I am in an emotionally abusive relationship with myself. At face value, I tell myself and everyone around me that I love myself. I’m the last person who will put up with anyone using, neglecting or manipulating me and I know when it’s time to leave someone because they aren’t good for me. But I do all this, not because I truly believe I deserve it, but because I’ve told myself that I’m never going to get love from anyone else, so I’m just going to have to give it to myself. A sick voice in my head has convinced me that no one but me will ever love me, and that justifies the terrible things I sometimes tell myself. Like how my sense of accomplishment in all cases is so fragile that even a great grade is just a ‘relief’ to me rather than a cause for celebration because I know if I DIDN’T get this great mark, I would spiral into a bout of self-hatred again. I compare myself to others so much that anything I achieve is totally discounted if someone else does even slightly better, and I could write a book on things I would change about myself if I could. I am very hard on myself all the time. It has gotten to the point where the idea of me relying on anyone else emotionally and physical closeness almost disgusts me, because it seems so far from what I’m used to and what I believe is ‘rational’. Opening up to anyone else would be like giving someone a knife and waiting to see if they’ll stab me in the back -and that’s stupid and illogical, so I tell myself. I have tried to before and haven’t even finished scolding myself for it. ‘What did I think that will do? Will telling someone solve any of my problems? Nobody can do anything about my history of emotional neglect so why bother. I might as well tell it to a wall,’ I tell myself. It just makes me feel stupid and weak. Emotional closeness is for those ‘other people’. For those soft people who are lucky enough to have people that want to care for them. My loud, strong-willed, ‘independent’ self has only myself to turn to.
- Not loving yourself enough can make you feel negative and alone. You are brave for considering how your actions will affect yourself even though you are consumed by unhappiness.
- Repeat positive affirmations to yourself.
- Learn to love yourself by taking better care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically. Some activities which may help are yoga, meditation and prayer.
- Becoming more spiritual may be a great way for you to see life in a more meaningful way. To learn more about spirituality go to the Teen Central website and under the Learn tab click Spirituality.
- Try talking to a trusted adult or knowledgeable therapist.
- Instead of wasting time putting yourself down focus on activities such as listening to music, drawing or learning something new.
- Focus on something positive like volunteering. Some organizations for teens are Habitat for Humanity, The Humane Society of the United States and Reading is Fundamental. You may even make new friends who share your interests!
- Being more open to people has it’s benefits if done in a healthy way. You may find that someone has the same problems as you. Be yourself and continue to search for friends who will love you genuinely as yourself.
- Try drawing pictures or writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal to vent your emotions so you can forget them.
- If you need someone to talk to you can try heading to the Teen Central website and clicking on the Help tab for a list of numbers like the Crisis Textline, for example.
- How might your negative thinking affect your life in the future?
- How does it make sense to put yourself down when you did nothing wrong?
- In what ways does lying to yourself hold you back in life and how can you fix this?
- In what ways can you spot your negative thoughts and how can you catch these and turn them into positive ones?
- What would a list of positive characteristics you and others can identify in you look like?