Positive Life Changes

piratelady

MyPTSD Pro
In therapy, along with chipping away at the past, we’ve been working on my sense of self-worth. He started by asking me to journal every day with something positive. He kept trying to tell me what a good person I am, who didn’t deserve what happened to me. It triggered me really badly. I thought it was the fact that we touched on the period in my life when I was on my own making really bad decisions. Anyway, after therapy I got really dysregulated. I lashed out at therapist, at my friends here, I self-harmed.

We had to talk about that in therapy of course. He said he noticed that every time he and I start working on making positive changes and positive self-talk, this happens. So he thinks the trigger wasn’t talking about that period in my life, but our focus on positive life changes in the present.

So we are approaching it a little more gently. He wants me to try just saying ‘thank you’ when people compliment me. Then I was to make a list of the things I like doing -like self-care/pampering myself. Also, I was to journal about the standards I hold myself to.

In doing that, I noticed a theme. When it comes to thinking of myself in a positive light , and doing things that would improve my life now I get really upset, combative, and dysregulated. That’s when I usually sabotage myself. The more I think on it, I feel like I don’t deserve the compliments, or to improve my life now. Even things like losing weight, or succeeding in a new job, or starting writing projects I’ve wanted to do. I shouldn’t be doing those things. I deserve misery and loneliness. Anything that might change that is a no-go. I thought it was my perfectionism, but it’s just that I don’t deserve any good that might come from it.

I guess I never noticed before how strongly I felt about that. The realization makes me incredibly sad. I’m going to be 39 soon. That means 30 years after the abuse started, I’m still dealing with this. Can it even be changed? Should I even try? Can one change their core beliefs that have been engrained for that long?
 
Last edited:

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Yes. By being brave enough to look at the patterns and being honest with yourself. That is a very powerful start for many good things to come.

It doesn't change overnight, and sometimes the shifts are so small and random we don't notice them until we find ourselves managing things in a different way.

It's hard for us to internalize someone else telling us we 'deserve' something good. I have found for myself that I had to find that out for myself. Then I could embrace it as the beginning of my new truth.

Keep doing what you are doing. It works. Sending energy to continue to find you!!
 

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
This is probably not exactly helpful, but I personally need to stop thinking. So, though I can't necessarily change or interject a positive (or bear one), absence of negative is something. Especially if I can tie it in to something else, or for someone else or a greater purpose. For example, to think what you write might benefit even one person, who knows, or the job is so stressful just doing what is necessary to either reduce some stress or find other work is needed (regardless of deserving it or it being likely it will be even possible). Sort of the thoughts aligned with getting out from under a fallen tree- just, "How can I get this tree off me?", versus anything too far focused or tied to my worth. 'Doing' and leaving worth out of the equation.

ETA, I read a funny thing, an exercise where for every negative self-slam you had to say 5 positives. And a guy said he had to stop saying anything negative, because he simply couldn't keep up. :laugh:

Best wishes with it. :hug:
 
Last edited:

piratelady

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you @somerandomguy and @ladee

Sort of the thoughts aligned with getting out from under a fallen tree- just, "How can I get this tree off me?", versus anything too far focused or tied to my worth. 'Doing' and leaving worth out of the equation.
This is really helpful and actually makes a lot of sense for me. I think I’ll try that, maybe just with something smaller for now and see where I get. Thank you! :)
I read a funny thing, an exercise where for every negative self-slam you had to say 5 positives. And a guy said he had to stop saying anything negative, because he simply couldn't keep up.
LOL I definitely wouldn’t be able to keep up for very long with this. Therapist said one day we would be coming up with counters to my negative thoughts, but not to worry or stress about it now, that is down the road. I can’t even fathom just thinking negating one negative thought let alone coming up with extra positive things
 

Friday

Moderator
The more I think on it, I feel like I don’t deserve the compliments, or to improve my life now. Even things like losing weight, or succeeding in a new job, or starting writing projects I’ve wanted to do. I shouldn’t be doing those things. I deserve misery and loneliness. Anything that might change that is a no-go. I thought it was my perfectionism, but it’s just that I don’t deserve any good that might come from it.
I don’t understand the concept of deserve... It falls under the same category in my mind as “right to know” or “right to be a concert pianist”... so I take it out of the equation.

- Do I want it?
- Can I earn it? / Can I work for it or towards it?
- How important is it to me? <<< This is a tricky one to me, because the more important something is, the fewer people I can let know that // the more backup plans I need if/when it’s taken away, or used as a weapon against me. >>> But knowing this about myself let’s me work around that. Usually by removing it from view, until I’ve got backups in place... and not talking about anything important to me until it’s fait accompli / already happened.
- Is it fun?
 
Last edited:
The first step towards getting a healthy self-esteem is shutting up the critic inside. You can't even start saying positive things to yourself if your inner critic is still like, "No you're not and here's why." You need to be your own advocate first and get mad at this inner critic voice who talks down to you all the time. Only then can you replace it with a more positive voice. Try reading "Self-Esteem" by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning.
 

piratelady

MyPTSD Pro
Can I earn it? / Can I work for it or towards it?
See, I can answer Yes to this question, then I realize that I shouldn’t because I’m a bad person so I sabotage myself. I think that means that step one is to stop hating myself.
How important is it to me? <<< This is a tricky one to me, because the more important something is, the fewer people I can let know that // the more backup plans I need if/when it’s taken away, or used as a weapon against me. >>>
I can relate to this. There is something I really want to do that I can’t tell anyone about, here or in-person. I actually don’t even want to sabotage it, like it’s not tied to deserving it, but I’m really excited and want to accomplish it, which makes me so very nervous. So nervous that I haven’t even started yet.

Thanks @Backdraft1983! I’ll look into that book :)
 

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @Backdraft1983 . I'm not sure if it's the same for @piratelady but also for me I think there's a component of-what's the word?- incredulity? Like, I wouldn't intellectuality believe anything else I thought wasn't founded in reality, so why would I believe anything else is possible for myself, now? Which I can honestly say is how I feel, ~accept-my-fate-and-choose-accordingly, is how I feel after I try to do differently. Which isn't anger, is agreement woth the IC, but also just seems realistic/ true. (Not sure if that's really about self-esteem :confused: ).
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe you need praise & success & relating & warmth put differently?

As in it's form & intensity people are (not meaning it, but) screwing up by.

I mean I totally take compliments sneaked in mid-speech, short form, let's move to more important (shared) interests.

Tell me a wall of how much I matter to humanity and I'm jumping offa bridge with self loathing. And inability to tell the person off, as I care for them very much & don't wanna hurt them. And more self loathing.

So not always the resistance to content.
Some times the wrap up don't fit the gift / gift ends up seen as danger items.
 
Top