I was at work, finishing some candles for the store and thinking. We got an email yesterday stating they’ve decided to hire another person for the store. It’s a good move and we have needed help. The boss interviewed someone on Friday already. Turns out she’s mid 30’s, divorced, starting over in a new town with her kids and living with family. Her situation sounds not too different from my current situation, minus having younger kids. I’m told she’s and extrovert and very enthusiastic about the store and gushed to the owners about how wonderful everything was.
My brain immediately felt threatened by this new person. So much so that it went to a dark, weird place. I thought, “I bet she’s better than me. She’s extroverted, like the bosses want, she’s younger than me. She could probably still can have kids if she wanted…..I be the fella who dumped me would even like her better than me….he wants kids. He probably would think she’s prettier than me….”
I had to slap stop and slap myself. What the actual fuck was happening?? What on earth was I thinking?! Where was all of this bullshit coming from?! I haven’t even met this woman. She might be something completely different! So what if she and the fella I dated were both from New York?! Like, for real, brain?
I had an epiphany as I finished the candles. I realized, I have zero self worth unless it’s tied to how valuable others think I am. I have no self worth when I have no job. I have no self worth when I don’t have a partner. I have no independent, stand alone self worth. Period. If I can’t feel useful or feel like I contribute to make someone else’s life better, I cannot see myself as valuable. I do not see myself as valuable, just because I exist and suck in air. As a baby, I didn’t contribute! I just existed, yet I was cared for and thought to be important because there was potential for me to become something , in the future. Now, as an adult, if I am not giving in some capacity, I cannot see myself as having any value. I don’t see myself as having any potential to achieve much at all either. I cannot figure out why nor can I figure out when my self worth became tied to other people’s opinions of me.
I have always had “giving” jobs. I worked in healthcare for 12 years. I went to massage school and graduated last year. I have a nursing assistant licence. I am a mom. I have only known how to give to others. I suck at receiving too. It makes me feel guilty. When I can’t give in some capacity, it messes with my mental state. I am realizing this is actually quite a serious problem. Somewhere along the way, I’ve been conditioned to feel “selfish” if I allow myself to receive help or love or anything from others.
I am separated (soon to be officially divorced), my children are grown, I currently am fighting anxiety and cannot work as a massage therapist right now. I was dumped a month ago. All of that change, both slow and abrupt, has been challenging. All of my usual giving opportunities have been removed recently
This year’s dating escapades were a good distraction from myself and my mind. After the most recent breakup, I realized I am actually quite depressed and am kind of a train wreck as far as my mental health. I realized that I am depressed, primarily because I do not have any self worth. Oddly, after having this realization, I had better day. One better than I’ve had in a while. Finally, I had connected a few more dots to the miserable puzzle that is me. I remember working on this very thing in therapy the last time I was there. I was told to do things that I enjoyed, do things that made me happy. And I was doing that stuff, but I still had people around me who needed me or who I felt needed me. It was different then. Not at all how it is now. I am literally all alone right now. No family close by. The only friends I have are the people I work with. I don’t hang out with anyone since I got dumped. I work, I come home and I wake up and do it all over again the next day.
Right now, I am pretty scared. I don’t want to date anyone at all. Not for a good long while. The last one really, really hurt. My focus has been on getting my legal things in order (divorce, address change, ID updated, ect). I have been planning on how I’ll fix my dad’s house while I’m staying here. I am signing up for mental health services again. I am not going to give into the booty calling “friends” that have been texting. I am going to make a real effort to get my head back on straight, pull myself out of the pit and start working toward some new goals. People have been telling me to just focus on myself, and I finally am. I had to go through all of that other stuff first, probably because I tend to do things the hard way, but also because there were lessons to be learned along the way too. There were definitely good things that happened amongst the sadness. I finally have no distractions now and it really sucks, because I am forced to finally face myself.