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Hatred Begins At Home

March 22, 2014

My therapist asked me yesterday, ‘Why are you so hard on yourself?’ And I really couldn’t come up with an answer and I probably still can’t come up with a total reason for why I’m so hard on myself, but I do have little threads. This is going to sound really Freudian and maybe not even an adequate excuse, but I was never really pushed by my parents. They love me and my brother but they weren’t really the, ‘Go out and get ’em,’ kind of people–they still aren’t. So in the absence of any sort of expectations I was a little adrift on what to expect from myself so I came up with my own expectations and when I invariably fail to meet them I chastise myself endlessly.

Why didn’t you do this?

You could’ve done it this way.

You know that’s not right.

You’re failing yourself and you’re failing those around you.

Those are just a sampling of what goes through my head every day in every conversation in every situation and everything ever. It’s always there. Always. And the funny thing is that I don’t even strive for some warped sense of ‘perfection’, I just strive to do things and if they fail (which they do) I can live with that. Yeeeah….not really used to success.

I can sort of see a pattern emerging. Anyway, I don’t set impossibly high standards for myself, but when I fail to meet my own standards I end up not feeling too proud of myself. Friend’s gift turns into a bust? My fault. Even though she’s assured me a hundred times that it’s their fault, I still feel like an asshole for the audacity to buy a gift that fucked up.

With the anxiety I have a whole new set of ways to screw myself over and namely it has to do with friends and flaking out on them because I can’t go out of the house because I fear imminent doom. Which leads to them seeing me as unreliable and I fucking hate that. If there’s a worse feeling in the world for me it’s being seen as unreliable. Then when I am that way I can criticize myself for that–and rightly so.

The question has never been ‘Why am I so hard on myself?’ but, ‘Why do I constantly feel the need to be hard on myself?’ And your mileage can only go so far in blaming your parents for not making you into this alpha type A personality that takes charge. That’s just not me and that’ll never be me, but I think eventually I can get to the point where I have shades of that in myself and that’s what I’m aiming to do, slowly but surely.

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