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wundayatta's avatar

If there was a time you did not believe you were lovable, what impact did that have on your life?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) June 11th, 2011

Sometimes, no matter what someone else does, I don’t believe they love me. Generally, it takes some big fight for me to believe that they won’t abandon me as soon as the first problem shows up. I guess I don’t really believe in myself very much. Or I don’t believe that anything I do has any lasting value.

In my life, this makes me distrust people who say anything nice about me, or who love me. This is bad, of course, because then the people who really do love me believe I don’t trust them. That makes it hard for a relationship.

I’ve worked on this for a few years now, and I think I’ve come out of it, and then I fall back in. I thought I’d come to believe I was lovable, and then something happens, and it stops. I don’t even know what happens. It seems random.

So if you have a similar problem, what impact has it had on your life.

This is not about advice for me, please. I just want to know what it’s like for others.

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22 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

I think sometimes it just makes me feel like shit. I don’t think there are any observable behavioral differences, though.

fishybusiness's avatar

If one believes they are not lovable then they are incapable of loving another which would result in a very lonely and unfulfilled existence, in my opinion.

Symbeline's avatar

My dad always made it clear that he loved me. So, in logic which I applied then and this question here, it’s possible for me to be loved, even if it’s through bloodline default. It’s still real. When I lived in group homes, I really felt alone and pissed, mostly. But because of my dad’s love, I came to convince myself that people everywhere just weren’t good enough for me. I never showed it to anyone, but I sure did believe it. (I often still do, shitty thing to admit I know)
I’m pretty sure that wasn’t my dad’s intent, but it did help me in some ways I think, because not having a secret superiority complex may have made way for darker things. Believe it or not, I’m extremely sensitive. I’d be an emo if I wasn’t goth. I just don’t show anything lol.
I don’t know if I changed or not, maybe a little. I do realize that, when met with negativity, disapproval and discontentment towards my person, that mentality remains. Except now I don’t believe it. Can’t convince myself as I once did. Especially not when you get to know people, whether you love or hate one another, and discover that they’re all as deep, complex and as fucked up as you are.
I guess, so far, this is the impact that this has had.
But in regards to your question, this means that I do think I can be loved. I had a nice relationship for a while, and my friends think I’m pretty cool lol.
I never thought that I could not be loved, but I’m also not a very likable person, so it may have taken a while to get used to that. But now I know that even if a lot of people don’t like me, they’re all strangers anyways. My friends would tell you otherwise, and so would my dad and my grandmother. My problem was concentrating on the bad way more than the good, which outweighs the bad. Not saying it’s perfect now, but I certainly hope I’m a little wiser than the last day.

And @wundayatta I know you said you’re not looking for any advice, but I can’t help myself; I’ve worked on this for a few years now, and I think I’ve come out of it, and then I fall back in. I thought I’d come to believe I was lovable, and then something happens, and it stops. I don’t even know what happens. It seems random.

I’m not gonna ask for details. But I get the sense that you think some of these people loved you, when they never actually did. And maybe you did do or say something that broke the love they had for you. But even so, they did love you at one time. Better to lose love than to never have had it in the first place, or whatever that quote is, right? And anyways, you also said this…

In my life, this makes me distrust people who say anything nice about me, or who love me. This is bad, of course, because then the people who really do love me believe I don’t trust them. That makes it hard for a relationship.

So, people do love you. :) I’ll stop butting in lol, but as I say I couldn’t help myself. I hope I made sense somewhere lol.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I battle with believing I am unlovable on a daily basis. It stems from my childhood and some things that happened and some things that were said repeatedly. It goes deep. I have problems believing that an all-loving God could even love me.

It took its toll earlier in life when I drowned my sorrows in alcohol. When that was finally removed, I had a lot of hard work to do and many bridges to repair. After 12 years, I can say that I’ve reached a kind of peace with myself on most days. Those are days when I simply don’t think about self-worth, and then there are other days when I feel great, and then there are the shitty days. I have no idea why I have the different kind of days.

Symbeline's avatar

@hawaii_jake Most of us do, I’d wager. Knowing how or why depends on the person though, I guess.

Ladymia69's avatar

Unfortunately, Wund, it is still happening. I don’t really know why.

MilkyWay's avatar

In all honesty I still feel that way… It feels crap and makes me depressed. The only thing that’s stopping me go into depression deeply is the thought of my younger siblings, particularly my 2 year old sister. I know she loves me and I love her. As long as I have her in my life, I think I’ll be okay.
And I completley disagree with @fishybusiness here. I think you are capable of loving another even if you do not feel loved yourself.

Symbeline's avatar

@queenie Aye. I also think you can love other people even if you completely loathe yourself.

rooeytoo's avatar

I was like that for years but didn’t know it. I sabotaged relationships, the unconscious logic being if I ended them or did something to make them end, then I could not be abandoned, I would be the abandoner! I would not be the unloved, I would be the unlover! Or I chose really not good partners who themselves were often incapable of loving anyone. I always kept people at arm’s length, never let anyone get too close. I didn’t know I was doing it, but I felt alone and unlovable and the whole time I was the cause of the way other people reacted to me because of my own fears.

Took a lot of work with a really good counselor and a lot of time in meetings, AA, ACOA and even a little Alanon although I never felt at home there. ACOA was probably the greatest help to me, well in conjunction with the counselor. And I should state that though my parents were drinkers, it was an older brother who was the cause of the angst. I hated him and feared him and wanted him to die. I would probably have killed him myself except for fear of incarceration, I never wanted to go to jail.

So I kept myself numb with whatever method was at hand.

I feel pretty secure in my skin now. I have been in a loving relationship for over 15 years and it feels good most days. I pretty much trust him with my soul. But you see there are always qualifiers. I guess it is just the way I am and always will be so I now accept that it is the way I am and that’s that. Probably it is why I like the idea of reincarnation, I figure I did a lot of the hard yards this time around. Next time I am going to be 5’10” or so, dirty blond and willowy with a laid back and comfortable outlook on life. heheheh, sounds good hey wundy! Who are you gonna be the next time around?

rooeytoo's avatar

@queenie – I am with you, I believe if you are incapable of loving yourself, I don’t think you can really love anyone else and tend to be attracted to people who can’t love either.

Although I don’t think that is true with your own children, I mean with your peers.

MilkyWay's avatar

@rooeytoo Um, I think you misunderstood what I said up there.

rooeytoo's avatar

@queenie – oooops, I must be seeing things because I can’t even find the response I was trying to agree with!!!

I usually agree with you though!

minniemau5's avatar

In my senior years of high school I struggled with major depression, social anxiety disorder (along with general anxiety…) and an eating disorder. Obviously, I had very low self-esteem and I felt that I was worthless, stupid and ugly. I hated myself. Eventually I had pushed every last friend I had, away. They just stopped talking to me, and rightly so. I even pushed some close family members away. Basically I thought that I was unlovable and undeserving of a relationship. Like @rooeytoo I also sabotaged relationships. If someone wanted to be close to me, I was suspicious… so I would push people away to save myself from being hurt. I hurt people before they could hurt me. It left me a pretty lonely person.

I went through a long session of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, along with regular counselling and treatment with an antidepressant. Sometimes the feelings are still there, but I am a lot stronger in relationships now.

Coloma's avatar

Once upon a time in an unhappy marriage that wore down my self esteem with lots of mind games.

But no, I haven’t felt that way for years, I KNOW I am a loving and lovable person, infact, I love myself enough to not keep emotionally disturbed people in my life anymore.

If anything, I believe a lot of others MAKE themselves unlovable by refusing to address their own issues and driving away those that might want to love them.

Of course, then they can say ” Oooh, poor me, I knew I was not lovable” while taking no responsibility for the way they set things up.

It’s hard to hold love and compassion for those that are in a constant state of misery and negativity and reject any insight into their behaviors and attitudes.

Those self fulfilling prophecies are huge for a lot of peeps.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

It lowers my already low self-esteem even more. I would also say it has not allowed me to reach my full potential in the relationship sector. I end up becoming suspicious, ironic, bitter and all this spews out of me and gives people a totally unreal picture of me. It is not a true reflection coming out of me. I am sad to say that no matter how hard I try to get over it, it gets worse as I get older. I am turning into a caustic, bitter person, which is far from what I really am! It may sound contradictory but that is how it is!

Saaishen's avatar

For me it was like this: my existence was fight against from the very begging of my life.The minute my parents found out that my mother is pregnant, everybody told her that she should get rid of me.She was young, and she had a long battle with her self, with my father, with her family for my life.In future life it was getting worse, my dad started to drink(after his workmates all were killed in an accident, and only he survived) my mum fight for him and for us with money and other problems.In short: no body was interested in me in any way. I grew up like a wild animal trying to survive.I always felt this way, lonely, and like I need to try hard to be loveable.Evan my first real relationship was damaging because guy was in deep depression all the time.But all that time i knew there was God who loved me, I just didn’t knew how to take that love.But he sent me my current boyfriend, who is believer and who is patient with me.He knows my problem and often tells me how special I am, an how much I mean to him.God is also making my heart soft and while I read His Word or pray I realize how precious I am, how unique and how He loves me.But it is not always like that, and sometimes i also thing I am not wort, or that everything I am doing is wrong or boring or lame!But one value thing I have learned from God is that i need to live by my fate and NOT by my feelings! so, if i FEEL that no body loves me, I say ’‘This is not the truth!The TRUTH is that many people loves me, and the TRUTH is that God loves me!I will live choosing to belive in the TRUTH and not in the lie that my feelings are telling me!’’ž
I must say that it is a hard battle, but you need to make a choice.

asmonet's avatar

I love myself, I think I’m awesome. I can paint, I can build things, I’m creative, been told I have a great sense of humor and I think I’m pretty smart. But more often than I’d like I don’t understand why anyone would volunteer to be around me these days.

When your own brain is sending the message, it can be a lonely and depressing time.

wundayatta's avatar

@Coloma I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say I believe you are really trying to be helpful, but you are constantly missing the mark. You set yourself up as holier than thou and are constantly judging everyone quite harshly, especially those who are in the most pain. I don’t understand why you are so often blaming the victim. It’s like you resist any possible effort to imagine what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes.

“It’s hard to hold love and compassion for those that are in a constant state of misery and negativity and reject any insight into their behaviors and attitudes.”

Clearly it’s hard for you to find compassion and I’m always surprised that you advertise this all over fluther. It’s like you think it’s a badge of courage or something.

“Misery and negativity” are not a choice. Anyone who believes that, even if they believe they have suffered from depression, is completely out of touch with their own emotions. No one likes misery and negativity, and you insult every single person suffering with depression in the world when you say that. It is unconscionable!

Insight is very difficult to come by. I mean, maybe for you, in your vaunted and elevated state of enlightenment find insight to be falling around you like leaves in the fall, but for most of us it takes work. A hell of a lot of work. Your insults are not helpful in the least. I wish you would stop repeating this kind of hatred all over fluther. I’m really sick of it.

“Those self fulfilling prophecies are huge for a lot of peeps.”

You must really hate people. Just laying the blame for everyone’s pain right back on them! Did I already say I’m sick of it? It makes me wonder what happened to you. I mean, it’s not just your story about your ex, but this is so much more than that. A general despising of all people. Highly ironic, considering your supposed attitude towards negativity. You must hate yourself a lot. Condemning negative people when in fact you are probably one of the foremost examples of such a person on fluther.

Well, guess what? I know what that’s like. I see now, how it can get others angry when they see someone indulging themselves without any apparent insight. Perhaps you are right. Maybe you do need to be judged. Is that what you want? Because I’m angry enough to do it.

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta

Hatred?

Negative?

Nope, sorry, that’s your projection.

Aspiring to health and not allowing unhealthy people to effect me is not hatred, it is called self esteem.

I have mega tons of compassion, I have done my work over the years, and I tell it like it is.

You are personalizing my words, and they are not personal, just fact.

I am hardly perfect, but I am mentally/emotionally healthy and don’t care to deal with those that are always stuck in some sort of angst.

Look how you have created an entire work of fiction over a simple, I don’t do toxic people.

Wheres the compassion for stable, healthy, mature people trying to steer clear of the dark waters of others unresolved issues?

Sorry if my truth rubs you the wrong way.

Why shouldn’t I champion surrounding myself with healthy people?

wundayatta's avatar

Why not? Because you miss too many good people by judging them instantly. But it’s your life. Those are the choices you have made. I just don’t like it when you bring your particular brand of righteousness and insensitivity to fluther. That’s all.

And yes, it is personal. I don’t see why you hide behind some impersonal veil of religious truth. It may be your truth, but you write it as if it is the truth, heedless of your impact on others. You call yourself compassionate, but from where I sit, I don’t see it.

Coloma's avatar

@wundayatta

I love people, but don’t love negativity, mind games, drama, constant whining, complaining, misery and Eeyore attitudes. Not to mention the more pathological crap like constantly being stuck in an “all about me” space, and, well, lets not even go into passive aggressive shit and other extremely fucked up ways of “relating.”

The words you choose are YOUR words, not me simply speaking my truth.
You mentioned above that you were ‘angry enough’ to judge, well, again, YOUR anger, not my words.

I am not responsible for your perceptions, and I am not, nor have I ever been, ‘religious.’

‘Righteousness’ & ‘insensitivity” again, YOUR words, YOUR perceptions.

You did not answer my question as to WHY it is wrong to wish to surround oneself with healthy people, but, never mind that now.

My apologies for whatever I have triggered.

wundayatta's avatar

First time I found a Schmoo under the Orange Tree.

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