Self-Worth: Can Someone Find It Hard To Accept That They Have Inherent Worth If They Were Abused As A Child?
If someone was told that they have inherent worth, it might be something that sounds good but that could be about as far as it will go. If they were to think deeply about this, they could question how this is so.
This could be due to the fact that they don’t feel good about themselves or feel as though they have value. Consequently, they could say that their worth is something that is defined by what they do.
A Human Doing
If they are doing something or if they have just done something, they could feel valuable. Thanks to this, if they haven’t done anything for a while, they are likely to experience negative feelings.
In order for them to feel good about themselves, then, they will need to more or less be constantly doing something. If they don’t, they will be swamped by painful feelings and it will be unbearable.
If they were to reflect on their life, they may see that they have been this way for as long as they can remember. Quite simply, they won’t have a felt sense of worth and this is why they will be a human doing as opposed to a human being.
For them to truly be able to just be, they will need to have a felt sense of worth and safety, as this will allow them to relax. Without this, it will take a lot of effort for them to relax and they are unlikely to be truly at ease.
A Natural Outcome
So, as they typically only feel good and of value when they are doing things, it is to be expected that they will experience life in this way. Living in this way is likely to be exhausting but it will make it easier for them to keep their uncomfortable feelings at bay.
If they were to just be, they could into contact with toxic shame, feel worthless and even experience self-hate. Ergo, the view that they have ‘inherent worth’ might be something that sounds good, but it won’t be seen as the truth.
The society that they live in could also back up this view, with their value being seen as something that they earn and buy. When it comes to the former, this can be something that takes place by them gaining qualifications, material items and having the right job.
As for the latter, this can be something that takes place by them wearing the right designer labels. Although they won’t need to jump through any hoops to have these clothes, they might need to jump through a number of hoops to be able to afford them.
There is the chance that they have done their best to gain certain qualifications, have the ‘right’ material items and work at certain jobs as a way to feel of value. They may have also spent a lot of money on designer clothes over the years.
By lacking a felt sense of value, it will have been normal for them to believe that jumping through these hoops will allow them to finally feel of value. Yet, if they have gone down this path, they most likely won’t have felt much different or if they did, it probably didn’t last.
What’s going on?
If this is how their life has been for as long as they can remember, it could show that their early years were not very nurturing. Still, if they were to think about this stage of their life, they might be able to remember a great deal.
What this is likely to show is that their brain has blocked out what took place to protect them from the pain that they experienced. This may have been a time when they were abused and neglected.
A Closer Look
They may have often been verbally, emotionally and/or verbally abused and often ended up being isolated. Being treated in this way would have greatly wounded them and as they were egocentric, they would have automatically personalised what took place.
As a result, they would have come to believe that there was something inherently wrong with them – their true self. However, the truth is that they were not treated in this way because there was something inherently wrong with them; it was because of what was going on for their caregivers.
The issue is that at this stage of other life, they were like a sponge; just about everything would have gone in. Now that they are an adult, they will only be able to accept what matches up with what is taking place inside them.
This is why, if they were loved and treated like a valuable being at this stage of their life, they would know, at the core of their being, they are valuable now that they are an adult and would be able to accept positive feedback. Hearing this as an adult, as their felt sense of worth is not in place, will just sound irrational.
In other words, their minds filter would not have been up during this time but now it will be and they will reject the good that comes their way. If this filter had been active very early on, they would have been able to reject the rubbish that others directed at them.
To move forward, there will be beliefs for them to question and emotional wounds for them to heal. As they work through the pain that is held in their body, they will gradually be able to accept that they have inherent worth.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, 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.