As you can imagine I believe this comes from a deep-rooted insecurity that's been clinging to my back for, well, as long as I can remember. I can't ever remember being totally comfortable with myself in any situation, and because I am usually repulsed by my own presence I assume that everyone else feels the same way. Usually when someone agrees to hang out with me (for whatever reason) I give them ample opportunity to escape
I had an epiphany about this a few days ago. Simply put, when I apologize for being me I am granting power over my life to someone else. I am allowing some other person--even if they don't realize I'm doing it or have malicious intentions--to control what I think and how I feel about myself. And perhaps more illogically, I'm thereby making the assumption that that person isn't dealing with their own shit and trying to figure out life themselves.
It's as if I think that they can define me better than I can define myself.
My epiphany led me to the question of why I let this happen and why I let myself think this way. I tried to remind myself that if I was really as repulsive as I imagine, I probably wouldn't have an amazing husband that astounds me every day with his kindness and understanding. I probably wouldn't be as successful as I am in my job. I probably wouldn't have the great friends that I do have. My life is full and my life is happy, and it's time I come to fully appreciate it.
So because I love lists, here is a list of things I need to work on toward this end:
- I need to work on taking control of my life and of the image I have of myself. This is the only life I have and I spend far too much time acting like I'm going to get yelled at at each turn.
- I need to learn to truly love myself. To not self-deprecate, even in jest, and to not treat myself any harder than I would treat another.
- I need to stop the dysmorphia and to stop assuming that other people understand me better than I understand me.
- I need to stop letting the dysmorphia define me. I am not defined by my magnified flaws, but by the entire person that I am.
- I need to let go of toxic people in my life. This is a whole post in and of itself, but in the past I have typically been drawn to toxic, damaged people who suck out the best of me and turn their backs when I most need them. I need to fill my life with friends who appreciate who Caitlin is.
- I need to take care of myself.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
~ Eleanor Roosevelt