It took a long time, took a battle with myself, a battle with others, and an eventual admittance to self-denial to get me to this place. There are things that I've admitted or recognized since long ago...and some things that I'm finally owning up to. I feel I've, at last, hit rock bottom. I do not know exactly where it is I am supposed to begin, nor do I know where it is I WANT to begin; all I know is that I NEED to start somewhere.
I've long since known that my relationship with my mother (or lack thereof) has highly contributed to my long-standing issues and insecurities.
I recognize that said issues and insecurities negatively affect both my friendships and intimate relationships.
I know that I am a typical loner, not so much by choice, but by habit.
I realize that I've learned different life and people skills due to the people around me, such as learning selflessness from my father in his interactions with others.
We've gotten that out of the way.
The things that I didn't previously realize (for various reasons) actually were major acknowledgments that needed to be revealed before I could start the process of TRUE betterment. For one, I believe that I have been attempting to validate my self-worth through selfless actions for others. Don't get me wrong, lending myself to others happened because I was raised to do so...but it also halfway morphed into a self-fulfilling practice. I feel/felt good because a person was able to get advice/become better off/etc, but I also feel/felt good because I was able to assist them...and was subsequently looked at in the favorable light of 'reliable and/or trustworthy'. The flip side of that coin is pure irony, however. My moment(s) of happiness would be fleeting, as the reality sinks in that I'm so proficient at helping others, yet so inadequate when it comes to doing for and helping myself.
Two, my faith wasn't and isn't properly aligned. Yes, I believe in God and certainly believe in miracles, blessings, and the sort...but MY personal relationship with God is no where NEAR to being on par like it should be. Allow me to explain: I talk to God semi-often I'd say...but when I talk to Him, it's never about ME. Quite the contrary, I am praying and discussing the problems and issues of friends or people who have trusted me enough to confide their problems and/or fears in me. I ask God to help them in their time of need, to deliver them from the perils that they face...and then I thank Him and go on my way. Whenever I have problems that I think are overbearing, I typically internalize what I have going on, without thinking twice about coming to God...but don't mistake it for vanity or self-idolization; as I have absolutely ZERO thoughts placing me higher than God on the grand scale of importance. In my logic (whether twisted or otherwise), I reason that since I haven't been talking to Him while times were personally good, it would be quite heathen-esque of me to come to him now that all of the cards are against me. But I've figured out the true root: lack of acknowledging self-worth. Throughout my life, I never kept nor carried the type of confidence that others mistakenly assumed I had/have. Compliments are awkward moments for me, I'm really uneasy showcasing my talent in front of people if I have to do any talking, I don't (or should I say, DIDN'T) approach women who I thought were cute, for fear of rejection or ridicule. I'm sure I puzzled many a woman, because at most, I would get their attention and pay them a compliment...and leave it at that.
Trying to figure out WHERE the feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness came from is where psychology comes in. I'm a firm believer in every action or non-action resonating some type of effect within a person, even if he or she does not consciously recognize it at the time. My mother's perceived abandonment of me took a toll, despite never being talked about, explained, or even made an issue during my formative years. However, I can recollect days when I would be staring out of my grandmother's window, hanging onto a promise that my mother (and sometimes my father) was on the way to come and get me...only to get picked up by my desire to go play to mask my frustration of 'being stranded' at Granny's house another night. I think that situations similar to that one spurned a feeling of not being wanted, or undeserving of certain affections. So I stopped expecting people to come through for me, quit gearing myself up to anticipate things that seemingly were only happening in the lands of spoken English and Make-Believe. This made me be an introvert in a sense, because if I felt that I needed or wanted something, I was too afraid of speaking up for the fear of eventual rejection...usually by action. In a sense, I suppose you could say that I was doubting God...but I think it may have been more of a doubting my importance to Him.
These issues & insecurities paved a perfect path for me to not only stop expecting people to follow through with what was promised or declared, but also to be wary about trusting. At times, as a child trying to figure out life with (seemingly) no one to talk to, I began to look at the people around me as people who will put their own goals or desires ahead of mine, every time. Hardly ever was I proven wrong...so I started to anticipate two steps ahead, three steps ahead, four steps ahead, etc...and needless to say, the gun has been jumped (undeservingly) more times than I'd care to account for. It's wreaked havoc on a few of my relationships, but back then I didn't even know what to attribute it to. For those who cannot seem to make the connection (aside from depression), just think of a fatherless female and all of the different issues she has to encounter when it comes to dating/being in a relationship with a man. My script is a flipped one.
Mentally, when I'm suffering from depression in an acute manner, my mind is a warzone consisting of two combatants: I against I. Generally speaking, I am overanalytical to a fault...so when depression is thrown in the mix, it's like Multiple Man with a thinking cap on: pure anarchy on my mind state. What some folks don't realize, is that depression leaves you devoid of logic...so the most simple thing may or may not go over well with a person. Here's where the battle comes in, as a part of me KNOWS different from what I'm thinking, but the other part of me suggests that what I'm currently thinking is the truth.
Problematic and a huge mess, I know, but it is a mess that I plan on getting 'right' and moving past. Don't be surprised it there's a part II to this post.