finding my self-worth

I watched myself lose my mind and I couldn’t stop myself. Well, at least it felt like I was losing my mind. I watched myself act crazy, going through the motions, and I just didn’t care, at least not enough to stop myself. It was almost like I was watching someone else. I begged someone to confirm my worth. I begged for him to take me back. I offered to change, so he would love me again.

I watched myself beg and plead for love and confirmation of my worthiness. It wasn’t given. “You don’t need me to let you know you’re worthy of being alive.”

I pushed and pushed and pushed for him to hear me and understand me and have compassion. But no amount of pleading can make someone see and feel what they aren’t capable of. I continued to think if I could get him to just once understand me and say “you’re worthy” or “I understand why you'd feel that way” then my worth would be valid. Then I would deserve to exist.

I cracked. And all the lack of self-worth that had built up over years rapidly flowed out in the form of desperate texts, emails and a package at a door.

It was the breaking point. But it had been building up for much longer. At first I thought it had just been building for the last few months. For months I had wondered if he still cared for me. Did the person who talked about spending their life with me, still love me? I envisioned him coming back to me. When he wanted to date me I would be worthy again. As if I had lost my worth along with him.

I've come to realize, with him I gained a false sense of worthiness for a while. With him by my side I had a purpose. I'm still working through this part, but I realized on some level I convinced myself I needed him and the relationship in order to have meaning.

But the thing was, his love was conditional. Conditional love can't help you to find your self-worth.

I thought if I could just dress better and stop wearing cotton t-shirts he’d want me back. If I could own nicer sneakers then he’d value me, and my feelings, more. If I showed up on meet day weighing in less and looking better, then he’d talk to me again.

If I could prove how much I’ve changed then I’d be worthy of his love. If I could be a little less sensitive, communicate more effectively, handle brutal honesty a little better, then he would love me again. But conditional love never lasts. 

So I lost my mind. Or so I thought I did. But I think I reacted how most people would after they’d finally had enough of conditional love.

Because the build up hadn’t started just months ago, it started years ago. Looking back at the majority of my relationships with males, I had always been loved conditionally. Most of the time I hadn’t realized it.

He was right; I don’t need him to let me know I am worthy of being alive. Would it had made me feel better in the moment? Yes. But it wouldn't have solved my self-worth issues for me. I don’t need anyone to let me I am worthy of being alive. I need to start believing it for myself.

As I write this, a part of me is questioning if I’m making excuses “Well he didn’t love me unconditionally so of course I snapped”. I question if others will think the same. But the truth is, it isn’t his fault. Not at all. It’s no one’s fault. My lack of self-worth built up over a long time. For years I let others use me. I allowed them to make me feel small and unworthy. I didn’t walk away at times I should have. But I only started to realize this within the last year. You can't change what you aren't conscious of. But this time around I am conscious. I consciously watched myself lose it, and I'm glad I did.

Something that has built up over 26 or so years can’t be undone in one. I needed this breaking point to realize how bad it had become. And how much work I have to do.

So while a part of me feels like I lost my mind, another part of me feels like I gained it.