>less than<


(Trigger Warning)

It was an extremely emotional time for me last night at my recovery group meeting. The topic was “Facing the Mother wound.”But before I go any further let me stop and start here.  All of my life from my earliest memories, which are not very early,  I have felt, for the lack of a better term, “less than.” I struggle to think of a time when I ever felt that I fit in, that I was truly a member of the gang, one of the guys, that I had found my tribe.  I always felt less than, like I didn’t measure up, that I didn’t belong.  Even today with forty-four plus years in the adult world I still struggle with finding my place, feeling that I am worth anything, that I matter to anyone.  It is a horrible, horrible painful existence that I share with pretty much no one.  This is about as much as I have ever talked about this with anyone other than my therapist and I gotta say the tears are flowing like a river.

It takes so much energy to get up every day and act like everything’s normal, Ok.  It is not OK and I have no idea what normal really is? I’m on a roller coaster, either on the summit or in a dip ,a low from which I am never sure I will ever climb out.  The transitions are all too short and nothing that I could categorize as normal, I’m not sure I would recognize it if I saw it.  And with all of this going on in my head I still served honorably in the Navy and retired from twenty-five years in law enforcement with numerous decorations and a Life Saving Citation of which, I think I am most proud.  I wonder what that young man did with his life after we took the knife off of him.

I struggle a lot, always in my head where no one can see. Rejection is my enemy and HSP me sees it everywhere.  Over the years the “You can’t do anything right” that I learned from my father evolved into you won’t do anything right, you won’t be successful, you are not supposed to be happy, you don’t deserve anything and finally to Life Sucks and then you Die. And even though as a christian I know in my head that it is a lie straight from the pits of hell, that message has yet to get to my heart. Today I am trying to wrap my head around and accept the fact that I have mental health diseases called depression and anxiety.  It would be more acceptable and easier to explain if I had Leprosy.  The fact that I still manage to function and hide it so well probably doesn’t help.  And then there is that whole Christianity thing that says christians are supposed to be above mental illness, what a crock of @#&%!  Jesus Suffered!  What more do I need to say! Oh, how about this, Jesus Wept!

So, back to the group last night.  When I was reading the homework assignment I was a bit confused, after all, my issues are with my father.  The reading was basically about early childhood development, concerning the first three years of life and especially the first year when most of the mother/child bonding takes place and the infant developes its’ “sense of being.” I got along fine with my mom, no memories of abuse, neglect etc. Then my eyes were opened with some slides that the group leader had us read out loud at the beginning of the meeting.  The last slide really spoke to me on two points, the first being that women are rarely mentally/emotionally healthy and capable of really bonding with their child and imparting a healthy “sense of being” when they are married to a spouse who is not mentally /emotionally healthy themselves. And secondly that broken people marry broken people (with exceptions of course).  My eyes were opened  Then I remembered when my therapist asked me if my mother was very affectionate? Whoa! Not so Much!  I mean she wasn’t mean or any of those other things but I can’t say that in those first fourteen years of my life that my needs for love and acceptance were really met.  And that reminds me of how I didn’t receive any therapeutic help after my suicide attempt at age sixteen,  I don’t blame my mom, I know she loved me but she had her hands full, a single mother with four kids who lost her husband while serving overseas in a foreign country. The man she married shortly before I made the suicide attempt turned out to be an alcoholic.  Yea, she had it rough, all of us did. All of this should be enough to remind me that we live in a lost and broken world.

As we wrapped up for the evening we broke up into groups to pray for each other. I requested prayer for revelation concerning my mother but my small group leader, pointing to and tapping on the note I had written in the margin of the homework, “less than!” said he felt led to pray over this. I lost it, I sobbed and shuddered for ten minutes while he and other laid hands on me and prayed for me. I am sobbing and shuddering even now, last night all over again, as I type these words. Why is it so hard for me to open my heart to receive the love that my Father in Heaven has for me?  I don’t know but his I do know, when the tears are gone it feels good, at the very least a little bit of the weight, the pain and suffering is gone. I have come to realize this is a process and it will take some time so I want to leave you with this, the inspiration for my blog name:

Psalm 40:1-3  The Living Bible 

40 I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in him. 



11 thoughts on “>less than<

  1. Oh, precious brother. We are going to have some great conversations this spring about this journey we’ve been on.

    It is indeed a long, at times difficult process to look back and accept the things that kept us from moving forward. But the reward is JOY. And you are well on your way to Joyville.


  2. Great post hun-very raw and heartfelt and vulnerable. It takes courage to be vulnerable, and like you, I also felt very much “less than” other people, for almost all my life, probably only until last year. I do think your emotionality and attachment issues do point closer towards BPD traits rather than just HSP, but that’s just a personal opinion and I’m not a professional. I think that psalm at the end is very inspirational and it is lovely that you shared how it inspired your blog in the first place 🙂 Tears are essential hun. Crying, crying and more crying for everything that you suppressed- beginning to let it go is not a sign of weakness-what is weaker is sticking your fingers in your ears and ignoring it all and turning to crappy coping strategies that only temporarily numb it. Courage is facing up to the pain and building new reparative relationships that give you a little of what you missed out on in childhood. You can never completely fill the void that was left, but you can progress. I believe in you bud 🙂

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  3. This post touched me so, so deeply. Tears are still a foreign thing to me. I have such a hard time letting them fall. I have always felt as you have described here. Less than, not good enough, completely inadequate, and worthless. My father sent me an email this week telling me that I am really good at destroying people’s lives, am borderline psychotic, and am completely responsible for the destruction of my family and the depression and downfall of my sister who is an alcoholic and drug addict…all this because I dared to speak truth about the past abuse he and inflicted upon me and my mother allowed to happen. It’s hard for me to find worth when I am still in the throws of the abuse…and I know the scars remain for a very long time, as you describe. I understand your struggle with God and accepting the love He freely gives. How do we do that when we learned love was conditional or we are directly told we don’t measure up? Conditional love is something we need to unlearn first so we can relearn how to accept and be loved by God, I think. But in the process there is GRACE. He is patient. He never leaves us and He never changes so we know He will be eagerly awaiting our acceptance of this remarkable gift. This gives me hope for healing. It leaves no pressure to perform or be something unattainable by someone else’s measure that could make me feel less than. You are so right, that thinking comes straight from the evil one. Your emotions are so raw and honest and authentic here. I can see you are truly searching for healing and restoration. I feel strongly you will find it. You are ok. Together we must remember not only do we battle our own flesh but also the firey darts of Satan. We must put on our armor each morning and expect to fight a spiritual battle as well. Our weapon is knowing who we are in Christ and what he tells us we are to HIM. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
    Peace to you, Barney. I will be praying for you.

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