Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thoughts from the Borderline: Self-Worth

One of the reasons I think things wound us so quickly, and so deeply, is that very often we never learned to recognize and internalize a sense of our own self-worth.

I’m saying this immediately. Just because we have a hard time recognizing it, or seeing it at all, does not mean it is not there.

Growing up I always felt that everything I did was never good enough, that I was never good enough. So now, at even the slightest rejection, or perception of rejection, I feel absolutely worthless. I was never really taught to internalize a sense of my own self-worth.  Often I think this is why we can have such a need, such a desire, for someone to recognize our worth for us. We need that external validation, because we never learned to recognize it internally.

However this is also why at even the slightest perception of rejection or abandonment we can react so volatilely to our loved ones; it would be the actualization of our fear that we are in fact, worthless.  And also, why we can so desperately need them to forgive us, and come back, to reaffirm that we are not.

Unfortunately when you look for validation externally, in a world, and in people and are never going to be perfect, who have their own flaws and own lives, no matter how well intentioned or loving, it will always end up being a recipe for disaster because they can never fill a void of self-worth that is inside of us. Relying on an external source is tenuous at best, and is what often leads to that crippling sense of self-doubt, misery, loneliness, never feeling that you will ever be good enough….

It is important that we learn to develop our own sense of self-worth. It is important that we learn to look within ourselves in order to find that sense of self-worth and not rely on external validation, on other people to tell us that we are valuable. Believe me! I know this is difficult. I think this is the crux of what I have been struggling with lately. It is in no way something that changes over night, and may take years to fully transform… but it can be done. Even if it’s just taking a good look in the mirror and telling yourself that you’re worth it. You may not believe it at first, but do it anyways.

More on this to come. These are just some thoughts for today. 


  1. I loved this article, it spoke volumes to me on a personal level. I think you really struck on a core aspect of BPD that's often very apparent especially in all these behaviours such as volatile reactions, acting out, desperately needing forgiveness...they're all indicative of someone never having internalised their own self-worth...they look for it in other people. You're spot on, totally right!

  2. I loved reading this today. Thank you Raven. It's exactly where I am. I didn't realize it until I read it. The company I worked for 1-1/2 years fired me for a mistake. It didn't matter that I was reliable, on time, and loyal. Then today, the Unemployment Commission denied my claim because they lied. They are attorneys and can lie and look good. Argh. Then today I ran into the man that I gave my heart to and he cheated on me. The message I was hearing in my head all day was that I was replaceable (easily so) by everyone. My feelings were deeply hurt. Discarded. That I don't even deserve to pay my way for the troubles. Ugh. Thank you so much. I am worth it and I've obviously put myself in sick situations. My feelings may not matter to these people. I may not be important to any of them. But damn, I'm an incredible woman and I deserve the best. So, I'm going to let it roll of my back now, like water on a duck.

    1. TornadoAlli
      So very impressed and inspired. You Are amazing. Thanks. Kate

  3. again, amazing timing! thank you. my worth & self-validation has been on my mind this weekend--this confirms some things that popped into my head :) synchronicity

  4. I sincerely appreciate this article. You have helped me to begin to see the other side of the coin.
    I am trying to find some peace with my mother in law that has bpd and narcissistic personality disorder. I have spent months working through my own anger with what this woman has done to my husband (her son), and our married life. We have had very little contact with her while h and I have been in therapy. I do not want to hurt her but we can't let her keep disrupting our family and causing such drama in our lives. Any suggestions on how I could address this going forward would be appreciated. I want to do what I can to keep my children's grand around but I will not let her hurt them...
    I think you are an amazing person with dso much courage to speak so openly and help as many as you do, myself included. Thank you for that.

  5. So glad to read all of this. 37 years into my life and I finally find a name to my madness. Bpd it is. Sad but true. But at least now I know what im I know my demons.


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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