There is a huge disconnect between the way I see myself, and the way others do. I don't know how to begin to incorporate 'reality' with my own very skewed perceptions of myself. Sadly, according to my thoughts, I have no value to offer this world. I have an enormous laundry list, in my head, of all of the things I've done wrong, and why I am not good.
I've been talking to my therapist, and, as it turns out, I have spent way too much of my life basing my value on the wrong things. Basically, instead of placing any value in myself and who I am as a person, I placed all of my value in 'things'.
According to my narrow thoughts "I only have value if I get a college degree in a reputable field of study, if I have a job in my field, if I can afford nice things, if I am married, if I am a mother, if I meet & exceed the highest expectations anyone could have for me.....and so on." The list is exhausting, and sadly, the items on it really aren't the things that make me valuable to the world. Besides, in one way or another, I have either denied or lost every single significant item that is on my list of what supposedly gives me value.
Trying to find value in myself and my life feels like an endless struggle. It is beyond tough.
Since I don't see any value in myself as a person, I truly cannot fathom how anyone else can. I have stopped believing people want me in their lives, I have made up stories in my head to convince me why they don't really want me in their lives. I think things like: "they get paid to tolerate me, they just feel sorry for me, they are my family so they have to care."
I have disconnected myself from so many people, things, and even reality, that it is as though I am out on a ledge on one side of a ravine while everyone else in the world is on the other side. I feel so separated.
But, there is good news. My therapist, working with my visual bias for comprehension, explained to me that somehow, there are ropes in place, above the ravine, and if I can find some planks, I can actually start to bridge my way across the ravine.
So, what are these 'planks', and how do I find them?
'Planks' are when I notice that people around me care. It's when someone is nice to me, writes me a note, talks to me about my life, invites me out, calls me in the middle of the night to check on me after I make a comment on Facebook that I am having a panic attack, directly tells me that they care about me, sends me a text message, offers me a place to live, checks in on me, etc.
It's not my job to determine/wonder why they are being nice to me. It's just important that I recognize people care.
Eventually, after I find a great many planks (perhaps it will take years), I will be able to connect to the fact that people care about me, just because I am me. And that, my friends, is reason enough.
Now to find those planks...