Self Loathing Is Common
Self loathing is really more common then most people realize. Often when you are the one with these feelings you can think or feel like you are the only one with self loathing feelings. This is not the case at all. Often, however, when one feels the pain of self loathing it can seem like you are the only one in the universe hurting the way that you are. But remember, things, more often then not, are not merely as they seem or as they feel like they are.
Self loathing knows no boundaries. People who struggle with this issue of self loathing come from all walks of life. The straight, the gay or lesbian, the rich, the poor, all different types of ethnic backgrounds and educational backgrounds as well who live in all different countries of the world.
There are many varied and different experiences and reasons why people end up coming to a realization of and more conscious awareness about their self loathing. Self loathing has its roots often in childhood. However, there are cases where people with healthy self esteem end up in abusive relationships that just erode not only their esteem and worth but also their sense of self. So, some do come to self loathing at any juncture of their adult lives if they are stressed enough for a prolonged period of time and aren't able to address what is having such a negative and destructive impact upon self worth and self esteem.
Self loathing is more than feeling negative about yourself. It is also much more profound a pain and suffering than to only have taken on someone else's teasing, or negative comments, devaluation, and/or judgment of you. To loath is to experience a strong dislike or disgust - an intense aversion and of and for one's self if you are experiencing self loathing. To loath your "Self" is to hate yourself.
The first thing to know and realize, or at least read here about that is that you do not deserve to be hated, by yourself or anyone else. You do not deserve the devaluation of yourself or anyone else. If you are struggling with self loathing, you experiencing a great deal of pain. Some people are more connected to that actual pain then others. Some people just drink or take drugs or overeat or find some other way to block out their feelings if they get anywhere near feeling this poorly about themselves.
The opposite of loathing, strongly disliking, even hating, is liking. Often when people are depressed and/or suffer from various forms of mental illness, are under a great deal of stress, have unresolved self worth and self esteem issues that are long-standing in their lives, they end up feeling either all good or all bad. In the case of self loathing, the feeling is usually and sadly often an all-bad one.
When those who are not fond of themselves, who don't like themselves, get to these all-bad feelings there is often a disconnect inside as to how and why you not only got there but how and why it is that you may well be stuck feeling this self loathing.
Just below under the General Information about Self Loathing section that is still to come I will be writing about how it is that you may well be stuck with this feeling of self loathing and why. I will also write about how to address it. There are many ways to address it. The first thing that will truly benefit you, believe it or not, is to radically accept that you feel as you do. Just surrender to that. Why would I say that? Because the harder you fight something, the more you focus on something such as powerfully painful and negative feelings toward or about the Self in you, the more you are actually fueling all that it is that you aren't coping well with feeling in the first place.
We really do manifest our own experience. You really do have more control over what you may be feeling than you may realize. It's easy to feel like a victim of your own feelings, if you aren't open to thinking past those feelings and to surrendering to them in a radically accepting way, right now, even before you understand the ins and out of them and even as they persist in your here and now. Have faith that you are feeling these feelings and the pain that goes along with self loathing for purposeful reasons that you can and will come to understand more about. Have faith that your life really is unfolding as it "should" meaning that there is a reason for why you are feeling so negative toward yourself. Think of this as a temporary time in your life and these feelings as temporary because you really can and will learn how to change them when you are ready for and open to that change.
"Perfect speed really is just being there." Being "there" fully in your here and now even when, and perhaps especially when it hurts. When we hurt something is trying to get our attention for good reason.
© A.J. Mahari, July 12. 2009 - All rights reserved.
General Information about Self Loathing
Please Note: I will have some general information about self loathing back up very soon. Coming soon: Self loathing and abuse, self loathing and lack of Self, self loathing and negative self talk and much more! -- Thanks! - A.J. Mahari, July 12, 2009
The Origins of SELF-LOATHING In Lesbian and Gays
From the book: "Outing Yourself" by M. Signorile
"Self-loathing can lead to self-destruction. Conversely, self-respect leads to self-enrichment, which is what you are striving for.You may have contemplated or attempted suicide. If you have not yet begun to battle the self-loathing that you have experienced all your life, you may still have those thoughts now.
When you are consumed by self-loathing, you experience a sense of powerlessness and hopelessness. You may feel as if you cannot live any longer unless conditions "out there" change, and yet you sense that it will be impossible to make those conditions change. What you must understand- and tell yourself over and over again-is that while you cannot change conditions "out there," you can attack the feelings inside that are causing you to feel this way. You can fill yourself with self-respect- no mater how many people hate homosexuals, no matter who hates you for being one.
And once you are filled with self-respect, no matter how insurmountable your problems seem, you will never think about self-destruction again.
Before you successfully confront self-loathing, however, you must understand where it comes from. Self-loathing is imposed upon you by the most well-intentioned and inspirational people and institutions in your life: your family, your school, even your house of worship. This is itself difficult to accept: Who wants to believe that the people who love you most-the people who have been most important in your life-would do something bad to you? How, you ask yourself, could the people who care most about you want to make you feel so terrible that you have contemplated destroying your life? These questions are so difficult to comprehend that we dismiss them and begin to tell ourselves that WE are the ones with the problem, that our homosexuality-which we did not choose-is what's wrong. It is precisely at that moment that we cave in to self-loathing: I must be really awful to make them think so ill of people like me. I must never let them know the truth."
So, do so many of us end up with issues of self-loathing based upon how we feel about ourselves first and foremost---NO!! It is my opinion that these feelings are bred in us from an early age. Just because one is lesbian doesn't mean that one is not raised with the same amount of homophobia as the average straight person. It is a generational cycle of beliefs handed down by a dominant and, at times, a rather narrow-minded society dicated by the "majority" out of fear and truely a lack of understanding when it comes to gender and orientation issues.
It takes some women a lifetime to come to terms with what is initially a deeply ingrained pattern of self-loathing. Sadly, the numbers of girls and young women who committ suicide or try many times as a result of the self-loathing brought to bear upon a very misunderstood lesbian orientation, gender, culture and reality. It is every lesbians responsibility to self and to community to rise above all of this and to claim love of self and love of each other and to refuse to give in to or be ill-effected by the fear based hate that the dominant culture still perpetuates and has perpetuated since the beginning of time, essentially.
Claiming oneself, loving oneself, in all of one's lesbian reality is only further complicated when one has been the victim or sexual abuse. This only further serves to deplete one's capacity toward self acceptance and to accentuate one's propensity toward self-loathing, at least initially and up until such time as each women takes it upon herself to heal and to welcome in to herself her lesbian reality and the utter beauty of that nature. It is a stuggle for self-acceptance magnified by so many issues and negative experiences perpetrated most often by the dominant aspects of our culture, patriarchal as it is, fearful and ignorant as it can be, and as abusive as it has shown itself to be for many.
Have and take pride in yourself today. Refuse to continue a pattern of self-loathing. Do not allow the projected hatred and fear or the perpetrated abuse or homophobia (internalized or otherwise) to define who you are any longer.
© January 1997 A.J. Mahari