Have you ever had someone in your life who seemed constantly disappointed in you? It didn’t seem to matter how hard you tried, it was never enough. Sometimes they didn’t have to even say much, you just knew – you are a loser, you will never be worthy.
I know what it is like to live with disappointment. It was a glib smile and a few words, a gentle sigh. I failed again. In my particular case it made me needy, so very needy. Dedicating every waking minute to impress, to please, to do, didn’t seem to matter. Disappointed again.
Maybe it was your dad, or your mom, a relative or a friend. For many of us it was our spouse – a wife or a boyfriend whose expectations and selfishness bruised and ultimately scarred your heart.
Poor self-esteem. Bad self-image. Feelings of inadequacy. Second-guessing yourself. Minimizing your accomplishments. Squinting in the mirror. Fear. Doubt. Self-loathing. Pain. Never good enough. Loser. Pathetic. Bitch.
On some level we all know that it is our own responsibility to feel good about ourselves. In theory. In practice, when someone whose opinion is supposed to matter denigrates and often subtly destroys our wholeness, it is very difficult to feel worthwhile. We know we are not supposed to base our self-esteem on others but how do you do that?
Quick quiz – If ten people tell you that you are beautiful and one person tells you that you are ugly, which one will you remember?
I wonder if the reason we believe the insult is because somewhere, down deep perhaps, we believe them. Many of us have been told we are ugly or fat or stupid or bald or pathetic or worthless all our lives. How can we possibly have good self-esteem now?
The truth: The opposite of bad self-esteem is not good self-esteem. The opposite of bad self-esteem is self-acceptance.
The truth is, you may always be fat. You may always be bald. Joan Rivers is scary proof that plastic surgery can only take you so far. You may be considered ugly by the beautiful. You may never go to college. You probably will never be famous. Or rich. Or even successful. And you get cry all you want and rail against the system, get angry and frustrated and die in a flaming manure-ball of bitterness. I see people every day who absolutely refuse to accept their illness, or their spouse, or their saggy boobs. I know how they feel. There are seemingly countless things I don’t like about myself. Nobody needs to point our my flaws, I see them in glaring technicolor. You don’t need to be disappointed in me, I can do quite fine on my own, thanks.
One day I woke up and realized in retrospect that I was living my life to impress someone who was incapable of accepting me or loving me for who I really was. I understood that I had been running myself sick trying to earn her love, only to hear her sigh with disapproval. I still care about this person, actually very much, but no longer feel compelled to sacrifice my soul for a smile and a nod.
Emotional wholeness rarely comes by accident.
14 thoughts on “I’m Disappointed In You”
Thank you, so very much (quite timely)!
Reblogged this on Ladywithatruck's Blog and commented:
Another good one from Scott, an older one but very relevant to what most (all) victims of abuse suffer through.
Thanks Carrie, I always love your blog and appreciate the support!
I heard recently “you must love yourself–after all, you spend the most time in your life with you.”
“The opposite of bad self-esteem is self-acceptance.” I love that definition. It’s absolutely true. I lived that life once and no longer feel the need to sacrifice my soul either. I’m free to be me, flaws and all. Only now my flaws are no longer the point :).
I would like to take a moment to thank you for your honest approach to writing blog posts 🙂 They always inspire me to think and get in touch with things inside. You are so right it is absolutley physically and mentally exausting trying to please other people.
Growing up I felt like a disapointment and a mistake and took those feeling along with me as an adult. No matter how much I strived to be a good daughter growing up, it was never enough. Always one dissapointment after another. It left a load of emptyness inside that longs to be filled by acceptance.
I hope one day we can find the courage to accept ourselved rather than look for that kind of acceptance in others.
Best of wishes my friend!
How I continue to adore you for speaking my mind in your words.
Shocking how much we are all alike
Lovely words about self-esteem and self-acceptance. Thank you.
I am…I guess you could say, “not doing so well…at all…” at the present time. But once AGAIN, I sat alone feeling hopeless and utterly misunderstood when I stumbled across this post. And once again, your words provided me with a sense Divine love and understanding that only God could have orchestrated. YOU…. “YOU” MATTER. YOU MATTER “SO” DAMN MUCH. And for what it’s worth, I do dearly love you, my brother in Christ.
ALL my love,