Feeling insecure recently
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08-12-2012, 05:28 PM
Question Feeling insecure recently
Thanks for listening. I just need a safe place to vent and be heard. 'Course I won't complain if y'all have any brilliant ideas or gems of wisdom. Certain elements of my childhood really screwed with my head and I think so far (I'm 37) I've done a pretty decent job of recovering my self-worth and self-esteem. Then I go and have these periods where my insecurity flares up and I wonder if I'll ever be rid of them. Undecided These are the types of things that have been running through my head lately & I'm just feeling sad and small and unsure and less-than:

They almost always involve other people. Some people tell me, "fuck em'. If they don't like you or want to get to know you, then they're not worth knowing." But I just can't hold that stance--if I've made an effort to reach out to someone it's because I already saw beauty there. It bugs me that any of my negative and positive self-image comes from others. Years ago it was my then-husband who convinced me that I should smile in photographs. Because he truly did like my smile, I started to not be afraid to show it more in photographs. In large part past few years I've gotten pretty good at building up my own self-esteem and confidence. I actually have a decent body image. At 5'8" and 230-240#, I'm OK with my appearance and only lament the health & physical restrictions that my weight incurs--if not for those, I would actually stay in this body by choice. If people were to make 'fat jokes' about me, my oft-repeated line is, "Some people just don't know a goddess when they see one."

But then at the same time, when I'm here on the forum, I have to avoid things like the picture thread and the 'hawtie' thread. I get really irritated knowing that everyone's ogling people who are undeniably good-looking, and I feel small and insecure; things like that lately make me want to just curl up in little ball and hide. Why couldn't I have been born with a face that people want to look at? Hobo

I have jealousy issues, especially when just getting to know people. It took me a long time before I felt 'safe' with Michael, who became my closest Friend. But before that I'd get so upset when I found out his niece-by-marriage was going to live in his city for college; I was upset that she'd get to see him all the time and I wouldn't, and so fearful that my connection with Michael would be inhibited because he'd have a chance to develop more of a connection with her than with me. At work when I have to call a coworker in an outlying office, I often jokingly say, "Hi it's your favorite!" But the truth is that it often feels to me if I'm not the favorite, then I'm just nobody. Again, it makes me want to withdraw, hide, and be extra-super-cautious not to chase people away--I'm afraid to pursue the friendship too much or express myself too much, because I fear scaring people off or making them feel obligated to be in touch with me; but if I go the route of less contact, how will people know that I'm interested in a friendship? Where the hell's the right balance? I am so socially inept it sickens me. Sometimes if I'm corresponding with someone online (FB/E-mail/etc) I'll come to a point where I hold off on replying....I'm afraid of having the last word--if I reply and the other person doesn't answer, it feels like rejection to me, unless I've developed enough of a bond that I feel safe in the relationship.

A close friend of 11 years lives here in town and I'm lucky if I get to see or talk to her once in every 3-6 months. I have no doubt she loves and cares about me and she's been there for me during some crucial times; she says I'm one of her closest friends. She cites her busy life as reason we don't communicate much, but then when I finally do see her it's usually with a group of some other friends of hers, at least a handful of people know things that have been going on in her life. It feels like a slap in the face. I'm sure there's good reason for it, but I just feel so....I dunno'....

I guess it too often has felt that if I'm not the one doing the reaching out, then I'll just be forgotten. My philosophy has been that if I want to spend time with someone then I need to reach out. I got into a small argument with my mom a few months ago. I told her I wanted to visit my brother and nephew in South Dakota--we didn't grow up together and only began getting to know each other a couple years ago. My nephew is only 2. Mom got real indignant and said, "Why should you be the one to go through all the trouble? Let him come see you!" I get her point, but my point is, if I want to see my brother, how else will it happen unless I make the effort? Which also makes me sad because.....well am I not worth anyone's effort, especially the people that I'd like to have in my life? Huh

I know I'm a good person but I get the sense that I'm not a very memorable person. I'm almost sure I could fall off the planet and it would take awhile before anyone really noticed (no I'm not planning to--though my job is trying to kill me lately, like a cockroach I keep refusing to die). What's wrong with me? Maybe I'm too quiet or too boring or too uneducated or too naive about politics, news, music, TV & movies. Maybe people think I'm weird when I do things like stop in my tracks to watch an ant carrying something 5 times the size of its head, or when I'm transfixed by a certain slant of sun....







.....but that slant of sun will only last a few minutes. *sigh* Sadcryface

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08-12-2012, 05:51 PM
RE: Feeling insecure recently
(08-12-2012 05:28 PM)Percepticon Wrote:  Thanks for listening. I just need a safe place to vent and be heard. 'Course I won't complain if y'all have any brilliant ideas or gems of wisdom. Certain elements of my childhood really screwed with my head and I think so far (I'm 37) I've done a pretty decent job of recovering my self-worth and self-esteem. Then I go and have these periods where my insecurity flares up and I wonder if I'll ever be rid of them. Undecided These are the types of things that have been running through my head lately & I'm just feeling sad and small and unsure and less-than:

They almost always involve other people. Some people tell me, "fuck em'. If they don't like you or want to get to know you, then they're not worth knowing." But I just can't hold that stance--if I've made an effort to reach out to someone it's because I already saw beauty there. It bugs me that any of my negative and positive self-image comes from others. Years ago it was my then-husband who convinced me that I should smile in photographs. Because he truly did like my smile, I started to not be afraid to show it more in photographs. In large part past few years I've gotten pretty good at building up my own self-esteem and confidence. I actually have a decent body image. At 5'8" and 230-240#, I'm OK with my appearance and only lament the health & physical restrictions that my weight incurs--if not for those, I would actually stay in this body by choice. If people were to make 'fat jokes' about me, my oft-repeated line is, "Some people just don't know a goddess when they see one."

But then at the same time, when I'm here on the forum, I have to avoid things like the picture thread and the 'hawtie' thread. I get really irritated knowing that everyone's ogling people who are undeniably good-looking, and I feel small and insecure; things like that lately make me want to just curl up in little ball and hide. Why couldn't I have been born with a face that people want to look at? Hobo

I have jealousy issues, especially when just getting to know people. It took me a long time before I felt 'safe' with Michael, who became my closest Friend. But before that I'd get so upset when I found out his niece-by-marriage was going to live in his city for college; I was upset that she'd get to see him all the time and I wouldn't, and so fearful that my connection with Michael would be inhibited because he'd have a chance to develop more of a connection with her than with me. At work when I have to call a coworker in an outlying office, I often jokingly say, "Hi it's your favorite!" But the truth is that it often feels to me if I'm not the favorite, then I'm just nobody. Again, it makes me want to withdraw, hide, and be extra-super-cautious not to chase people away--I'm afraid to pursue the friendship too much or express myself too much, because I fear scaring people off or making them feel obligated to be in touch with me; but if I go the route of less contact, how will people know that I'm interested in a friendship? Where the hell's the right balance? I am so socially inept it sickens me. Sometimes if I'm corresponding with someone online (FB/E-mail/etc) I'll come to a point where I hold off on replying....I'm afraid of having the last word--if I reply and the other person doesn't answer, it feels like rejection to me, unless I've developed enough of a bond that I feel safe in the relationship.

A close friend of 11 years lives here in town and I'm lucky if I get to see or talk to her once in every 3-6 months. I have no doubt she loves and cares about me and she's been there for me during some crucial times; she says I'm one of her closest friends. She cites her busy life as reason we don't communicate much, but then when I finally do see her it's usually with a group of some other friends of hers, at least a handful of people know things that have been going on in her life. It feels like a slap in the face. I'm sure there's good reason for it, but I just feel so....I dunno'....

I guess it too often has felt that if I'm not the one doing the reaching out, then I'll just be forgotten. My philosophy has been that if I want to spend time with someone then I need to reach out. I got into a small argument with my mom a few months ago. I told her I wanted to visit my brother and nephew in South Dakota--we didn't grow up together and only began getting to know each other a couple years ago. My nephew is only 2. Mom got real indignant and said, "Why should you be the one to go through all the trouble? Let him come see you!" I get her point, but my point is, if I want to see my brother, how else will it happen unless I make the effort? Which also makes me sad because.....well am I not worth anyone's effort, especially the people that I'd like to have in my life? Huh

I know I'm a good person but I get the sense that I'm not a very memorable person. I'm almost sure I could fall off the planet and it would take awhile before anyone really noticed (no I'm not planning to--though my job is trying to kill me lately, like a cockroach I keep refusing to die). What's wrong with me? Maybe I'm too quiet or too boring or too uneducated or too naive about politics, news, music, TV & movies. Maybe people think I'm weird when I do things like stop in my tracks to watch an ant carrying something 5 times the size of its head, or when I'm transfixed by a certain slant of sun....







.....but that slant of sun will only last a few minutes. *sigh* Sadcryface
I think everybody has their own insecurities. We are our own worst enemy by feeding them as well.... stopping doing that is not easy though as we tend to do it unconsciously most of the time, then when we do catch ourselves that can be just as disheartening.

I have a great group of friends and there have been stages where I have had more money than I could spend. I thought these things would make me happy but they didnt. Its crazy being surrounded by people and still feeling alone Sadcryface

I think we have to become our own best friend.... easier said than done the older you get.

You're never going to say the things you want to say.
The things you want to change will usually stay that way
The promises you break outweigh the ones you keep.
Paint upon the wall for the hundredth time.

Jesus Jones
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08-12-2012, 05:53 PM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2012 08:29 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: Feeling insecure recently
I think it is a mistake to put too many other people on pedestals.
Unless you can develop a reasonably high opinion on yourself your
low assessments may persist.Many of us have uncertainties about
ourselves and those who don't, have major ego problems.
Try and be a bit kinder to yourself. Tongue
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08-12-2012, 06:47 PM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2012 08:33 PM by Anjele.)
RE: Feeling insecure recently
Often the people that we wish would notice us, that we would make an impression on...are so tied up with their own stuff that we are simply off their radar.

And don't be so sure you aren't memorable. I generally feel pretty invisible. One day a lady that works at the drug store in town went through the usual robotic greeting as did I. Then she looked up and said, "you cut your hair, didn't you?" A small thing but I walked away thinking wow she noticed me. It was a small thing but made me realize that there are people who take note of us in some way and we don't even realize it.

We all have our insecurities, some handle them better, some hide them better.

'See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way.' -JF
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08-12-2012, 08:13 PM
RE: Feeling insecure recently
Thanks, you guys.

It just feels unsettling to be going along just fine and then *POW!* all the major insecurities just hit simultaneously. It might be that work this week was uber-stressful, and I didn't get enough sleep, plus the holidays upcoming which often carries some sadness of its own....

I did start to feel a tiny bit better after posting. Then ironically my friend (the one who never calls!) texted me & offered to lend me her car while she & her partner are away for Christmas & New Year. Then while walking to the bus stop, I ran into an acquaintance who was genuinely glad to see me & we talked and acted stupid for a few minutes before continuing on our way. Then I remembered that, while it was an interruption of my agenda today, one of the social workers at the agency I work for took the time to seek me out & chat when we ran into each other at the coffee shop. Then Anjele made me remember that while I was walking to the coffee shop this morning, one of the bus drivers I see weekly-ish actually recognized me and waved.

Blush And then, *then*, the very best part: I smiled quietly to myself thinking about something that's been in my head & heart the past week or so....in which I *did* reach out, and not only was I not rejected but very much accepted it seems, maybe even embraced, and it turns out my timing was serendipitous....a slant-of-light moment, if you will...and this is the most significant thing, I think, for it seems there's a part of me that lives for those slant-of-light moments, for those times when what you have to offer and what someone else needs coincides and you don't shrink back in fear but reach out in compassion, concern, in love.... I think about that, and it makes the other shit I was worried about pale in comparison. I made a difference in someone's world, and might've made a new friend in the process. Heart

Now why the hell do I care if someone likes my face? Shit, I need a dose of my own medicine.

~Valerie

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08-12-2012, 10:40 PM
RE: Feeling insecure recently
Your comment about not smiling and then doing so because of what your husband said really speaks to me, I can so relate.

I was on the receiving end of a lot of negative comments about my appearance by both my parents and by others. I was terribly thin in high school and still now at more of an average size leaning toward small. I was teased without mercy for being flat chested and having skinny legs. My mother thought she was the perfect woman as far as build goes and I didn't come close!

Wearing uniform skirts to school was dreadful. I hated it and at a very young age stopped wearing shorts in the summer because of my "ugly, skinny legs". Even in the middle of a humid summer, I was in jeans...period. No shorts, ever. My sisters-in-law from my first marriage made a comment about it one day when I showed up for a family BBQ. It was crazy hot and I was in jeans. They were both bigger than me but were wearing shorts. One of them said she really thought they would finally see me in shorts since it was so hot.

The Army took me to southern Arizona...okay...shorts are survival gear there and I really didn't have a choice. A soldier I met (after my husband died) invited my girls and me to go to Tucson for the day to the Old Tuscon movie site and some other places. I showed up in shorts, tennis shoes, and blouse to his room in the barracks. When he opened the door, he gasped and said, "You have legs, and nice legs at that!" That comment got me over my hangup. I am much older now and don't get the compliments that I used to but my legs still look pretty damn good. And they look even better on the rare occasion when I slip into some strappy heels. It's amazing how one sincere comment can make you see that what was drilled into you isn't necessarily fact.

I try to remember that and open my mouth and say what I am thinking if I see someone I am complimenting in my head. Saying that compliment out loud really can make such an impact. I am not talking about gushing and handing out false compliments but voice it if you feel it. You never know when you will just make someone's day, week, year...whatever.

'See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way.' -JF
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08-12-2012, 11:35 PM
RE: Feeling insecure recently
Wow Valerie, this is one of my favourite posts of yours I've ever read! It's so honest and real, and it's so raw. I don't like that you're feeling this way, of course, but I love how beautiful your heart and mind is.

I can relate to the negative self talk. Mine comes in the form of a door mat. I am ALWAYS there for other people in my life, I am always giving and sometimes it gets exhausting. When I take a time out, instead of feeling deserving I feel guilty for failing to be there or I get depressed thinking I'm not good enough because I can't do it all, because I'm not perfect. I've always been this way but I've found better ways to cope in the last few years. I love to think of myself as imperfectly perfect.


This is one of my favourite stories to think about when a train of thought begins when we reflect or have negative self talk. It has stuck with me over the years and helps me to "feed" the right thing.


A Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy."It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
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09-12-2012, 11:20 AM
RE: Feeling insecure recently
(08-12-2012 10:40 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Your comment about not smiling and then doing so because of what your husband said really speaks to me, I can so relate.

I was on the receiving end of a lot of negative comments about my appearance by both my parents and by others. I was terribly thin in high school and still now at more of an average size leaning toward small. I was teased without mercy for being flat chested and having skinny legs. My mother thought she was the perfect woman as far as build goes and I didn't come close!

Wearing uniform skirts to school was dreadful. I hated it and at a very young age stopped wearing shorts in the summer because of my "ugly, skinny legs". Even in the middle of a humid summer, I was in jeans...period. No shorts, ever. My sisters-in-law from my first marriage made a comment about it one day when I showed up for a family BBQ. It was crazy hot and I was in jeans. They were both bigger than me but were wearing shorts. One of them said she really thought they would finally see me in shorts since it was so hot.

The Army took me to southern Arizona...okay...shorts are survival gear there and I really didn't have a choice. A soldier I met (after my husband died) invited my girls and me to go to Tucson for the day to the Old Tuscon movie site and some other places. I showed up in shorts, tennis shoes, and blouse to his room in the barracks. When he opened the door, he gasped and said, "You have legs, and nice legs at that!" That comment got me over my hangup. I am much older now and don't get the compliments that I used to but my legs still look pretty damn good. And they look even better on the rare occasion when I slip into some strappy heels. It's amazing how one sincere comment can make you see that what was drilled into you isn't necessarily fact.

I try to remember that and open my mouth and say what I am thinking if I see someone I am complimenting in my head. Saying that compliment out loud really can make such an impact. I am not talking about gushing and handing out false compliments but voice it if you feel it. You never know when you will just make someone's day, week, year...whatever.

Beautiful, Anjele.... My negative self-image came largely from my mom and school kids. School kids just generally would harangue me but not necessarily about my looks. I think they saw that I had low self esteem, so I was an easy target.

I hate talking about Mom's influence on my childhood, because she's so different now & we're close. But her words still are very painful to recall. I also was deprived of physical affection, which is something I seem to desperately need...it's kinda' pathetic now, because I think being deprived of affection as a child made me need it all the more as an adult, & I have no one to be physical with on a regular basis (I'm not talking about sex).

Overcoming barriers to self-love like you & I did is so liberating. It's sad that we weren't raised to be confident and love ourselves and that we seem to need permission to do so before we can come to that place on our own. Glad you showed your legs Wink

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09-12-2012, 11:30 AM
RE: Feeling insecure recently
I think your mom and my mom must have been sisters.

I can really relate, right down to the brother (9 years younger) who I still refer to as the Golden Child and his son as the second coming.

Get the book Toxic Parents...I have more upstairs, I will get you some more titles, they have been helpful to me. Unfortunately there has been no improvement over time in my relationship with my mother, in fact we have only talked a couple times in the last several years and then it was due to a death in the family. She never stopped treating me that way so any progress I made was quickly undone when I would talk with her. I finally had to cut that tie. Now she switched that treatment to my sister who didn't get it when I was around to dump on.

It is hard to think anyone can love you when your parent(s) can't even seem to...and yes, it's a total mindfuck.

'See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way.' -JF
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09-12-2012, 11:44 AM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2012 03:19 AM by Vera.)
RE: Feeling insecure recently
Oh, sweetheart! You really, really shouldn't feel like this.

And you also shouldn't allow the opinion and worth of others determine your own worth. I've always said and will continue to say, that even if everyone around me was butt-ugly or dumb as a brick, that won't make me any more beautiful or smarter. Or vice versa.

Also, most people's capacity for love is not finite and they do not need to have favourites. I, myself, have never grasped the idea behind "best friend" or "most favourite whatever". I can have more than one really close friend, can love more than one person and like more than one thing.

I also used to think I wasn't really interesting. Then last year when I was in Rio living with about 20+ people from all over the world, someone I didn't really know that well told me they've been talking and thought I was possibly the most interesting person in the house. Comes to show, you may think that people see you in a certain way, while they have a completely different idea from what you supposed them to think.

Thought I had a lot more to say, but I think the rest of the guys already said it. At the end of the day, even if no one cares for you it still doesn't mean that you do not deserve love or that you are somehow inferior to others. And from what I've seen of you here you're as far from it as can be.

Hug


EDIT: I just reread my own post and was taken aback by how many times I've said "I this" and "I that". Please, substitute 'you' for it: You may think you're not interesting, but it doesn't mean others think it, too, etc.

Also - the people in your life don't have to choose a favourite, they can like both you and someone else (though I'm saddened to hear that you've had experience with people who are not like this. But they are the exception, not the rule).

Once again Hug

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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