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. :)