you.

    2. You need to do things that you think are worthy. Make strong decisions, proud decisions. Learn skills. Volunteer at the local soup kitchen for the homeless (or some form of giving). Giving is VERY important to connecting with our sense of worth, and the less we have to gain from it (the less we have a relationship with the other), the more it works for us. Not only in giving us something positive to do, to see ourselves as a caring, giving person ... but also because it takes the emphasis off of ourselves. The more we focus on ourselves, the less happy we are.

    3. Stop defining yourself by whether or not someone else wants you. Understand that you draw creepy guys to you because you don't like yourself, so guys who don't like THEMselves will be attracted to you ... as you will be attracted to them too. You may have been with a guy for a long time who was not good to be with ... but that is only because unconsciously you read him accurately and you thought HE was what you deserved. So for now just stop thinking about guys period. You cannot form a good relationship until you learn to love yourself.

    4. Understand that in order to get onto solid ground, you must walk through the swamp of ALL those things you have buried within yourself because they were too "messy", too painful, too uncomfortable. You have to look at your feelings, at the moment they come up, and allow them to be there ... like a smoker who is quitting smoking, you too have to be willing to put up with the discomfort and allow it to be there without running out and trying to "fix" the feeling to make it go away. Instead, look at yourself and how you are feeling and feel true compassion for yourself. Not pity ... loving compassion.

    Yeah, this is hard to do. Perhaps go buy a few books by a Buddhist nun called Pema Chodron. She's a Westerner, trained and ordained in Buddhism, who focuses on learning how to love ourselves, how to tolerate discomfort .. and how to find happiness by opening up to those very feelings that frighten us so much. I don't know several people who have read her books and it turned their live around ... me too.

    5. Lastly, understand that from the time a thought or feeling is released into your brain, it is ONLY 90 seconds before that chemical message is reabsorbed and ceases. So why do we think things for longer than 90 seconds? Only because we are restarting the thought or feeling over again ... and again and again. We have to stop ourselves. Cigarette smokers don't stop by lighting up another smoke, and you won't stop hurting by restarting another hurting feeling ... or playing your victim storyline over and over again.

    You can do this ... but you have to really WANT to be happy, and you have to be willing to face the discomfort of NOT being happy ... for as long as 3-5 years, even. Seeing as you have yet to be happy, the thought that in 3-5 years you actually COULD be happy should be enough to motivate your and keep your motivation. Yeah, get a book by Pema Chodron and take it from there.

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