Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Dust Bunnies

©iStockphoto.com/TheCrimsonMonkey.

I'm guessing that if I ever sign up for an online dating site, this line won't exactly reel 'em in:

"I'm in my forties, I'm fairly accomplished, and, deep inside, I still struggle with feeling like I'm worth less than a dust bunny."

There. I said it.

Tonight, I found myself writing the "dust bunny" sentence in response to a remark someone made about the deep, lasting impact of growing up in an environment where parents appear to value stuff—even stuff that belongs in a biohazard container—more than they value the psychological and physical needs of their children.

I know that I am worth more than a dust bunny.

I just don't always believe it.

After all, I spent just under half of my life surrounded by evidence that I wasn't.

A big part of the struggle is recognizing that the scar is real, that it is significant, and that I am not being a weak, whiny little kid by acknowledging that the sustained conditions of my first eighteen or so years will naturally echo across the decades.

At the same time, a part of me tells me that I'm in my forties, and it's weak and whiny to blame things that happened more than twenty years ago for how I feel today.

Meanwhile, another part of me insists that I grew up surrounded by cobwebs and cat feces, and that I have a hell of a lot of nerve to think that I deserve better than that. If there is anything truly evil in my life, it is that voice, and I speak with it every day.

PS. Before anyone gets too concerned about schizophrenia, I don't actually "hear voices," or anything like that. I just tend to have melodramatic internal dialogues. :)

9 comments:

Sidney said...

You are worth SO much more! Don't listen; that voice is a real bitch...

Joe Hoarder'sSon said...

Thanks, Sidney! Much appreciated!

lisa merito said...

Internal dialogues. I know! I know! I feel crazy until I realize they are "the voices" that save me from actually saying some of this stuff out loud.

Katrina said...

I can so entirely relate to this post! Thank you for sharing this.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I absolutely relate to this and find myself not feeling worthy or good enough all of the time. The saying that you should be careful what you tell your children because your words become their inner voice is so true. It's doubly true for how you treat your child and their idea of self-worth.

I've taken second place to TV, cleaning in front of others (funny how they get so into it when they have an audience), work, and other families. It's important to remember that our parents are the ones that have the problems- not us.

Own your accomplishments and be proud of yourself for all that you have done! We've proven that we are so much more than our past and deserve every great thing that we're presented with.

Secret Dragon said...

Boy, do I understand that feeling.

The Hoarder's Daughter said...

** I just tend to have melodramatic internal dialogues. :)**

You and me both Joe! I swear when you wrote this you and I were on the same wave length.

We both know we are BOTH worth SO SO SO much more, we just tend to let our "voices" tell us otherwise sometimes. You remind me and I will remind you that we are made of awesome!

{{{ Big hugs! }}}

Anonymous said...

Coming from a similar childhood situation, I highly recommend finding a therapist who does Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Over the course of a year & a half of therapy really helped my self worth, there will always be feelings of sadness about how my parents live, but my self worth isn't connected those memories now.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, we need to take on the parenting role and raise ourselves emotionally. It takes work and time, but it can be done. (((HUGS))) I have found it helpful to find older friends, who are pretty together, especially ones who are raising their own kids. I learn from them. Therapy has also been a great help to recognize patterns and to figure out where in life certain patterns of thought took route. (I kept a journal during that time, which has been a great tool for me when I start to repeat some of the thinking. I go back over and relearn from myself.)