Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: Hoping this is the right section - Self Worth lacking - Toxic Cycle - Stuck

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. LuckyFrog
    LuckyFrog avatar
    6 posts
    10 June 2020

    Hi everyone,

    Not really sure if this falls under anxiety.

    I've been diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety for a few years now. Seems I had the feelings long before reaching out to a doctor.

    In the past 3 years, I was seeking help and felt I had slowly got better, but now I'm falling back again and it feels worse than before. My PTSD/upbringing has conditioned my brain into thinking that no matter what I do, I have to second guess myself and my brain goes into overdrive and will process every possible scenario in the most pessimistic way. I realised I lack self-worth/love and don't know where to begin this healing process. For 29 years I've been reinforced the fact that I'm not worthy or whatever I do isn't enough.

    It has affected my career, social life and personal relationships.

    I always avoid applying for jobs because I don't meet those expectations and requirements, it's like I have told myself I've failed before even trying. This affects my lack of income and deters me away from spending time socially.

    More importantly, I realised with every relationship I get into, I always push the other person away indirectly. Due to my neediness/sensitivity and low self-esteem. I noticed I tend to get jealous easily and ask or say stupid things to get a reaction so I can validate maybe I would be worth something to someone. I don't want to be this way, it's not fair on the other person and it does my head in. It's such a toxic behaviour and I can't stand putting myself into a situation where I can feel worse or make someone else feel bad.

    These issues lead me to break down randomly and random extremely negative thoughts.

    For the past few months, I have this empty feeling in my chest - where I feel like I'm surrounded by darkness and the feeling of being heartbroken - but is consistently there and does not go away. I often break down on my drives out of nowhere and cry a lot.

    I tried searching online for a long time for an answer but can't seem to find anything related to how I feel our this issue of toxic behaviour cycling around and not stopping.

    I need help, but don't know where to start.

    Has anyone felt this way? Understand this situation? I don't want to be toxic the person who's toxic in a relationship.

    Anyone know how I can help or where to start without it costing me an arm and a leg?

    I'm desperate as it feels like everyday I'm falling further and further.

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3422 posts
    10 June 2020 in reply to LuckyFrog
    Hi LuckyFrog,

    We're sorry to hear that you're struggling with negative feelings around your worth. We can hear that these feelings have been difficult to cope with in many parts of your life, and we understand that this must be difficult. We think it's great that you're so proactive in seeking help and that you are willing to examine your own feelings and behaviour.

    We would recommend that you get in touch with an organisation called Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277. They provide relationship support services for individuals, families and communities and aim to support all people in Australia to achieve positive and respectful relationships. It might be worth finding out what they can offer you.

    Can we ask if you are still receiving mental health support? Please so feel free to contact the Beyond Blue Support Service anytime on 1300 22 4636 or get in touch with us on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport

    One of the friendly counsellors can offer you some support but also provide you with advice and referrals for seeing a counsellor in a more ongoing way if this is something you feel would be beneficial.

    Many in our community have experienced similar feelings and will be able to talk through these feelings with you. If you would like to post further, please tell us more about what's on your mind and how we can best support you through this.
  3. LuckyFrog
    LuckyFrog avatar
    6 posts
    12 June 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    Hi Sophie,

    Thanks for your reply. It means a lot. I will give that link a try.

    I have stopped seeing my psychologist for about 3 years now. Ultimately, it came down to there was only so much she could do to help or teach me in regards to tackling the triggers such as catching negative/intrusive thoughts, but putting the theory into action is a lot harder to do and always seems to catch me off-guard. Once I'm in a funk, I have a really hard time getting out of it and it spirals out of control. I was suggested medication for a better quality of life, I gave that a try and did not want to deal with the side effects as well as this thought of...wanting to be happy without medication like other people who can do it so freely.

    The thoughts that run through my mind are often:

    -Why I can't change my personality and thought process
    -I'm probably too far gone, if the cause of my downfall has been for 29 years....how many years will it take for me to recover
    -A lot of 'where do I start? to move forward' but always coming to a loss and not knowing where to go to change the way I think about myself.
    -A lot of feelings of not wanting to be 'here'
    -The occasional dark thoughts that cross my mind
    -A lot of self hate, especially when I go through the toxic cycles with close people and relationships. As its not the person I want to be and it doesn't reflect how I feel and it pains me that I hurt people when it's not what I want. All because I have low self-esteem and require validation.

    When I get into one of these moods, I often lose a lot of sleep over it and also forget to eat.

    If anyone has felt similar to this, please share how you got out of this cycle and gave yourself meaning.

  4. David35
    David35 avatar
    20 posts
    12 June 2020 in reply to LuckyFrog

    What or who reinforces your lack of self worth?

  5. LuckyFrog
    LuckyFrog avatar
    6 posts
    13 June 2020 in reply to David35

    It's my dad.

    The whole clash of cultures with me caught in the middle. He always seemed to compare me to my friends or his friends kids from a very young age and always ask me why I wasn't successful like them and everything. He would often compare me with everything I did. Always put me down in regards to my body image or just my personality in general the little quirks I have. Whenever I did something for the family to contribute (financially) he would say it doesn't mean anything because it wasn't a lot even though it would be most of my pay check and a lot of other bills I helped mum with that he doesn't know about.

    I have a brother and sister as well, but he looks at me in a way that's very...hurtful kind of like a dissatisfied cold stare and always sighs around me. My brother and sister notices that he looks at me very different compared to how he looks at them.

    As being the oldest, he would push all the chores and stuff to me despite my siblings being very capable and possibly better than me in some of the tasks. He used to use the excuse that I didn't have a job so I had a lot of free time, but even after I got a job working 6-7 days a week he would still tell me to do things when I was wrecked while my brother was just playing games. When I couldn't perform a task he would go straight to calling me useless. He used to say I was an accident when I was younger and that it would be better if I wasn't around. This didn't really stop until the last 3 years where my psychologist diagnosed me with this being the root of the issue, but he still gives me the cold stare.

    I do resent him quite a lot, deep down I have a lot of hatred towards him. But at the end of the day, he is still my dad and I want to move on. I don't want to be stuck in this life, in this position of helplessness and feeling like crap every day. My mind seems to know what it wants, but has a hard time doing it with it always reverting back to the unworthiness feeling. Thank you

  6. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1405 posts
    13 June 2020 in reply to LuckyFrog

    Hi LuckyFrog

    As a mum and as someone who had suffered through a number of years in depression, the first thing I thought when I finished reading your posts was 'I wish I could just give you the biggest hug'. I know, a bit sappy, hey. If someone spoke to my 14yo son or 17yo daughter the way your dad spoke to you, I'd be furious.

    LF, it sounds like everyone around you tolerated your father's intolerable behaviour. In there being no one upstanding, it sounds like everyone let you down. I imagine, in gatherings outside the house, your father possibly showed the same thoughtless behaviour towards you, unless he didn't want to be judged by people. Still no one upstanding, who'd pull him up on it? LF, you were worth the fight. I want you to know that. No one wanting to challenge your father came at a price, your self-esteem. Many people in your life have a lot to apologise for. These people should be seeking your forgiveness.

    Q. Why can't I change my personality and thought process? A. We cannot practice what we have not been taught or what does not come naturally
    Q. How many years will it take for me to recover? A. Depends on your research/learning and practice
    Q.'Where do I start?' A. Start with an inquiring mind. Start with wondering. In my opinion, a great book is 'The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem', by Nathaniel Branden. You could wonder whether this book holds the potential for change, even if it sparks the smallest of changes, to begin with. You're perhaps a natural wonderer. Did you wonder whether reaching out here would make a difference?
    -A lot of feelings of not wanting to be 'here. The occasional dark thoughts cross my mind. In other words, if this is living, I don't want it. LF, you deserve so much better. You deserve better than all those people who let you down, allowing you to stay down. You deserve 'up'. You deserve to be raised to life
    -A lot of self hate, especially when I go through the toxic cycles with close people and relationships... This leads me to wonder whether people are still letting you down (trigger for a toxic cycle). In your opinion, could they be more thoughtful? Are you a sensitive person but others are lacking sensitivity? I imagine no one taught you the amazing abilities that come with sensitivity. That 'toughen up' mantra grinds my gears. Toughening up numbs us. If you can't tolerate someone's behaviour, it pays to question it. 'This person's words/behaviour is highly questionable' is a natural self-esteem booster.


  7. LuckyFrog
    LuckyFrog avatar
    6 posts
    13 June 2020 in reply to therising

    Hi therising,

    Thanks for your response. Not sure why reading this made me tear up.

    I suppose the old culture he was brought up on in his traditional ways conflicts with modern values and what I grew up with. Man of the house, he is always right (despite being logically wrong), everything revolves around him mentality. In his culture, he is extremely worried about 'face', something along the lines of pride. So he was always ashamed and embarrassed by me.

    When my mind starts to wonder, it always goes in the wrong direction due to my thinking path. It always analyses the pessimistic outcomes and I begin to worry about them.
    I'm not too sure why I posted on beyond blue, I suppose I was searching for someone who might share an experience that's similar with what I am going through and maybe they would have an answer that ended the suffering and moved forward.

    The toxic cycles......in regards to relationships. It's definitely a problem with me, I'm an extremely sensitive person.
    By toxic, I mean it's my mental health causing stress towards other people when it has nothing to do with them.
    For example, I noticed....In any sort of developing relationship, I would often question myself if the person actually likes me. This thought would play on my mind for days, eventually leading to asking them. It seems like a non-issue at first. But with my insecurities, it comes so often it starts to become a nuisance and it pushes people away. That's just one example. Jealousy, and so much more. It's not their fault I have these insecurities but the flack falls on them and I hate that it hurts people I care about.

    Because of this, I try to stay away from people. Simply because I don't want to put other people through suffering because of my own issues.

    The first time I was diagnosed with my issues, I was more open about it. Now I go through the same phases that seem darker, I close myself off.

    All this thinking, leading me with no other resolution, I tend to think (hopefully I'm not breaking any forum rules. Sorry in advance) If I can't find a way to end this toxic cycle, maybe the toxic cycle will end with me instead.

    Thanks for your reply.

  8. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1405 posts
    14 June 2020 in reply to LuckyFrog

    Hi LuckyFrog

    You never stop learning, you never stop mastering your sensitivity. Part of this mastering process involves a lot of questioning, toward self and others. I can really trigger people with my questioning. Some are triggered to higher consciousness whereas others are triggered to defensiveness. You mention you question whether a person actually likes you, partly based on self-esteem issues. I've been married for over 18 years and I used to question whether my husband truly loves me. He always proclaims he loves me and he is a very affectionate person. He is a loyal man and a great provider for his family. I used to think it was my insecurity that led me to question his devotion but now I understand it's my sensitivity to detail that leads me to question him. It's a very different form of questioning these days:

    Him: I love you

    Me: Why? How? What do you love about me?

    Him: I don't know. I just love you

    Me: Not good enough. I want specifics. What leads you to love me?

    Him: I don't know. I just love you

    I'm pretty intense, hey, LF? My husband is easily triggered to defensiveness when deep reasoning is required. As I say, I'm highly sensitive and being so am sensitive to reasoning. If something doesn't make sense, I have to know why. My husband can come home from work and say 'I've missed you' and then go off and spend hours on his own watching tv. I can express my longing for adventure but he isn't an adventurous person at all and can't see I'm worth the tiniest bit of effort. It's a long list so I won't go on. Even though he loves me in his own way, I find his love to be highly questionable. I'm sensitive enough to know when people truly love me and those who I'm close to have no question regarding whether I truly love them or not. If they were to question, it tells me I am not loving them enough. I love people to life. My perception of love changed when I came to define what true love means to me. Love is found in evolution.

    It should be easy for people to tell us in fine detail what they love or like about us LF, otherwise it is a thoughtless sort of love or like. If you're looking for thoughtful, you typically won't find it in people who won't put thought into things. You're obviously thoughtful. You analyse a lot, especially in an effort to know yourself better. How many people do you know who question themselves in order to know themselves better? Although questioning may feel like a curse at times, it remains a skill of the sensitive.


  9. LuckyFrog
    LuckyFrog avatar
    6 posts
    16 June 2020 in reply to therising

    Thanks for your insight.

    That helps me feel a bit better temporarily.

    The issues and the way my brain has been wired to think are generally bearable until some minor issue comes up and then I get sucked into this weird never-ending of thinking.

    The moment this happens all doubts just come flooding in. I hope there's a way to train my mind not to immediately drift off into the negativity direction as it seems to affect all aspects of my life

    Its nice that someone can see the point of view I have currently

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.

Sign me up