Practically every dissociative trauma survivor that I have spoken to has said to me that at some point in time or another, they have felt hated, truly hated.
What’s worse, they didn’t feel hated by strangers — they felt hated by their loved ones.
These trauma survivors felt hated by their mothers, their fathers, their siblings, their spouses, their children, their friends.
They felt hatred from the very people they cared the most about.
What effect does feeling hated have on someone?
How does this experience change someone’s life?
It’s a natural human response to want to feel liked, loved, cherished, treasured. Children very much want to be the in the spotlight for their parents, the apples of their eyes. They each want to feel special, and to be treated like they are the most important person on earth. This is normal for children. It is part of a natural, normal, healthy development.
What happens if a child does not experience a positive sense of self in early childhood?
What happens if that child feels hated instead of loved?
What if the only time the child feels loved, accepted, appreciated, wanted is during times of sexual abuse?
What happens when abusive parents treat their children in such consistently abusive and neglectful ways that the children are left with feelings of self-hatred instead of self-love and self-acceptance?
What are some of the effects of being hated?
- Inherent sense of badness and worthlessness
- Long-term self-hatred and self-loathing
- Loneliness and Isolation
- Sadness, emotional pain, emotional scars
- Self-injury, self-destruction, and suicidal behaviors
Children that are treated with hatred internalize that hatred. Children find it difficult, if not impossible, to blame their parents for their hateful behavior. Instead, children will blame themselves. Children decide it must be their own badness, their own poor behaviors, and their own inadequacies that forced their parents to not love them.
With each violent assault, abusive parents spoke hatred to their children. Even if the words “I hate you” were never said, it was understood clearly enough by the children. In order for their loved ones to purposefully cause so much hurt and harm to them, their parents must have hated them. It is not hard for children to figure out that people causing physical injuries and emotional wounds are acting in hateful ways.
Children will feel that hatred to the very core of their being.
Children tend to internalize that hatred as if they deserved it. They decide that they must be bad, they must be worthless, they must “need to be punished”, they must “need to be abused” because of their badness. Children cannot blame their parents — so they blame themselves.
The more the children are treated with hatred, the more the children hate themselves.
They may learn to hate the parents / abusers eventually, but their first response was learning to hate and despise themselves.
This self-hatred isn’t something they just grow out of or leave behind the way they might leave the actual abuse.
Self-hatred can continue to affect them for all the years of their life. It is a fundamental part of self-injury behaviors. Without intense self-hatred, survivors would not be nearly so prone to cutting, burning, overdosing, or any other number of self-destructive and suicidal behaviors.
It’s not uncommon for trauma survivors to carve or burn “I hate myself” messages into their body, sometimes scarring it for life. I dare say, most survivors that commit suicide were able to do so because of their incredibly deep sense of self-hatred and self-loathing.
People that truly hate themselves don’t want to live with themselves.
It’s equally difficult for people that hate themselves to be in long-term positive relationships. Trauma survivors often find it easier to love someone else more than themselves, but part of being in a positive loving relationship is comfortably accepting the reciprocal love-caring-compassion-support from others.
People that inherently hate themselves find it very difficult to believe that they could be loved / lovable. This belief will ultimately (and repeatedly) be noticeable. It will cause problems in those relationships, and it will absolutely undermine the strength of those relationships.
The emotional pain connected to feeling hated digs very deep within the core of the person. It is hard to battle on an intellectual level, and it penetrates into the deepest layers of the person’s being.
The emotional wounding caused from feeling hatred is one of the most difficult traumas to heal. Layer upon layer of years of blame, guilt, shame make the self-hatred feel locked into place.
It’s just soooo hard to feel differently.
But part of healing from trauma involves healing from that self-hatred.
Survivors may not be able to change the behaviors and actions of their perpetrator parents or any other abusers that have acted criminally towards them, but survivors can learn to separate themselves from such hateful people. It will take working with all the parts of the internal system, but then again, remember that healing for all the inside parts is important.
Learn to separate who did what, and what belongs to whom.
The person that committed the hateful acts is the creator of the hate. That negativity belongs to them. Hateful people can project their own feelings of hate onto anyone around them. As survivors become old enough to think through the emotional process of their abuse, they can begin to build emotional protection around those kinds of hateful attacks.
Let the hate belong to the ones that sent it.
Don’t take it in, don’t claim it as yours, and don’t let it apply to yourself.
Picture a strong emotional, spiritual shield around you, and let that protect you from the barbs of the haters. Hold tight to your own feelings of kindness, compassion, caring, gentleness, and know that your own ability to love and to connect are coming from a different place than hatred.
Recognize that your ability to genuinely care for your loved ones is proof in itself that you are not to be hated or considered worthless. Your ability to feel genuine kindness, gentleness, patience, and compassion prove that you are a good person, completely different and separate from the haters.
The haters will always be haters. Unless they work on their own deep-seated self-hatred, they will always project hatred onto others.
But you don’t have to accept yourself as a rightful target of their hatred. You don’t have to be one of them. You don’t have to shove hatred in the face of everyone else, and you don’t have to internalize it within yourself.
You can be different from that.
Let the hatred belong to the ones that it came from. Give it back to the abusers and let them own it for themselves. Don’t contain that for them. You don’t have to accept their hatred as yours when it came from them.
Spend your time in life doing things that you enjoy and let you genuinely feel better about yourself. Connect with the people and animals that you care about, and build bigger boundaries and stronger separations from the people that treat you with hatred.
Give positive time and pleasant experiences to the people around you, and let your own behaviors define who you are.
Be a good person, and let the very fact that you are choosing good, positive behaviors define to you that you are not that hated person you once felt you were.
If you want to be a good person, you can be. You are not who your haters say that you are. Let their nasty ways belong to them. You can be someone very different from them.
You can be as good of a person as you want to be.
No one else gets to define you .
The final word on who you are belong to you, and only you.
I wish you the best in your healing journey.
Copyright © 2008-2017 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
Did some very hateful thing s to this body that’s called home. I realize now it was because of jealousy. So now I have to Live with the fact that so much rage took over that it even cause damage to my own home.
I m learning slowly that that my home belongs to several others. So when hurt others that live in this home I am also having my own home.
. Maybe we hate ourselves because of the way we are And that maybe it’s not others That hate us .
This article popping up every time you need is it meant to be hard for me to learn to trust others that are trying to help. For me to have faith that I too can change like some of the other housemates
Oh my, Norm! Sounds like a lot of struggle and chaos going on and a lot of Inside conflict…ROUGH to plow through especially when there is so much rage in the middle of it….Rage is hard to look at – but we can see that you are working hard to understand what is going on…please keep reaching out here….every little bit helps to process and make a “little bit of sense” out of all the turmoil….We hope things can settle down Inside so you have some “breathing space”!….Hang in there!…..
Lost in grief says
After being estranged from our middle daughter, multiple loss in the past few months, and currently not being spoken to by many others including some professionals.. it’s obvious we are hated. But.. they are right. We did some things.. horrible things to destroy the relationships …
the cult won. They vowed to remove our children permanently.. it has come to pass. Now .. we may soon loose the grandchild we have helped raise. All because we are who we are and their is a wedge in our family.
We ARE hated and we deserve nothing more than the end to all of this. 😢
Oh my Lost in grief … I so hear your pain and I am so sorry to hear such grief and sadness in your life. Please know that you are NOT hated here. I DO NOT hate you. You are valued here. You DO NOT deserve to have bad things happen to you. I cannot change what is happening in your life right now but I can assure you that this is a welcoming place to come to. You are not alone here. I sure do hope that you have some professional help to see you through all of this trauma. Please reach out and see if there is not some help for you in your community.
Gee, Your a mind reader. Feel very hated, unlikeable and unlovable as well. Its the world we live in, inside and outside. Bad day and bad time of the year. Heading for another holiday – seasonal torturing few weeks. Wish I could just sleep till it passes.
Reblogged this on Psychotherapy with Linda.
IF YOU HATE EVERYBODY AND EVERYBODY HATES YOU, MAYBE EVERYONE INVOLVED DISERVES TO BE HATED ANYWAY
I was wondering if you have any recommendations for a DID person to find and practice daily self-compassion? Like a book or list specifically designed for DID folks? I have searched and basically get the same answers of, find something you like to do, but if I knew that I would already be doing these things. I guess I am looking more for something for beginners and their parts (may or not be aware of) so I can get an idea what works and what may not?
So many things for self help seemed to be geared towards people who are aware of what they like and also do not have to consider the other parts within.
Maybe I am asking my questions wrong but if so please let me know and I’ll try to figure a better way to try and communicate them as I have noticed some of my questions get answered and others do not so I can only think I am asking incorrectly or maybe some of the questions should be directed elsewhere but just in case I am doing it wrong I would like to know!
As always thank you for your time and any information you may be able to supply!!
What if it isnt just the bad pepol that hate you but evreybody? What if its the right thing for them to do becase you deserve to be hated, if you deserve it then they dont be doing anything wrong. Espeshally if you deserve it becase your bad.
Am I dissociative?
I have experienced a lot of trauma and I need help understanding my current life juncture.
I am reading all of this and posting b/c a psychic told me I was covered in blackness and recently one told my daughter that I am covered in darkness (black spirits). I have been trying to understand this negativity people ascribe to me, even those who have not met me. I must deserve it in some way or maybe I am delusional.
I am probably not HATED – why would anyone care that much? But I am generally disliked. I was an autistic child in the 50s. My parents, school, churches, peers, teachers, whatever – were overwhelmed by a force they didn’t comprehend or want. But I wasn’t particularly aware of them. I do know that my mother called me “hateful” enough that I looked it up. I wasn’t full of hate, so what could she mean? I found that it meant causing hate. Like many autistic kids today, I was good at escape, so I avoided anything that was uncomfortable: mostly people – they can be cruel. Other species seem to tolerate me just fine.
However, at about age 40, I began the journey to become an independent professional adult with aspergers. This is when I could no longer avoid the dislike of people. I have to hold a job. I do my job very well, but work places don’t care how well one functions, only how well one is accepted. I change jobs frequently. I am frequently targeted and bullied. I can’t easily escape b/c I need the paycheck. I want to win the lottery only to be able to isolate, not to buy anything.
Despite the pain of going to work, I have loved almost everyday of my life. It seems to me that I freely enjoy myself either more than people admit to enjoying themselves or I simply am free to do so. I do not identify with any group (age, disability, national origin, race, religion, gender). I prefer my own company. I like most things about myself, esp that I am kind, fruggle with the earth’s resources, am intelligent, mean no harm, and have worked hard to get where I am. No one else is proud of me, they only see my remaining deficits.
Other than not buying into other’s dislike of me and not growing to hate myself, I really relate to what is being said here. Do I need to rule this out? Will it help me understand my life better? How to be in the world?
Reblogged this on guiltybydissociation and commented:
I think it’s so important for us all to remember how deeply our words and actions can affect the world around us. Everyone deserves love and respect
I hate myself
I am not a good person
Not even close
and yes i have disscociative personality disorders and i need a therapist now and cannot find any help………im so confused and so disconnected……i want to die and am scared of killing myself, i want to live but not with all this pain……..i either am going to hang myself or cut myself till i bleed to death and that scares me so bad, i have struggled all my life…….ive been put on suicide watch before a long time ago but i though i would never get so bad off as i am now………..i dont want to be this way…….i so want to be loved and accepted but i am so worthless
Ncbeachcomber, I don’t know how old your post is, you are probably fine and dandy today, years later!
I just wanted to recommend the emotional healing videos on a website called prayingmedic.
They have appeared mostly in the last year but there is one from 2017 of his too.
Also the writings of Stuart Wilde and Khris Krepcik may help.
Plus Kathy here, her articles like the one on this page are fab. Ppl who are truthful and calm like that are best.
i struggle so much with self hatred, my dad abused and molested me and was hateful towards me and liked to hurt me, the only good feelings i could ever get from the relationship came from being molested……im 50 years old and my life is falling apart and every day i want to kill myself…..i cut myself and hurt myself and i hate my geintals and i even torture them and cut them and think of cutting them off cause im so worthless….i feel like everone hates me even God and I feel like i deserve it…..I hurt so bad and am in so much emotional pain every day that i dont feel i can carry on much longer…..i cry and weep everday and i cant stop cutting myself………I need help so bad but i dont know what to do…….im afraid and i hurt so much and the only comfort i can find is being abused and hurt……i feel i deserve to be raped and sexually abused and i want to be free, im so sick and i just want to be well…..
Self-hatred seems to be my watchword currently. I hate that I have PTSD and DID that have limited me from being able to work outside of the home causing financial problems for my family. I hate that I am so alone. I had that others have ostracized and demonized me because of DID and cut off associating with me. I hate that my telephone never rings with anyone calling to see how I am doing. I hate that I have visible scars to advertise my invisible illness. I hate being depressed. I hate feeling suicidal so often. I hate being in emotional pain and mental anguish. In a nutshell, I hate me and it seems so often that others do as well by their actions! I isolate from the world to avoid exposing others to the poison I feel is me.
I am new to your blog and will continue to follow it. I have never said any of this to anyone besides my therapist. In reading the posts of others, I see this feeling is common to others as well.
Kathleen Pottle Brannon says
Oh my. This is all speaking to me loudly and frighteningly. I have carried self-hatred my whole life, for no reason I can recall or decipher. It centers around my mother, who is still alive at 91 (I am 53). I seem to be the only one in the family or larger circle who has these deep issues with her. I do not remember any abuse other than her disapproval of me, jealousy of me over my father’s love, failure to “understand” me, etc. Do those qualify as “abuse?”
I have self-injured starting at 12, when I was hospitalized for 16 months. My therapist there apparently concluded that my mother had “done something to me” or NOT done what she should have, and this “buried anger” made me depressed/psychotic. My mother basically refuses any responsibility for my problems. The hospital people’s thinking was that allowing me to feel all the negative shit that I was burying and that was seeping out as depression and suicidality would heal me.. So, after I left the hospital, I absolutely hated my mother, vocally, relentlessly and intensely — and the hospital people told her she had to tolerate it because I needed to do it in order to heal. (Now I feel terribly guilty for acting that way, and it’s more evidence of my being evil.)
Does that sound like they suspected or believed that I had been traumatized?
Not surprisingly, I guess, I all that down as a teenager and tried to be “normal,” “successful,” etc. I managed to do in different roles but would explode or implode and self-injure, overdose, etc. after a while. Wound up in many many hospitals for years at a time. In between these “episodes” I got a job and met my future husband. I was self-injuring at that time, but “hiding” it from my co-workers. I was dealing with having a Sane Self and an Insane Self by completely splitting them off from each other, so that neither one could understand the other at all. (I had done that as a child too, and my very empathic therapist asked me her name one day, out of the blue! I’d never mentioned her!)
Well, I don’t need to go into detail here. Suffice it to say, I’ve managed to be a good wife and mother (actually I don’t believe that right now because I am overwhelmed with the self-hatred you describe, but I recognize that others think that and that I have thought so too). But still the outbreaks of self-injury recur, and I feel totally helpless to stop them. I go on a rampage of guilt and self-hatred, often after a very minor unkind reaction from someone (in a support group this last time), it feeds on itself (hate myself so self-injure, hate myself for self-injuring so self-injure) and I just can’t even look at what’s under all that. Over the last ten years, I have suspected that I had some kind of trauma, and that maybe there was dissociation involved, and that perhaps I should seek out that kind of therapy — but my psychiatrist or therapist at the time would always kind of pooh-pooh it, or say that it was not good to delve too deep. In the last few months, I was hospitalized again after burning up my arms. That environment sends me right back to Insane Self, b/c the initial hospitalization at 12 traumatized me. I told the dr. this but he insisted on hospitalizing me anyway. He acted sadistically toward me, and the nurses and aides seemed like persecutors. I was getting crazier and crazier.. got out by proposing to get ECT again (I had had it 15 years earlier and it had helped me to break out of that cycle of self-hatred). I did get the treatments, and it seemed to work, but after about 3 months the urges are returning. The ECT dr. wants to do more ECT. I take a long list of meds. My therapist now is not a “trauma therapist” and when I become that wounded child who loathes herself in his office (like I did yesterday) he responds with “You need to be kind to yourself. You don’t deserve this hatred..” etc. I am intensely embarrassed at turning into that child in his presence at my age, unable to take in his message, and I am so ashamed I don’t know if I can go back next week. I feel that no one is helping me get at the core of the problem or figure out how it started.
I am not diagnosed with DID although it seems obvious to me when I read blogs like yours that I have it. Instead I am labeled bipolar and borderline personality and generalized anxiety disorder. I have suggested sometimes it seems like PTSD. When I am Sane Self I feel I have it all figured out, but drs. and therapists are sceptical, and when I become Insane Self, all my knowledge and insight is out the window.
My question is, does this sound like the people on this blog? And if so, how the hell do I find anyone who can help me (without hurting me like the hospital did)? I feel embarrassed and like I am WANTING to be DID for attention (as my mother always said about my “problems”), being self-dramatizing, claiming some trauma that never happened. Meanwhile I am laying on more and more self-hatred and running out of space on my body for scars. I can’t just “be kind” to myself — my hatred-worthiness is the TRUTH for me, and self-compassion would be a lie.
What is going on?
Kathleen: I am not even remotely knowledgeable regarding your issues but just wanted to let you know that I can sense the great pain you are and have bee in and hope/pray that God hears your cries and will guide you clearly and quickly in the right direction!! And don’t feel bad if there are no replies to this as the thread seems deader than a dinosaur.
Kathleen Pottle Brannon says
Thank you! I am in a somewhat better place than when I wrote that opus. I’ve just started working with a new psychiatrist who does a type of therapy that looks at the links between your current experiences and your early ones. And she is a doctor, so she can keep prescribing me meds. Reading this thread really threw me for a loop back then and made me question my diagnoses. I’ve decided “dissociation” is probably not my chief problem. I feel for everyone on here who hates him/herself — that is the same hell for all of us of all diagnoses and experiences. You were very kind to respond! I hope I was not the reason the thread died!!
Kathy Broady says
Hi Kathy – it’s Kathy. 🙂
Thank you for your comments, and I am glad to hear that you are in a better place at this point in time.
Self-hatred is such a painful issue… I hope you find some ways to soothe that pain, and to be kinder to yourself.
And I can promise you, that no no no, you were not the reason for anything dying at this blog! There are hundreds of readers here every single day (and more when I can post regularly), so things are very alive and well. You are welcome to be here anytime. 🙂
Thanks for reading.
Kathy Broady says
Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting too.
Welcome to Discussing Dissociation — we’re full of surprises around here.
I’ve been to counselors etc. and they’ve been no help to me or my problems. My friends were the biggest help because we were having similar problems then they all turned on me suddenly and I was fighting my problems almost completely alone. I’m trying my best not to hate myself, but nothing works. I’m in a relationship right now & he’s the best, of course like the original post said I love him and accept him more than I accept myself, I know it’s not right I just can’t find a way around it. I can be mean, I’m known as a bitch to those who cross me & I accept those things about myself. I even accept that I love and care about animals more than myself, but I consistently fail at trying to find the loving part of me that existed when I was a child.
I prefer to not be in the company of other people, but I realize I’m a social creature by nature & I get very lonely when i’m not having human interaction for long periods of time. It’s not that i’m not nice to people I just don’t always get along with them. The biggest problem/s with my internalized self-hatred is that I don’t care if I die, I’m ok with the idea that I shouldn’t have been brought into the world if my parents didn’t want me & would think I was the worst thing to happen to them and I say now that I wish I wasn’t here but I’m happy to know the people that I know, and since it was all about hating kids & how terrible they ‘me’ are I developed a severe hatred & repulsion of kids which I did not always have. I don’t have patience, I don’t like babysitting & I become incredibly uncomfortable when kids are around me even my own neice whom i do love she’s my neice how can I not love her.
So I guess my self-hatred is being projected this way? My delima is that my lovers who are worth keeping want children including my current one who I want to marry. I’m scared I’ll ruin them the way my parents ruined me & resent them the way I was resented or physically hurt them in a fit of anger & he’ll hate me & they’ll turn out just like me or worse. I want to give him everything he wants I just don’t know how to get over my problems so i don’t ruin it.
Kathy Broady says
Thanks for your comment, and welcome to the Discussing Dissociation blog.
You’ve certainly been doing lots of thinking, and I encourage you to keep exploring these issues with your therapist and others who are sitting with your in your healing journey. In my opinion, self hatred, and all the ways it manifests, will continue to cause problems in your life as long as it exists.
Do you have internal children? And do you feel the same way towards them as you do outside children?
If so, I encourage you to do a whole lot of work on those areas.
I think you are getting close to figuring some things out, and yes, it sounds like your wonderings about how you are projecting your self hatred onto others could be an important piece to work on in your healing.
Keep up the good work. It’s ok to learn new ways, and to make new choices, and it really is ok to not hate yourself. Decide what you want most in your life, and then repeatedly do the things that can make that happen for you, letting go of the stuff that gets in the way of what you want.
Keep up the good work!
Reblogged this on justclickado and commented:
self hatred chain
Sharon Amanda Roberts says
We have a choice, in every moment to choose how we feel, but often I get pulled into the unconscious cyclone of not knowing how I feel or even of not caring that I feel bad. Actually, I really enjoy feeling bad and can give a million reasons as to why it is good to feel bad; only when I feel good do I realise how messed up it is to want to feel bad!
Usually I wake up in an unconscious and numb state and I spend all day in an effort to get out of it. Often I don’t even see I am in it because this is the ‘me’ that has been here for all of my life, so long as I am numb I am fine :-). I have discovered a test for this; I ask myself how I am feeling, I am only allowed one of two answers; good or bad..If I cannot answer then I must assume I am feeling (dissociated from) pain.
9 months ago I gave up everything in order to be totally devoted to ME; to figuring myself out. I spend hours every day in ‘solitary confinement’ just learning to observe ‘what is’.
It’s hard to grow a new personality, but not doing it is far harder to live with. Sure I often want to die, but now that I have realised that I would prefer to figure out how to live, I can remind myself of this whenever the images of suicide come to visit!
I’ve also realised that its not me that I want to kill, but the self hatred.
Fortunately self hatred is not intrinsic of the real self and is therefore something that can be healed or removed.
Sorry post is not so eloquent, I didn’t care that It was my bedtime seven hours ago.
Kathy Broady says
Thank you for your comment. I think you’ve actually said things quite well, and I really appreciate hearing your thoughts. It sounds like you are doing some really good work on your self hatred issues, and I hope that a lot of the readers of this blog read your words carefully. You’ve got some good ideas there!
Welcome to the Discussing Dissociation blog. Please keep reading, and I look forward to more comments from you.
Don’t look at me
She can’t look, she doesn’t want to see. She feels all eyes piercing her ugliness.
It pulses were it be.
so worthless she hides.
She’s a failure to all it’s so painfully clear.
Don’t look at her, don’t you dare get near.
Dirty dirt unclean being,
radiates from inside and coats her seeing.
Permanent stain, can’t scrub it away,
smear, smudge, soil, and fray. Nothing good, hopeless mess. She’s wretched, pitiful and pathetic at best.
She’s bad and spoiled, defective, unfit.
Disgusting and worthless so deep in the pit.
She can’t stand to look, neither be looked at.
An unbearable sight, and failure at that.
So don’t look at her, invisible, not there,
don’t look, it’s herself, even she cannot bare.
The Pit of Hate
A black hole so deep that overflows and seeps
Darkness and despair, a huge hunger to tear
Deeper into my soul, destruction an ultimate goal
It reaches a big black hand from it’s murky quicksand
Tentacle fingers reach apart, they wrap tightly around my heart
Breath sucked out of my chest, panic relentless, no rest
Choked by emotions and the blame that I wear, nothing else to inhale, no air
A circle, no beginning and no end
I forget my body is not my friend
I can’t fix it and it is surely broke
A sacrifice, I’m repaid by the terror it woke
“it’s your own fault”, “why?, she was only trying to do what is right”
Behold the beginning of the fight
“your so stupid, to do this today”
This is when I began to go away
Engulfed by hate, guilt, anger, and shame
The hole sucks me in until nothing remains.
I can relate. Only you put it in words much better than I can.
Welcome and thank you for replying 🙂
Btw, some time after writing it I realized that that “imaginary” core is actually my old self. Once upon a time, back when I was too young to “know better” I used to actually try to get my needs met and refuse to put up with the treatment I didn’t want… then my Mom made it very clear to me that that part had better be suppressed/destroyed if I know what’s good for me.
Fortunately, as it turns out, that part of me was never completely suppressed and has been working behind the scenes by pulling me away from suicide and pushing me towards therapy and self help.
Anyway, I’ve been spending the past few days trying to reestablish it as the dominant part of my personality (showering it with love, gratitude and validation really helps!) but the fear-driven parts of my personality are using every manipulative tactic my Mom knows to keep that from happening… It’s a start though 🙂
Incidentally, the fear isn’t just about being punished or having my world destroyed but about having my validation (i.e. her “love”) taken away. I guess that when your parents only love you for something superficial (be it your body, the idea that they “own you”, or even something positive like your intelligence) then you have good reason to be afraid cuz it’s not real love to begin with. The thing they ought to be loving is the human being in you…
Sorry for going on and on about this but it sure is helping me so I’m hoping it might help other people in some way or another.
Nice article but I have a problem with the idea of loving yourself based on your own good actions, feelings etc’. If true love is unconditional, why should I love myself based on what I do for others? And for that matter, why can’t I love myself despite my bad side just like with any other person?
The reason I’m asking this is because some years ago I fell into the pattern of behaving and thinking of myself as an “angel” because I was behaving like a self-sacrificing goodie two shoes towars others and they gave me the affection I so desperately needed in return… But the truth is that it was all superficial (I thought of myself as an angel but still hated myself). Also, I discovered in myself a sadistic streak and learned to not be afraid of and even enjoy it… I also think that sadistic and overall imperfect people get as much love as anybody else (if anything, many people can’t stand suck-ups). So I learned to come to terms with my bad side… and yet the self hatred hasn’t gone away.
So right now I’ve signed up just to make a rather shocking suggestion that I’m sure a lot of people aren’t going to like – what if there really is no such thing as self hatred? What if this horrible feeling of wanting to destroy yourself in a firey rage is really just FEAR in disgues?
Up until a couple of years ago I used to want to kill myself over just about any little mistake I made. An inner deamon would wake up and start telling me that “this is the proof” that I’m a no-good failure and am better off killing myself now in order to prevent future suffering to myself and others… aventually I started examining what I REALLY felt during times like that – at first glance it felt like self hatred but in reality it was fear.
Recently I finally started trying to cope with the emotional and sexual abuse my mother put me through when I was growing up and found, to my utter surprise – that I’m afraid of her!
I always used to think that I thought of her as a weak, pitiful, child-like woman (and a victim in her own right) but that’s just what I think of her on the surface – under the surface I see her as a Goddess; capable of destroying my very soul just by thinking it away if I ever so much as annoy her.
My mother isn’t annoyed by sadism (which is why I’m not annoyed by that part in me either) but she’s annoyed by the idea of her children failing in anything and even more so by failing to please her and not annoy her in any tiney way. Also, when she’d take her anger towards others out on me because I was simply a conviniant punching bag, that gave me the message that there’s something rotten in my very core that annoys her… I think I developed a hatred towards that imaginary core because I saw it as something that caused to her cast me into the firey pit each time… Okay, so I guess I do feel hatred towards it and want to destroy it but that’s because deep down I see it as a kind of bulls-eye that’s attached to me and can cause her to fling her arrows at me at any moment (even now).
Even though suicide and self-mutilation may seem like the most extreme form of self-destruction, maybe the real idea behind it is to escape a different type of destruction.
Sorry for the mile-long reply btw… so what do you think?
Kathy Broady says
Thanks so much for your comment because that is a very very interesting thought….
I’m going to think more about what you’ve said, but what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. Extreme fear – because there would be extreme fear — could easily be masked by anger / hatred. Lots of people express anger when they are feeling fearful in other situations… so you know… I think there could be a whole lot of truth in what you are suggesting….
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Kathy for your kind words..they do help with my confidence in all this. I have not begun to learn to redirect my self-hatred/anger. I understand how it happened and the way children internalize abuse but I can go no further with it. Everything goes blank in my mind at the thought of redirecting it into my self to comfort myself with this information. I can share it but I cannot incorporate it. Maybe in time in therapy. I have never learned how to self-sooth when there is real pain. I have no idea. This is a new concept for me and I feel like I need to do so much work with it!
My childlike parts (littles) have completely adopted my therapist as a parent. I struggle with them inside because they are fighting to get to this parent. In the meantime, me, the host, fights to keep things in perspective with my therapist. I am so embarassed and ashamed that these things are happening inside me and may fall out onto the theraputic relationship. I know they are supposed to tho…I will talk about this more with him but I know he is open for us to deal with this. I am so ashamed at the idea tho of anyone seing me turn into a child. Do you hear clients or others say this type of thing too?
You wrote: “I am so ashamed at the idea tho of anyone seing me turn into a child.”
Omg YESSSSS!! Although there are other blocks too!!
I thought it was safe with our roommates.. once .. and let the 3 yr old out for a bit. By let i mean couldn’t stop, was unaware until after the fact.. came too sucking my thumb with a squishmellow.. she threw that observation out one day a bit later. Never again if i can help it. (Which i probably can’t..)
We often find ourselves holding our thumbs…not too noticeable until we go to point at something and we have a “fist” because of it…sometimes we feel like a shy 1st grader hoping to be noticed….sometimes we are a youngster who can’t stop babbling away….people look at us weird – but so far they haven’t literally said anything…maybe it is because we hurry up and get away from them before they have a chance to….they may not have SAID anything – but we are VERY aware that we went “weird”….
Hi Kathy I have been reading your blog. I like alot of what you write and it is very informative for me. I too have DID, got my diagnosis about 1.5 years ago. It wasn’t until then that I was able to put alot together from my past and in my present. Still so far to go tho.
I know what you mean about kids and self hatred. Children are dependant on their parents for their very existance. It is too threatening for them to get angry at their parents so they internalize the anger by believing they did something wrong to deserve this treatment. Kids idolize their parents too. So the thought I always had was that my parents wouldn’t act this way or treat me the way they did if I was a better child. Lacking self awareness as a young child coupled with my love for my parents I could never have blamed them for anything. I blamed myself for everything and continued to do so for decades.
I also know that what we don’t resolve in life we are doomed to repeat. I know I have alot of self hatred. I wonder what ppl see when they are around me. Do they wonder why I hate myself and if I hate my own self maybe they should hate me too? I mean people can tell after being around someone if they are lacking any self respect and self love. Do we recreate the situation around us that we can’t resolve in our heads?
I am a warm and loving wife and mother. I have a good relationship with these people and we are good to each other. I have trouble when I step out into the world tho with a job or anything else that engages me with people. I can’t help but believing that they will hate me once they get to know me and I can’t handle it when this happens. With my jobs I have worked with women who are very petty, coniving and back stabbing….just like my mother. I really lose it when this happens and I crumble. I am afraid to head out into the world and try to build anything. I become paralyzed when this kind of crap happens and feel totally powerless over it.
But you are so right about the self hatred thing. It has a huge impact on our lives internally and then on what we project out into the world in our other relationships. I am in therapy 2t per week and just love my therapist. He is a he…my mother did too much damage for me to ever trust a female enough to get in deep. I just can’t do it…tried. With all the unresolved stuff tho from my mother relationship….can I do proper transference with a male therapist to work thru this? I think I can but I haven’t read anything formally on it. Thanks for the post…very informative.
Kathy Broady says
Thank you so much for your comment – I can tell that you really have been thinking about this topic for a long time. You certainly have a good understanding of the ways children internalize blame for their abuse – it’s easier to see it now, from a distance, but probably still pretty hard to re-direct that thinking to something more fair to you. In my opinion, it is never ever the child’s fault… and all children are “good enough” to be treated with decency, kindness, and respect.
Keep working on that self-hatred thing. It really can mess up your life, and in my opinion …. when people can learn to self-soothe their hurts and pain (instead of turning to self-injury or self-hatred), they can address the hurt, but come out ok because self-soothing helps the person to feel better instead of worse.
Yes, you probably can work through plenty of transference issues with your male therapist (even about mother issues). I’d be willing to bet you can go a long ways there, especially since it sounds like you have a good relationship with him. And later, there might be a time in the future, if need be, that you could be in a place to try working with a woman, just in case you would benefit in challenging that female relationship issue. But keep going where you are — you can get lots done with someone you enjoy working with.
I wish you the best, and thanks for your kind comments. Much appreciated!
i always felt hated too.
by my family and just about everyone.
including everyone inside.
and hate myself too for lots of reasons.
i started self-injurying when i was 8.
i think its because i’m bad that people don’t like me.
people like you better when you’re good.
i do really really want to believe what you wrote here kathy.
it does make sense… for everyone else. just not for me
because of the stuff i’ve done. jo
I feel a little better after having read the comments above. All my life I’ve tried to practice kindness to others and haven’t expected much in return nor dho I ardly ever ask for anything. yet I get the feeling that many hate me and I know I’ve done nothing or little to deserve it.
Kathy Broady says
hi thunder2020 —
Welcome to the Discussing Dissociation blog.
I think genuine kindness speaks for itself. I don’t understand why people hate those who are kind – unfortunately, yes, that happens – but that just makes no sense to me.
Maybe it is ok to be kind to yourself? And if you are kind to yourself, it might not matter what other people think, especially if you have done nothing to deserve their hatred. Don’t take it in – stick to your kind ways. That is much better.
Those are my thoughts anyway. Thanks for your post. I wish you well.
lesle landberg says
I have really healed a lot and it happened when I came to terms with how craven many people are – I even am tempted to say most people.
For many, being “human” is actually being very weak and cowardly and taking the easy road in many situations. This means that the honorable person, the one whose instinct it is to be kind, to think of others or to go through life with confidence, will unwittingly be the target of other peoples’ envy and mistrust, merely because their ethical choices are superior to those of the common herd.
I have learned to wear it as a badge of distinction that most people will not appreciate my best qualities and at times will be tempted to attack me for no reason, try to discourage me, insult or humiliate me or the many other pathetic things they attempt to do because they are simply too cowardly to address their own feelings of inadequacy like adults.
I have learned not to respect people reflexively nor want anything from people emotionally until they have proved to me what sort of things they are capable of. I spend my energy on loving me, and don’t squander it on other people – unless I really know them and trust them.
In fact, I have cultivated quite a healthy disdain for my fellow man, but I don’t wear that on my sleeve, and I still am a very friendly and easy-going person. I just keep it in the back of my mind how awful most of humanity is, so when they act stupid, I won’t be caught off guard.
You could say I really look closely at humanity now. When you’re abused, you’re trained to only criticize yourself and give everyone else a pass. I reversed that. I get all the passes now and they have to answer to me. Bye-bye depression.
Agreed. Planet earth contains humans , most of whom are spiritually immature or emotionally stunted . They are doing their best. keep a shield up shake off their barbs and enjoy life.
I read the first paragraph and had to go for a walk.
Memories of me going to my room to secretly beat my head against a wall, the pain too much to bare. Not wanting to live even after deciding death was cowardly and i hadn’t the right to hurt them like that.
I know nothing we did was right by my dad. I know I understood things but could not communicate them (I was dyslexic). I know I could not make people happy with me. I thought people did things deliberately to hurt (seemingly most people just act without realising the consequences).
I’ve just remembered hearing that my mum had postnatal depression with my sister. I think she couldn’t cope with me and rejected me. I couldn’t remember anything between 2 and 4. I think my gran looked after me.
I’m going to talk to my dad to try and find out what happened.
I don’t feel my reaction was justified but I wanted people to hear that people do respond like this even if nobody does anything nasty to them. I really recognise the feelings of most of the posters.
juliewtf a quarter of all the fights in secondary school involved me being attacked. I’ve been attacked by students in my corridor at university in the street. I’ve been threatened by fifty year olds at dance events. My ex is never threatened, she is very in touch with anger, I’ve never been. I think what happens is people feel shit, they unconsciously find a safe target and dump.
I had a friend who became increasingly depressed being around him was difficult I couldn’t reach him, he was numb. He must have felt nobody cared for him but it’s not true.
I don’t know why people seem to hate you, but I do know as you deal with what has happened things will get better (they have for me and others) for now just be happy that your going somewhere better. Feel sorry for those that haven’t started the journey.
Good speed and when things are difficult remember where you have come from, where you are going and the unfortunate who never start.
I figure it is what it is. I know that I am hated. Cant talk about it because then people feel the need to tell you otherwise or you look like you are digging for them to say something. It is just a fact of life, some people arent liked. Yes, it bothers me sometimes, once in a while I will wish it was otherwise, but its not. There is a reason for that hatred, it is not random.
So I let those little blinks of thoughts, the ones that hope for something else to exist, sit there for a minute. They will leave just as fast as they came.
my mother hated me, and my father loved me…possibly a bit too much. they both abused me in different ways. i am constantly searching for and wanting people to love me. it is one of the main topics of my therapy, is that i want my therapist to love me, i don’t know why i want her to, i don’t know why she even would, but for some reason it’s really important to me that she does, and not that she just shows it, but she says it. i have to hear it. i don’t know why, and the thing is i don’t really love myself, i don’t really even like myself. I know i’m not a bad person, sometimes i’m so good and sweet i sicken myself. i am likable, lovable, people tell me. still i don’t believe it, find it hard..i don’t know..this is touchy…
I think a lot of our self-hatred comes from survivor guilt.
I don’t think I ever felt hated by my parents, but I didn’t feel loved either. I think maybe hate would have been easier to accept, but apathy? Like I was so bad they couldn’t even bother to care about how bad I was???
I also have the same question about abuse from people who weren’t family. In a way, it’s easier logically to accept that a child abused by family wasn’t a bad child, because it’s easier to see that the child was the obvious target for a parent’s hate. When a child is targeted by strangers, or by entire groups of people who aren’t family, it’s much harder to accept that the child didn’t attract or deserve it … obviously there must have been *something* about the child that attracted the abuse. It’s not completely random.
This is an important topic, but I have to agree with some of the other comments in that it’s a bit idealistic. I don’t think I ever felt hated. I’ve done a fair bit of introspection over the years and I don’t think that. I know others who think like me too. So, I’m not sure it’s as clear as you think.
Your “solution” is kind of couched in finding ways to love inside. You do mention surrounding yourself with people who don’t hate you. But I think this is really the answer. We can only fix in ourselves after we model it outside ourselves.
My therapist often tells me of my strength/our strength as a system, and how my DID led me to survive when others would have fallen. I have come to hate this survival instinct. The self hatred is overwhelming. Hatred for who I am, inside and out, for things I have done or failed to do, for managing to survive or failing to die, for being the child who lived when so many others did not, all of these things and others too unspeakable to write, fuelling the vortex of hate inside my core that threatens to erupt and destroy the world with its intensity. My role is to endure the hate, to keep it contained, to protect the innocent. Carved into my stomach are the words not good enough, scars over 30 years old now and renewed on a frequent basis. I cannot give the hatred back to the haters. It is too dangerous, beyond my capacity to control and endure. I too feel it is like a cancer, hidden and malignant, slowly eating away the heart of my soul. Sorry, your blog covers so many subjects that I really connect with and today I just needed to vent. Please accept my appologiews and thank you for continuing to discuss issues that too many mental health professionals seem frightened to bring up.
leslie landberg says
My experience with mental health professionals is that they are trained to only focus on “getting better”, they do not wish to dwell in the ugly, nitty-gritty details, they want to heal you, but usually that means slapping a band-aid on things. That is their training, it’s not their fault. Even the woman I hired who said she was an expert in trauma only wanted me to focus on dealing with my moods, adopting better mental and emotional habits, etc. “Processing the trauma” was my job and she didn’t seem equipped to deal with it.
Me, too. Same question as Haberlach. I was ignored and invisible and as a child, didn’t feel hated by my parents, just over looked. I feel hated by my mother now, because she treats me as if she hates me. Part of the reason is that she knows I was abused by a family friend – she and the rest of my family blame me.
I hate me, too, I have burns and scars to prove it. I have the loathing to prove it. I was never good enough. Why, if I understand this, and can spot it in my own behavior, does it not end?
This is going to sound horrible, but have you accepted what happened?
For decades I was in denial about what role people played in the neglect, not only that but I couldn’t accept that this was how my life was turning out! How can I be okay with a life with that in it?
Accepting It means that I will feel badly perhaps on a regular or periodic basis…for my whole life. BUT I learn how to deal with it and take care of myself, in spite of the feelings I experience-I take care of myself no matter how I feel.
It’s been my experience that when I don’t block the feelings, because they should be gone by now, and I let the feelings in they leave relatively quickly. Usually the feelings kick back up when something reminds me of it or when feelings are similar to the event.
Thanks for letting me share.
How does this work if the person(s) who abused were outside the family. What if they didn’t know, or didn’t stop it, or the child was left to themself to deal with what happened? How have you seen the child carry hatred? i mean is it different if it isn’t someone you expect to care for you?
I feel this is an important and topical posts, but I also find it idealistic. Maybe it’s because I come from the viewpoint that I can not stop hating myself and causing self-injury.
I know I should be angry with my abusers and not myself, but I don’t hold any memory so I don’t know with what or him to be angry.
I once was pumped up and thought I felt angry and so I wrote a letter to one of my abusers. In the letter I stipulated I would no longer be his silent accompolice and I would create opportunities to tell the vicious things he did.
That’s all well and good, but so many years later, I’m deflated and still left with no clear memory.
So rah-rah-rah, let’s stop hating ourselves, blah, blah, blah. I’m down for the cause. I wish I could do that but there is something inside stopping me. It is a malignant cancer, consuming me and my life so that I am sentenced for the rest of my life to be angry because I don’t have the recall, intel, and memory needed to put the anger on the abusers rather than myself.
This is my reality.
Becca of Missing in Sight
Kathy Broady says
Hi Becca –
Thanks for your comment.
I can understand how frustrating it must be for you if you can’t reach the memories of what happened. I don’t know why that information is blocked for you, but I can bet that block is a huge part of why its so very hard to get past the self-hatred. As you wrote — without having a clear memory of how you were hurt, and without knowing who hurt you, I do understand that the hatred is left to sit on you.
You’ve actually summed up the point of my post. When trauma survivors cannot get resolution and clarity for the way they were abused, the hatred is still left with them.
I hope that you can work very intensely on figuring out what that block is about. You have the right to know who hurt you, how they hurt you, and what they did to you. Internal system work will be the clue to that — there are people inside your system that know that stuff. The closer you can get to them, the more you can figure out what happened.
I wish you the best — I’m sorry you’re feeling so stuck (it’s sounds miserable!!!) — and please talk with your insiders. Let them know that its really really ok to tell….