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Where does self-hate come from?

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Behind many stories of self-hate, lies the evidence of a person who was hurt in visceral ways when they needed protection.

The aftermath for many survivors is making sense of trauma, neglect, betrayal in environments that bread that pain and is not changing, no matter how much others around them are hurt.

In our need for survival, we often begin to agree with the relentless (and uneducated, ignorant, and down-right false) messages that suggest what hurt us, was a long time ago and if we are not responding well to it, something is wrong with us.

Where are the lifelines for people who live in homes, belong to families, go to jobs where they are in survival mode because life is moving on, and no one has paused to say “Are you ok?”

They are found later, when there are words to name how bad the pain is.

They are found in unlikely places with people who identify with similar experiences of being the one who was always at fault, and dismissed for feeling differently than those around them.

They are in the ability to look back at our past self and say “What they expected of you was unjust considering they were not willing to own what hurt you in real time.”

Truly, how are you?

How is your mind amidst so much heaviness in the world?

How is your heart with the holidays coming and a lot of unspoken pressures, unwanted reunions?

How are you doing with that last thing you pursued to try and have a better understanding of why you have a hard time being nice to you?

Wait. Back the shame off from that last question. No shame here.

How are you and what do you need?

Self-hate is an unnecessary apology. Instead of being seen and heard, we turn on ourselves to join the people who have hurt us, because being in limbo, waiting, hoping someone checks up on us feels to scary.

So, we keep building our walls and hope someday there will be relief.

I want you to know that while I do not know your story, I do know what it feels like to hate yourself in ways that are so deep, you hide them from others because their feedback is too confusing. There is no shame in this–only confusion.

I hope you can take some time to fall back into your favorite thing you do that helps you feel connected. In that book, on that canvas, during that walk, in that journal, I hope you get one layer of something off of you, that reminds you survival mode doesn’t do us any favors when we are trying to heal.

Maybe this is the beginning of a new approach where even the self-hate you look at, and instead of beating yourself up, you sit back and ask “Am I afraid I’m going to get hurt the same way again, if I choose to love….me?”

You matter a great deal. Your life, as it is, has tremendous value. I hope you fight for that today and I hope there is relief and release for any part of you that has adapted to self-hate out of their survival.

I’m so glad you are here!

Nate

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