Roots of Self-Hatred

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned false accusation, and the way I used to “help” others to accuse me. I want to share a little more about why I behaved that way. Folks who have not dealt with self-hatred or abuse sometimes find that behavior puzzling. The best way I can explain it is this: If you had a choice between allowing someone else to hurt you or hurting yourself, which would you prefer? Most people would prefer taking care of the matter themselves.

When I went through years of being abused, it was far less painful, humiliating, or submissive if I hurt myself before anyone else hurt me. I preferred to take matters into my own hands than to be at the mercy of someone who wanted to hurt me. That kind of approach to self-protection is (ironically) where self-injurious behavior comes from.

Likewise, when faced with false accusation, I always preferred  to accept it as my own idea. During that time of abuse, it seemed better to embrace all accusations and turn them against myself quickly, rather than to suffer the humiliation and pain of having to defend myself against someone who was out to hurt me.

When these types of self-destructive behavior continue long enough – and are not countered directly with the truth of God’s love – they congeal into chronic self-hatred.

In my situation, self-hatred was born from abuse, but even more so from a fear of being hurt. I perfected the art of hurting and blaming myself for everything, rather than wait innocently for someone else to do it.

It’s been a long journey to walk free of that, and it’s also been one of the most difficult areas of healing in my life. But it’s been worth it.

As I wrote on the large piece of cardboard used in our inner healing “cardboard testimonies,” my past description was: “Hated Myself” and my “now” description is: “I LOVE Who I Am!!!!!” That piece of cardboard (the “now” side) hangs on the wall at the head of my bed, to remind me of how far Jesus and I have walked on our healing journey.

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