Miss Information

I've lost forty pounds, but I still hate myself. What can I do?


by Cait Robinson

Have a question? Email missinfo@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content, and clarity.

Dear Miss Information,

About a year ago, I sent in a letter about my crappy dating situation and my struggles with losing my virginity. The advice was pretty sound: getting out and meeting people, trying a dating site or two, losing weight, and seeing a therapist. I followed it, and now I'm in a different position than I was a year ago. I'm in graduate school, I'm working full-time, I've joined a Muay Thai class, I'm dating online, and I lost about forty pounds.

The only problem: after about a year of therapy, I came to the realization that I do not like myself... at all. I'm generally pretty hard on myself, but I had a painful realization of how much I cannot stand about myself, even though I'm going in a pretty positive direction. I know that liking yourself and having positive self-esteem is essential before starting a relationship, but I can't seem to find the strength to do that for myself. That little voice in my head just turns everything into crap.

I guess the question is: exactly how doomed to be alone am I? I'm twenty-four, so yeah, I'm young, but I feel like a late bloomer. I've tried dating sites, and when I don't get a response, I feel pretty shut down and unable to go on. I wrap myself in work to avoid failing and flailing around in relationships. Am I doing everything wrong or is this just my fate? Am I damned to never have intimacy because of my intense self-loathing? 

— Man v. Self

Dear Man v. Self,

The timing isn't always right for romantic relationships; sometimes other pursuits take precedence. Some people stay single for months, or even years, while working on themselves. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. You ask if you're condemned to be lonely — I argue that you're doing just the opposite. Stabilizing yourself is the best possible investment you can make into your future relationship success.

You've invested so much work into turning yourself around that discounting all of that progress simply because you don't see a relationship on the horizon is selling yourself short. We all have finite amounts of energy. You are totally allowed to pour your energy into yourself and only yourself right now. It may be no surprise that there isn't much left over for a relationship, and that's fine. 

It sounds like you're doing all of the right things; now you just have to keep plugging. A relationship will click when the time is right. Give yourself permission to put aspirations of a relationship on hold while you turn your energy inwards. And, for the record, the "late-bloomer/old virgin" stigma is outmoded and dumb. Any woman of substance will care far more about you — not to mention your radical self-invention and the strength of character that entails — than how many people you've slept with.

In the meantime, examine your non-romantic relationships. What kind of messages are you getting from friends and family? Are you being generally supported? If any voices are fueling your self-loathing — a nay-saying father, a subtly-undermining sister, or sardonic friends — examine those closely. When you're working so hard on yourself, it's especially important to limit any relationship that doesn't strengthen you. 

Many of us go through periods of cocooning before re-invention. Believe it or not, that discomfort might be evidence that you're on the right track.

Dear Miss Info,

I recently met a guy, and we immediately hit it off. He's not the type I'd usually be attracted to, but I guess that's what makes hooking up with him so exciting. We recently had a conversation about having sex (we've only gone to third so far) and he a dropped a huge surprise on me. Apparently, because he wasn't circumcised as a kid, it takes him much longer to orgasm than the average male. Now, maybe he was saying this to turn me on, but honestly, it's a bit intimidating. I haven't had sex that much, and it still hurts at times, so the prospect of having to go through forty minutes of semi-intense pain while he flops around on top of me is not too appealing. What can I do to make that experience less awful? Lube? Vicodin?

— I'm Pathetic

Dear I'm Pathetic (no, you're not),

A friend of mine, a chronic oversharer, had a similar problem to your dude. Then he got a dick piercing. He wanted it for aesthetic reasons, but says he's experienced much more sensitivity ever since. All right, problem solved!

Obviously, that is a joke. I'm not suggesting that anyone pierce anything, because... ouch. What I mean is, his "problem" is more common than he might think, and doesn't doom you to an interminable sexual encounter. My now-pierced friend confirmed what I already suspected: if you know it takes you a long time to come, you get creative. 

What will really save you here is communication. If he's paying attention, he won't be "flopping around on top of you" while you count the ceiling tiles. You two may be on different timetables, but that's something couples often have to work out in the beginning stages. Give it a shot. If it gets uncomfortable for you, back off from penetration and move to something else: oral, handjobs, mutual masturbation. The first few times, as with any time you sleep with someone new, may be a little awkward, but it's a matter of learning to read each others' bodies. You may learn that he needs a head start (oh, pun not intended), or that his longevity issue is really overstated, and that it doesn't turn out to be a problem at all. Ask him what's worked in the past, and plan on lengthier foreplay. Chemistry will surprise you, so don't believe the worst-case scenario.

It's great you're being proactive, but your half-joking questions — "Vicodin? Make this less awful?" suggest you're at least partially dreading the encounter. Remind yourself that you aren't in this alone. Sex shouldn't be you dosing yourself, taking deep breaths, then enduring the inevitable. Speak up if something is uncomfortable or not pleasurable, and trust your guy to pay attention and make adjustments. Nobody needs to lie back or think of England. If you think this is really how the encounter is going to play out — i.e. if you don't trust or like the guy enough to believe it'll be good — then maybe consider whether you want to do this at all.

Commentarium (37 Comments)

Jan 08 12 - 4:38am
Alex

Man Vs. Self,

I understand. And while Miss Information makes some decent points, I think you need better advice.

Four years ago I was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. After chemo, and radiation, and a year in the hospital, I survived. Yet afterwards, with my family's excitement, when I had every reason to be happy, I hated myself. I hated my body, hated my inversion to people, and most of all I hated the fact that I wasn't what I used to be, or something that I should be. Sometimes it doesn't matter how many people tell you you've on a good track (here's where I enter my plug for the depression drug I'm slanging. Without side effects!).

What I want to tell you is what helped me when I was 22, and balder than my father.

You're focused on yourself. I don't mean in an angsty, teenage, OMG if I get one more lip hair I am literally going to Elliott Smith myself (well maybe ,I don't know you). I mean in the same way most adults are. You do things to improve your life, like exercising, and going to school, and being social. And those are good, great, actually. Keep it up. I wanna know how much you do for other people.

It's easy to look in the mirror and not like what you see, or who you are. It's much more difficult to give the Ross Geller to your bathroom medicine cabinet and go affect other's lives in a positive way. Get away from yourself and those constant self-defeating thoughts. Volunteer at a children's hospital, or a homeless shelter, or whatever you believe would be a good use of your time. If you think it's too much of a social challenge to put yourself out there, start slow. Bring cookies to your neighbor. Lame, I know. It is so un-hipster. Maybe you don't even know your neighbors, or they are meth-heads, it doesn't matter. My point is, focusing energy on a cause other than yourself and your dating profile will probably help you realize the well-being you can bring to others. And when you see those smiles, unless you are Ann Coulter, you are bound to feel good about yourself, even if it doesn't last. That's what day 2 is for.

I have more to say but it's all reinforcing the same idea: boost your self-esteem through helping others. Let the trickle down effect the rest.

Lastly, let's not forget depression. It's real, you know that. F the stigma, get help if you need. You might be surprised how you feel when the chemicals are aligned.

Sincerely,
Alex

Jan 08 12 - 6:07am
Eloise

This is great advice! Wish the best for you and your journey though life.

Jan 08 12 - 11:49am
Sass

Agreed. I dealt with depression and anxiety throughout high school that made me absolutely afraid of getting close to anyone of the opposite sex. I hated myself and couldn't stand the thought of putting my self-loathing problem on someone else. It became worse in college, and I ended up taking a year off and going through a lot of therapy to get over it. Once I had sorted through the worst of my issues, what really made the change was the meds. I know people hate to think that they can't just "get over it," but the most effective treatment for depression is therapy + medication.

Once I did that, I started a new job working with people with brain injuries, and found it so rewarding. I went back to school, finished my degree and I'm so much happier.

I started slow with dating too, went on match.com to get my feet wet at 19, then started going out more to meet people. I didn't find a boyfriend until I was almost 22, and he was almost 25 and had never had a serious girlfriend either. Although my fears that I'm "not good enough" still bubble up, my boyfriend has been incredibly understanding and encouraging, and we get through it. We deserve to be happy, and I don't think it's ever too late.

Jan 08 12 - 9:05pm
Amanda

As someone who has struggled with self-loathing and the inability to make those "real" changes I thought would make me happy, I think this is great advice. I also started to come to realize that there are somethings about myself that I could never change and that's ok. Focus on developing real friendship, seeing myself reflected in others has really helped.

Jan 10 12 - 9:12pm
CaitRobinson

This is great advice--and thanks for taking the time to weigh in. Plugging in to other people does wonders to remind you of your humanity. (*I wrestled with that line for several minutes and can't think of a less cheesy way to say it.) My point stands: well done! Thank you.

Jan 08 12 - 6:13am
Betty

For Man vs. Self: The line "I've tried dating sites, and when I don't get a response, I feel pretty shut down and unable to go on" jumped out at me. As a woman who used to frequent dating sites, I can say that I was getting enough responses from guys to the point that I didn't check out guys' profiles unless they sent me a message that piqued my interest. I've heard similar stories from my friends, too. Talking to women on dating sites is pretty much a numbers game: if a woman's getting 5-10 messages a day, don't take it personally if she doesn't get back to yours, just write to another woman instead.

Jan 08 12 - 9:59am
ibg

Um, I live in a country where no one is circumsized, and judging by my experience, sex with uncircumsized men does not take a long time. At all. So if your friend in fact takes a long time to orgasm, it's not because of him not being circumsized solely.

The first guy should read "Intimate Connections" by David Burns...working on superficial stuff is a good start but you have to do work on your inner self in order to really attract others.

Jan 08 12 - 12:48pm
LV

Yeah, what's with the whole uncircumsized = less sensitive claim?
Maybe the guy is just self conscious that it takes him longer to come and tries to rationalize it to his partners that way. But seriously, it has nothing to do with it. Everyone's just different!

Jan 08 12 - 1:21pm
anz

I currently have two partners, both uncircumcized. One usually takes a really long time to come (more on that below) the other . . . sometimes kinda finishes a little too quickly. So, my highly scientific sample set of 2 says that the average uncut guy takes . . . an average amount of time to come! But seriously, I don't think the cut-ness really has anything to do with it. The partner who takes a long time really enjoys sex and is highly sensitive--it just takes him a while. I really enjoy this, and the fact that an hour+ session is likely to involve oral, hand jobs (for both of us), multiple positions, and such, with little breaks in between. It doesn't have to be 60 minutes of straight-up pounding. Have him go down on you while he strokes himself. Go down on him. Stroke each other. Fuck a bit. Then sit back and watch while he strokes himself some more (get yourself off a couple more times while you're at it). And so forth. You may find that 40 minutes is just the beginning!

Jan 08 12 - 11:18am
arc

Hey Man v. Self,

I have a friend who is in quite a similar situation to you. Echoing Alex above, you sound like you are depressed or certainly have tendencies toward depression. Are you still in therapy? If not, it might be a good time (much as you might think it looks like a defeat, it looks like failure) to go back and confront this stuff with someone else.

Also, although I think Alex's advice is great, don't expect to forget yourself totally when you get absorbed in other people. You're still you, with you, and while it's important to be able to be with other people, it's important to be able to be by yourself, too.

And don't be fatalistic. You're condemned to nothing.

I know it's scary. You've done great things so far. Go well.

Jan 08 12 - 11:23am
MentalEngineer

Man vs. Self,

It's time you changed therapists. Having been there myself within the past year, your letter read like a classic case of depression. "Doomed to be alone" is a pretty clear sign to me. If your therapist hasn't seen the signs clearly enough to give you an official diagnosis and help beyond therapy, then you need a new one. If medication is your worry, I second Alex's statement: it really is surprising how different things look with your brain chemistry in a better place. Personally, I only needed medication for a few months to break the logjam, and then I was able to continue the process without it.

This is something you can turn around, but you can't try and make your romantic life work without repairing the totality of yourself first, or at least getting started.

Jan 08 12 - 1:05pm
Cannabear

For Man v. Self, you indicate that you are in therapy, but do not mention a specific diagnosis or medication. There are many significant disorders that are often concurrent with (or misdiagnosed as) depression or anxiety. No one can diagnose you on the basis of a letter to an advice column, but because you have a profound sense of your self-loathing, I'm wondering if you've explored the possibility of a personality disorder with your therapist? Personality disorders can be much harder to treat than depression or anxiety, but since they respond better to different therapeutic strategies, it might be worth doing some independent research and discussing the possibilities with your therapist. Whatever you're working through, congratulations on taking positive steps to improve yourself. Personally I am a big believer in the therapeutic benefits of exercise - good job with the Muay Thai.

Jan 09 12 - 12:32pm
JS

I'd really recommend looking into cognitive behavioral therapy. It's a validated treatment for depression but can be used without that diagnosis in a goal-oriented, systematic approach to teach you to recognize, examine and change your immediate thoughts, emotions and behaviors in response to a particular situation. Here's some more info about it: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=About_Treatments_and_Supports&t...

Jan 11 12 - 5:24pm
AlexT

Ditto on the cognitive behavioral therapy. Sometimes, you can't just ignore negative inner monologue; you have to go so far as to tell it to STFU and deliberately think of something positive to go in its place. Sometimes the brain is like a record that's stuck in a particular groove (Or a scratch in a DVD, for you youngsters) that makes it play a certain loop over and over. A deliberate stop and change in behavior is needed to replace the negativity/obsessive thought with something else.

Jan 13 12 - 12:09am
BFF

I third the recommendation for cognitive behavioral therapy. It doesn't have any of the nasty side effects of drugs, is incredibly effective, and teaches you some pretty important life skills to boot.

Jan 08 12 - 1:28pm
Hang in There!

Man versus Self,

Dude, look at how far you have come! You should be insanely proud of yourself! As the ever brilliant Cait says, any woman worth her salt will NOT give a damn about your romantic past. Hang in there!

Jan 09 12 - 12:02am
Srrrh

I second this!! Seriously, I remember reading your last letter and really hoping you would find happiness. Keep working at it, you'll get there. And agreed with the poster above who says we can't diagnose you based on your letter alone. We're just readers like you (whoa, PBS flashback). Don't get more down on yourself, keep getting help, change it up if it's not working, and keep us posted!

Jan 08 12 - 2:35pm
Litsa

Cait, you're a wonderful writer and you give spot-on advice. It's deceptively hard to do either and you consistently do both. Also, I enjoy that while you're funny, you never turn someone's vulnerability or pain into the punchline. Another great column.

Jan 10 12 - 9:21pm
CaitRobinson

Thank you!

Jan 08 12 - 2:42pm
JCF

Man v. Self, first of all, grad school can be really nasty on relationships even when they started out as well-established ones. So keep in mind you've already got that going against you, but fortunately, grad school doesn't last forever. Second, everyone has this little voice in their head criticizing them and reminding them of all the stupid things they've done in their lives, no matter how unimportant they are now. Learn to take control and dismiss this voice when it appears. I find that if I hold a "finger-gun" to my head and pretend to shoot it, it goes away. Though I can only do that when no one is watching, of course. Anyway, you're on the right track. Just keep going. Oh, and that advice the other commenter had about making delicious cookies to share with other people works wonders!

Jan 08 12 - 4:51pm
Hart

Man v. Self-
I recently got out of a relationship with a person very similar to yourself. He was also in grad school, previously lost a significant amount of weight and had a somewhat limited relationship history. I was and am still completely in love with him. The relationship ended for several reasons, but I believe the primary being that he had a similar sense of self-loathing and "I'm destined to be alone" mentality. He needed to work on being happy with himself before he could be with me. With all of that said, even though the relationship has "ended", it was completely fantastic. Our connection was intense and the sex was incredible. After being with him, I truly feel that I do not want to be with anyone else. I'm willing to wait while he works on himself and finishes school.

You also sound like a gem, someone a girl would love and have patience for. But as much as a lady may love you, she can't make you love yourself. I'm willing to bet that with a little (better) therapy and treatment for your apparent depression, the girls will come running. Keep up the great work on yourself and have hope for the future, because there are plenty of women out there who will love you.

Jan 13 12 - 12:24am
BFF

Dear god, this happened to me too and getting over him and letting him go was the most difficult thing ever. One of the things I told him when we parted ways was, "Please learn to love yourself before getting into another relationship so that you don't keep hurting yourself and other people with your self-sabotage." The thing is, I understand what he (and you, LW1) are going through because I went through that myself. I did the whole metamorphosis thing, went to therapy (which included cognitive behavioral therapy as I mentioned in a comment above, by the way), lost 50 lbs, and still hated myself until one day several months into therapy when I had a kind of breakthrough realization at work. That was the exact moment that I started to stop hating myself, and after I achieved that escape velocity my mental landscape improved rapidly. Shortly thereafter I met the guy who had the same issue and ended up leaving me, but the fact that I was even able to have that kind of a relationship was a major step for me, and I've since met someone who is much more stable and loving and secure in himself. So yeah, obviously the life changes and weight loss were necessary, but the real mental and emotional change didn't happen until several months later--almost a year, I think.
I hope that both you, LW1, and my ex can find that that same inner grace and peace.

Jan 08 12 - 5:45pm
dahlia

Dear I'm Pathetic,
I really urge you to take Miss Information's advice about communication. If you are with a worthy partner, than you will find someone who will take the time to listen to what gives you pleasure, etc. You mentioned finding sex painful on occasion, and to me, that may be indicative that you are not properly turned on and wet enough. If this is the case, then practice learning to ask for what you need to get there. Trusting someone is key to this kind of communication.

Jan 08 12 - 6:06pm
bro

man vs self needs prozac. he probably just has clinical depression. if therapy hasnt helped he needs some drugs. thats what helped me after years of ineffective therapy

Jan 08 12 - 6:38pm
w

Having been through similar experiences, Man Vs. Self, I think you're doing much better than most people in this situation. Your taking the initiative to transform your life is extremely admirable, and you're definitely heading the right direction.
I agree with many of the comments here, therapy works, and if you haven't been feeling well, get another therapist. Even though I did psychology as my minor, I was a non-believer before I actually got help. For me, I was battling social anxiety and mild depression due to me feeling like a failure in social situations. for five months, I did cognitive behavioral therapy that tackle my social anxiety issues step-by-step, and by the end, I was feeling so much better about myself and my future. all without taking any medication. Unless you are so miserable that you can't get out of bed, you shouldn't need to take any med (that should be the last resort if cognitive behavioral therapy alone doesn't work). The key is tackling one thing at a time, your therapist should make a plan with you so you can do some exercises in each of your sessions. If dating is your priority, then your therapy should consist of steps that can lead you there, maybe first exercise would be practicing talking to a stranger.
From what you've written here, I don't think you suffer a real depression, but you're definitely feeling depressed about your situation. Self-esteem can be built by practice. If your therapist is not working on exposing to situation that challenge you, then it's time to get a new one. In cognitive behavioral therapy, you work to change how you think about yourself and your behavior. So, for example, by exposing you to the thing you fear - failing in relationship or asking someone out - you build confidence. If you avoid talking to someone for fear of rejection, you need to challenge yourself to do so, otherwise you will only feel more crappy about your lack of confidence and soak in self pity. After practice, you will see that it gets easier, or that rejection isn't so bad like you thought before.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. once you start trying, you know you do have what it takes to find someone to be in a relationship.

Jan 09 12 - 12:38am
el

To LW#1: You are awesome. All the work you have done in the past year shows your strength and your depth of character. I have the same problem you have: the little voice inside my head was always telling me that I was stupid, or lazy, or fat, etc... and then I realized that I would NEVER talk to anyone else the way that I talked to myself. I was treating myself worse than the worst person I had ever met, and why was that? Well, for me, the reason I was doing that was because it is easier to hate myself than love myself. If I am nice to myself then I might actually let myself down someday. Like, in a big way. But if I always kinda hate myself in a small way then I could never become the huge failure I fear. It is also easier... Instead of having the voice of an abusive jerk inside my head, I consciously tried to change it to the voice of a concerned parent - yes, it sounds hokey but it works for me. Now when I forget something simple, I don't say "you idiot!" I say, "well, next time you'll remember." It's a small thing, sort of, but it's big in that life inside my head is a lot nicer now.

Jan 09 12 - 1:16am
hold on

re: pathetic. I'm wondering a bit about the "I haven't had sex that much, and it still hurts at times." That sounds to me like a potential health issue.

Jan 10 12 - 9:16pm
CaitRobinson

I disagree. Sex can be uncomfortable for a variety of reasons, ranging from "I'm just not that into it" to "it's been awhile." It sounds like she's new to sex, and may still just need to find her groove.

Jan 11 12 - 5:32pm
AlexT

I disagree that her issue is health. I think that "still hurts at times" has nothing to do with health but potentially A LOT to do with her description of potential sex as "flopping around on top of me." I think the LW would be doing herself the biggest favor of all if she permanently evicted all floppers from her bedroom.

Also, the "average male" can orgasm in less than 5 minutes. If he holds out for 8, he's going "significantly longer than average," statistically speaking, and still not be Mr. Marathon in the bedroom.

That's not even taking into account that "I can last way longer than most guys" is the biggest line of bullshit a guy will say to a girl, right behind "I'm bigger than most guys". You will be the judge of that, LW2.

Jan 09 12 - 6:26am
Missz

In my copious experience, no joke, circumcised men actually take far longer than uncircumcised or "entire" men. The foreskin does its job, silking back and forth and providing stimulation. The men without foreskins need to pump so hard, and they always dry me up cos of the friction.

Jan 09 12 - 8:57pm
glasnost, comrades!

@Pathetic

Does it take a really long time for him to come when you guys are doing other things (oral, mutual masturbation)? If I were you, I would gently probe to see whether there's a different reason for why he takes a long time with intercourse, because the non-circumcised thing doesn't make medical sense at all. It may be that he's misinformed and there's another medical reason for his delayed orgasms, or there might be another reason that he's embarrassed to tell you about. Maybe he's used to a "death grip" when it comes to masturbating and has trouble getting enough stimulation from intercourse. Or maybe he's a little selfish and enjoys drawing out the experience. Anyway, you should tell him that you're nervous about it hurting, because on the off-chance that his delayed orgasms are within his control, he might release a bit quicker if he knows that it's uncomfortable for you.

Good luck to you! It's not a terrible dilemma to have. Be safe and keep riding, partner!

Jan 09 12 - 9:14pm
R

Man v. Self – I think its really awesome that you’ve done so much to take better care of yourself! As a person who is in a fairly similar position as you (but I'm 26), I think I can relate to your feelings of loneliness and self-loathing. I sometimes feel that way too.

But I think the advice given by Cait and the readers (especially Alex’s, MentalEngineer’s, and ibg’s comment on reading Intimate Connections by Burns) is excellent and its given me perspective! So I hope you consider it too!

Don’t give up on your re-invention! You’ve done so much already!!!!

Jan 10 12 - 1:16am
AML

Mas vs. Self - This is going to come off as somewhere between tough love and wild speculation. If I'm totally off base, please forgive me. A previous commenter's mention of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy reminded me of a friend in a similar situation, to whom I'd suggested CBT because she couldn't afford sessions with a therapist, and that's why I'm going to ask this question:

How much do you, and in what way, to you talk to your friends about how bad you feel? If you thought about it as objectively as you could, how much time to you spend talking (or posting on social media) about what's going badly in comparison to what's good, or at least hopeful?

You've done a huge amount, and I strongly suspect you have a lot of supporters - who you might not even know about! - waiting in the wings to celebrate with you. You just need to claim little moments when you can see through the negativity and start a positive feedback loop. No matter how awesome you are, you really could doom yourself to be alone if you keep covering up all of your good parts with constant self-deprecation. It can be really exhausting to be around.

Sometimes change works from the outside in. Even if you don't 100% believe it, start talking to people about what's good in your life and I promise you'll start to see how right you are.

Jan 10 12 - 12:30pm
T

LW2 - I am an uncircumcised man and I find it takes me forever to orgasm. I'm not too sure if this has anything to do with the foreskin or not, but I will give my advice since my "situation" seems to be similar to his. I suggest oral either before or after sex. My suggestion is doing so after, otherwise you run the risk of him finishing before you do.

Another piece of advice I can give is to watch him masturbate. While doing so take note of the placement of his hand. Kinda weird I know, but it'll give you a better awareness as to where his most sensitive spot is.

Jan 10 12 - 4:07pm
AAC

The answer to LW1 is pretty lightweight -- too lightweight to really be useful, I think. The basic issue is this: WHY do you think you're such a piece of shit? Who is that little voice?

Miss Information is on the right track by looking at your family members, but she makes the mistake of looking in the present, and I think the real answer is in the past. One or both of your parents didn't communicate a basic sense that you were loved and valued; they didn't do it when you were a kid, and they're probably not doing it now, either.

Most people struggle sometimes with feelings of failure, but still have a fundamental sense that, whatever happens, they're basically OK and worthy of being loved. That comes from your parents, and they build that feeling in you by making it clear that they're glad to have you in their life, that they enjoy who you are, and that they'll be there for you no matter what.

You didn't get that as a kid. Everyone I know who feels the way you do had at least one parent who totally fucked up, and was cold or abusive or a raging alcoholic or just didn't seem to give a fuck about them. And now they're constantly filled with self-loathing and self-doubt, and sabotage themselves at every turn.

How do you get out from under that cloud? I don't know. But feeling worthless, and constantly undermining yourself...other people will tell you it's biochemical and you need to find the right pill, but I think it's because all your childhood experiences told you that there was an unsolved problem (not feeling like your parent or parents really loved you). And if you blame yourself, then you might have control over that problem, since if you just did better, maybe it'd come out OK. But I think you need to face the hard realization that you were let down, that it wasn't your fault, and that you can never "fix" this problem per se...but it need not shape your future. You can, in other words, transcend it.

Jan 24 12 - 10:08pm
JNN

I think your intent is good, but transcendentalism doesn't work in my experience. It can work to a certain extent, in making you functional, but in terms of building a base of good feeling, you have to figure out how to do it for yourself. You can't just do without it.

Feb 09 12 - 11:32am
Bond

PUT in to go on what not to wear It would make you so happy after you were done