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Handling criticism… :(

I don’t know how to handle criticism without it shattering my self-image. I know I’m supposed to separate person and actions, so that people criticising for example my handling of a work task, doesn’t automatically become a critique of me as a person. The problem is that I can’t put this into action. Yesterday my boss talked about what we (him and me) could do to prevent errors within my area of responsibility at work. Over and over again he emphasised that he’s not blaming me, he’s also responsible, he said, for not checking up how I’m doing.

I heard him say this, but inside my head I translated it into negative and destructive messages about how I’m not performing satisfyingly. So, today I’ve difficulties with concentrating. I have this feeling of being not able to perform what is expected. And, I must admit that I expect no mistakes and errors on my work. At least no errors of a certain importance. I really don’t know how to change this deep rooted feeling of being “under par”. I’ve had it for all my life (yes, I can remember that I’m at the age of four or five thought that I was worse and of less value than the others in my kindergarten).

From the therapy I’ve done the last years, I’ve learnt that the change is to be made in the way I think about myself. But it doesn’t seem to really work. It works on a certain level, keeping the bad feeling away for a while. Then I enter periods of low self-esteem or a bad self image. Where everything is translated into failures. And in these periods there’s something inside me that’s content and happy – sort of telling me (no, I don’t hear voices) that this is the real me. This is how I’ve been all my life, and that’s never going to really change. The other version of me, the one able to handle failures without breaking down, that’s just me playing and acting a role. Because all the failures, even the ones handled well, pile up in a virtual backpack, and when that’s too heavy I break down and I’m no good at all. I’m not worthy of anything, and I’m not capable of anything… Luckily for me and my surroundings, these periods change, I have good periods and I have bad. Earlier, the bad ones seemed to go on forever, and while they probably changed a bit, I was always on the negative side.

And then there’s the religious perspective to this. I know that I’m supposed to be happy because the Lord loves me and have created me in His picture. But, when I don’t like being me, that’s not easy to be happy about! 😦 I have a certain idea of why I’ve always wanted to be someone other than me. It has do to with my biological father. Although I’ve distanced myself from him the latest years, I’ll always carry some of his genes in my genes, and I’ll always have the “wounds” he inflicted on me in my childhood and youth. (Wounds is put in ” ” because the wounds are not visible, they’re just inside me.) I cannot run, hide or escape from myself, I have to carry this body, face and internal and external features around with me.

I’ve doubled my weight since moving out at the age of 18. But I’m still me, inside there’s still this failure-version of me. I’m actually somewhat afraid of loosing my weight, because that’ll make me more like I was when my father did his things… Having a baby didn’t change my body as much as I’d hoped for. The only sign is the larger tummy (due to badly trained muscles after birth). The stretchmarks may have increased in number, but to be honest, I haven’t noticed. I had a lot of stretchmarks before becoming pregnant due to weight increase. I’ve colored and cut my hair, but the face remains the same. I see the same face, only larger chins, as I’ve done for years. In short, I sort of hate everything about me, everything I’ve had since my youth…

In case you, the reader, got very worried about me, I’d like to add that I’ve applied for more therapy and am currently awaiting response. And I’m never really suicidal because I know that a lot of people would get sad, and I know that the problems will diminish again.

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