When it comes to whether or not someone has a felt sense of their own worth, it can all depend on what their early years were like. Now, this is not to say that if someone’s early years were not very nurturing, it won’t be possible for them to develop it as an adult.
The truth is that this is something that can be developed at any stage of their life; however, in order for this to take place, they would first need to realise that they haven’t developed self-worth. Of course, without the awareness that there is an issue, there will be no reason for them to do anything about it.
But, even if someone isn’t consciously aware of the fact that they don’t value themselves, this is still likely to be something that will have a big effect on how they behave. In this case, what is going on for them will have a massive effect on their life.
For one thing, it could be normal for them to feel low and they could even spend a lot of time feeling depressed. This could be how their life has been for a very long time, meaning that it might not even occur to them that they have the tendency to be this way.
At times, they may do or consume something that will enable them to avoid how they feel for a short period of time. If what they do doesn’t make them feel better, at the very least, it will allow them to put how they feel to one side.
In general, this could be something that just happens. Therefore, they won’t consciously think about what they can do to change their inner world; they will just end up doing something.
A Strong Need
A large part of their life could be dedicated to pleasing others, with this being a way for them to experience positive feelings. Once again, they might not consciously be aware of what they are doing.
A lot of what they do is then not going to be in alignment with their true needs; it will be a way for them to meet the needs of others. There is a strong chance that they are rarely even aware of their own needs.
A Critical Voice
The voice inside their head couldn’t continually lay into them and, in one way or another, tell them how bad they are. Due to how long this voice has undermined them, it might not occur to them that this is basically an intruder.
This voice could be seen as their own conscience. It is then not that it is there to undermine them; it is that it is there to make sure that they don’t do or say anything bad or inappropriate.
An Empty Vessel
Ultimately, as they were not given the care that they needed to during their early years, they wouldn’t have been able to develop in the right way. So, in addition to not having a felt sense of self-worth, they might not have a felt sense of self-love either.
One is then going to look whole on the outside, but they won’t feel whole on the inside. They will have had a physical birth but as they didn’t receive the love and nurturance that they needed, they won’t have had an emotional birth – something that would have allowed them to create a strong sense of self.
A Rough Time
This may have been a time when they were abused and neglected on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Thus, they wouldn’t have been seen as a special and valuable human being; they would have been treated like dirt and seen as a burden.
What took place, along with what didn’t, would have caused them to develop a very negative view of themselves, others and the world as a whole. They can believe that they are not worthy of life, something that will prevent them from knowing that they have as much right as anyone else to be here.
It Didn’t Start With Them
When it comes to the experience that they had, there is a chance that their caregivers also had a similar experience. It could go back even further than this, too, with their caregivers also having gone through something similar.
What this will illustrate is that one was not treated badly because they are inherently bad or flawed; it is because they were brought up by people who were deeply wounded human beings. These people were unable to heal their own wounds, hence why they ended up going from victims to perpetrators.
It is likely to that their caregivers disconnected from their wounds but even though they did this, what they were not aware of would have controlled them. Coming to terms with the fact that their own caregivers mistreated them might have been too hard for them to handle.
To maintain their idealised image of their caregivers and to keep their own pain at bay, they would have been destined to repeat what was done to them. Like their caregivers before them, the next generation would have been held accountable for what was done to them – this can be seen as indirect revenge.
This shows how important it is for someone to heal their inner wounds, so that they can put an end to abusive behaviour. What they experienced as a child didn’t start with them but it can certainly end with them.
With that said, if one is ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.
Child Abuse And Neglect - How To Heal From Child Abuse And Neglect