The Space Between Love & Hate

I have somewhat of a confession: I hate myself more than I’ve ever hated anyone. I play it off pretty well, and although there are parts of myself that I like or am proud of, the majority of the time I just…hate myself.

But, Why?

I can’t tell you why exactly, but I do have a theory. My entire childhood and teenage life, my self-esteem was non-existent. It wasn’t that I just had low self-esteem – I had none. This set me up for a lifetime of self-hatred.

Growing up, there wasn’t much about me that was exceptional or all that great. I was loved, for sure, but there was no one around really to encourage me to be myself; if anything, I was constantly told how shitty “myself” was. If I liked a song, it was dumb. If I wanted to see a movie, I was an idiot. If I tried something and failed at it, I didn’t have someone to encourage me to try harder. Instead, I had people telling me how useless I was because I couldn’t get it right.

These things stick with you as you grow older. When everything you do is wrong, you start to believe that you, yourself, are a mistake.

How This Affects Me

This feeling of self-hatred affects me in all aspects of my life. How you see yourself affects how you present yourself, after all.

For instance, I tend to have a very giving nature. I say this not to brag, because in my opinion, it’s not exactly something to be praised. The reason for this is that my motives are selfish; I only give to others because I see myself as such a horrible piece of human garbage, that giving something to someone else makes me feel good for just a moment. Like, maybe I’m not that bad. My self-hatred runs so deep, though, that it only lasts a little while. Within minutes I’m back to seeing myself as this horrible, useless piece of trash.

If I make a mistake, I don’t think, “Well, that’s alright, I’ll get it next time.” No, I think, “Ugh, for God’s sake, you are the most useless, talentless piece of shit on the planet. Just stop trying, there’s no point because you’re such an idiot that you’ll never get it.”

This means that everything I try to do I give up on. My husband likes to joke that I think that if I can’t do something perfectly right away, I just can’t do it. He’s right. It took about a week of trying to play the drums (I was told I was a “natural”) before giving up, and the same with the guitar. I’m an alright singer, and I love to sing, but I’m not perfect so therefore I’m awful in my mind.

This constant self-hatred has become my shadow. I live with it day in, day out. I can block it out throughout the day usually, because I keep myself busy, but when everything stops or I have to think about myself, my thoughts usually consist of one or all of the following:

  • You’re so useless.
  • You don’t deserve anything good, ever.
  • Why were you even born? 
  • You contribute nothing to society.
  • You’re selfish and lazy and a terrible wife, friend, etc.
  • There’s really no reason you should even be here. 

The list goes on and on, but you get the drift.

Even with all of these thoughts coming at me on a regular basis, I’m not suicidal. This is definitely a form of depression, but it isn’t crippling and I don’t think about killing myself ever. It’s just that, like, if I were to die I think the world might be a bit better off.

I see myself as this narcissistic, manipulative monster who traps people with false happiness and kindness, when in reality I’m the devil. I want to help people, but I can’t get out of my own way to do so.

The Contradiction

At the same time, I love myself. I have high self-esteem. After marrying one of the most confident, loving and kind men in the world, his self-esteem and constant love and praise has inflated my self-esteem to the point where I actually am a confident person. I’m just a confident person who also hates herself.

My internal thought process goes from, “Hey, I look good today!” to, “Yeah, but you’re a useless piece of shit, so it doesn’t matter.” within seconds. It’s a constant battle of love and hate and it’s all happening in my head all the time. Like a broken record, I repeat the same things over and over.

Final Thoughts

Emotions are complex, and the way we see ourselves is continually affecting our day to day lives. There are those who hold themselves in high regard, who never worry about what they say and do. There are those who live in constant states of depression who think nothing but bad thoughts about themselves. Then there are those like me, who are somewhere in the middle.

I think that to an extent it is good to critique yourself every once in a while, to make sure you’re healthy and that you’re treating others well. The problem is when that critiquing goes from creative to destructive, and that’s where mine is. I don’t just critique – I go in for the kill.

Unfortunately I do not have an answer for those who are going through something similar. I am hardly dealing with it, myself. I can tell you, though, that what helps me the most when I’m feeling down about myself is to tell my husband about it.

He reminds me that how I see myself is completely different than how everyone else sees me, and that I focus too much on the negative and should instead focus on the positive. He reminds me of my good qualities and what he loves about me and these pep talks help immensely. They may not last forever, but they bring my mood and self-thoughts up for a while.

If you’re having a hard time like I am, I suggest finding someone you trust enough to talk about it. I guarantee that you are being harder on yourself than you realize, and that the people you think hate you probably love you dearly.

We all have flaws and no one is perfect. But if you live your life in a way that is kind, empathetic and compassionate, you’re doing good in the world. Whether you see yourself as a monster like I do or you love yourself completely, just be kind to others and live your best life.

And remember, how you see yourself is probably not how anyone else sees you.

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13 thoughts on “The Space Between Love & Hate

  1. I am so glad that your husband is such a wonderful man and has shown you how incredible you are! I love reading your posts and I love communicating with you! I find you to be absolutely amazing and you are very strong. I have not been able to chat with you in a while, I missed you!!
    Living with self hatred is so hard. I can tell you that I am my biggest critic in life and sometimes feel I can not do anything right. I actually used to say that I have MS as some kind of punishment for not being good enough, I know that might sound crazy.
    I really hope things are going well for you!! Please never forget you are a GREAT person!!! Much love, Alyssa!

    • I am so sorry I’ve been MIA lately, Alyssa!! I’ve had a pretty rough month, unfortunately, and have been unable to be here as often as I wanted.

      I’ve truly missed your positivity! I’m fighting with myself more than usual it seems lately, so I’m glad to be back among people who understand me! I intend to jump back into my site with both feet now, so I’ll be around more often!

      Thanks for your kind and uplifting words!! ❤ ❤

      • I was starting to worry about you. I am so sorry it’s been a rough month for you. I hope everything is getting better. I wonder if it’s something in the air.

        You know I am always here for you ♡. I wish I could make it better for you. Please never hesitate to contact me by email anytime, I really hate hearing things have been difficult lately.

        Is there anything I can do for you? Sending you LOTS of love and comfort ♡

      • Thank you so much for your kindness! Things are getting better and I’m feeling better now. I think it will help a lot for me to get back into writing and being a part of this community again. I tend to isolate myself when I’m not feeling well and that’s no good. Having you around will definitely be helpful!

        How are you, by the way? How is work going and being back on the medication? I need to check out your posts since I’ve been gone!

        I really appreciate you! I think I’m okay for now, but I will definitely keep you in mind if things start going south again. ❤ Thank you for being such a wonderful friend!

      • I am so glad to hear that things are getting better. I hate that you went through a bad time. I tend to isolate myself when I am feeling bad and that just makes me spiral into a worse condition. I know we do not live near each other, but I am always here to do what I can for you!

        I have been doing okay. Yesterday was a horrible day. My pain was out of control. I am glad to be back on the Gilenya because I do think it is best for me. Work is going okay. I am slowly increasing my hours. My husband quit his job so we only have my income. It has been VERY stressful. I am trying to stay positive. We are planning to sell our townhouse and move to Greenville, SC soon. We had bought my husband’s grandparents house several months ago but we are starting to make the plan to move. I am looking for a job and I really hope he does as well!!!

        I am glad you know that I will be here for you. If there is ever a time when I do not see anything or hear anything from you, I will make sure to reach out to you!!!! Lots of love to you my sweet friend!!!!

      • It’s crazy how much we’re alike! I know it’s bad to isolate myself, but I just get to a point where I don’t want to bother anyone else with my issues. It’s no good, so I’m glad to know I can reach out to you if I need to! The same goes for you, by the way! You can always reach out to me if you’re having a hard time!

        I’m so sorry to hear about your pain! Are you feeling any better today? I know it can be stressful to live on one income; my husband has been out of work since December, but he’s starting a new job on Monday thankfully. If I can help you out in any way please let me know.

        Oh, wow! How far is Greenville from where you are now? What kind of work are you both looking for? I’m sure you can find something and I really hope it works out for you!

        Thank you so much, it’s nice to know you’re around! 🙂 And again, the same goes for you; if you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me! Lots of love to you, as well! ❤

      • It’s crazy when I try to isolate myself it is for a few reasons. I do not want to bother others with my same issues but I do not want to be bother by anyone else either. I just want to be all by myself which then all I do is think about all the negative! It is a really bad thing to do!

        Greenville is only 2 hours from where we live now. I want to find a job either in HR or some type of customer service. I am really good working with people! He will probably find something working with computers because that is his background. He just hates everything about cooperate america and does not want to work. I had to break it to him, he has to work! I can not do it all on my own.

        Things will work out in their own time. I am that crazy person that believes everything happens for a reason and things just play out the way they are supposed to. Crazy, right?!

        You already have my personal email, right? If not it is alyssabowman81@gmail.com
        Anytime you need ANYTHING at all please email me and I will respond to you quickly! Real quick, last time we chatted weren’t you interviewing at the Mayo clinic?

        I hope the rest of your night goes well!! I look forward to chatting more tomorrow! Lots of love to you!!!!!

      • I’m going to email you tomorrow! The Mayo story is a long one and part of why I was MIA for so long. 😕 I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow! ❤️

      • I am looking forward to your email! You know I think you are absolutely amazing!!! If you want to chat about the Mayo story, I am always here for you! Lots of love sweetie!!

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