You Are NOT Inherently Bad

This is a little long so I’ll paraphrase and you can read the rest if you’d like:
I feel like a horrible person a lot of the time despite never having done anything that society deems “wrong” (basically hurting myself or another person) simply because my mother has always instilled within me the belief that I am the devil. But that is absolutely ridiculous and I need to stop seeing myself as inherently bad because of what an insane woman believes. Instead, I need to look at myself the way I look at someone I really love and judge myself as I would him or her (as a basically good person). You need to do this too because hating yourself based on unfounded, cruel things your parent or spouse said to you is wrong. You shouldn’t let them hurt you even when they aren’t there. It’s difficult, but try to see yourself the way someone who loves you sees you.
Here’s the long version:
I have a lot of trouble with feeling guilty. If I ever do anything I perceive as “wrong” (mostly just not doing exactly what someone else wanted), then I just feel like the most awful human being. So, I’m trying not to think that taking a rain check on plans or cooking a bad meal pushes me over the cliff into being worthless and destructive. I was doing some research by Googling “I deserve to be happy” and what I found was really interesting: all the the articles were about forgiving yourself for something very hurtful you had done (cheating, drug addiction, whatever). So, I realized that a normal person feels guilt when they’ve done something wrong (and obviously you still deserve to be happy even if you’ve made mistakes), but it’s very different than how a victim sees things. I’ve never been in any sort of trouble, I did well in school, I have a lot of friends, so I don’t have any huge regrets weighing me down. I simply believe that I’m the devil because that’s what my mum told me. And I’m guessing this is true for anyone with an abusive spouse or parent.
Now that I’ve realized this, I think it’ll be a lot easier for me to feel better. When I start to feel guilty, I can think “What have I actually done wrong? If someone I love did the same thing, would I think he or she deserved to feel this awful?” Looking at my actions on someone I respect has been really helpful for me in general, because it allows me to be objective about whether or not what I’ve done is acceptable. If I examine my behavior only on myself, I am irrationally harsh because I factor in my “inherent evil.” But I’m not inherently evil and neither are you. Even people who do really terrible things are still people and deserve love. So, why should it be any different for me just because my mother supposedly could see the devil inside me. She’s just insane. And I know that objectively but when I get all wrapped up in guilt I completely believe her analysis of me. So, I’m going to be strong and examine my feelings so that I will eventually (but hopefully soon) understand that I am just fine as I am.

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2 thoughts on “You Are NOT Inherently Bad

  1. “If anyone I love did the same thing, would I think they should feel this awful?” This is really helpful in helping to get rid of the “demonized” feeling that our parents (in my case my mother) put on us. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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