“How do I stop feeling so worthless?”

25 Feb 2008

“I know it’s not good for me… but I can’t help wondering,
is the person he is now with prettier than me… (or slimmer than me, or more fun
than me)… How do I close that chapter and not feel so worthless because of everything
that I was not
in this marriage?” Annika

How, in other words, do you step out of self-loathing? 

And had you even realized that that is what all of this is
truly about?

As I have said many times before in this ezine, every time
you continue to put yourself down, you do his work for him. In fact, he may have left to start another
relationship undermining another woman, but inside your head nothing
much has changed. 

Will your ex suddenly ‘morph’ into Mr Wonderful with your
successor?  I’d stake a fair sum of money on it never happening.
Leopards don’t change their spots, they hunt down fresh meat when they get

Still, you can’t help doing a bit of romanticizing. You remember the good bits (few, far between
and usually more tainted by his trademark negativity than you might care to
admit). You wallow in the sadness of
the bad times: yes, it was that bad; yes, it should never have happened.

It did.

Misery is addictive.

Of course, you don’t want to be miserable, nobody does. But if you have done it for long enough, and
experienced it keenly enough, you forget how to feel different.

If today is practice for tomorrow – and it is – you are
sorely out of practice when it comes to happiness. 

Now there is a very human temptation to argue that you can’t
be happy until you feel happy; until, that is, you have the
trappings of a ‘happy life’. 

What are those trappings? And how many people can you think of who have at least some of the
trappings that you would like, who are thoroughly dissatisfied with what they

Contrary to what you may believe, you can choose your
feelings. You can also manipulate your
feelings. You only have to know how to
do it. 

The simplest method of doing so is simply to change your
focus. However difficult your life is,
you are allowed to do that. 

There are, I think, two parts to changing your focus. The first is, as ever, to start to love
yourself. For most women this is a
radically new departure; they simply don’t know how. My ebook “The Woman You Want
To Be”
makes that journey into self-love simple, effortless and safe.

The second is to own, finally, that you are powerless to
change the facts of the matter. The
relationship was toxic, he treated you abysmally and you let him. You let him inasmuch as you sanctioned his
behaviour by tolerating it. You stayed,
therefore he could. However much you may have protested, you stayed. He got the message.

That happened. There
is nothing you can do to change it now. But here’s the thing:

What is the significance of this toxic relationship in your

This is where you get to choose. It can be the moment that your life was shattered for good and
ever, or not. It may be that in 6
months, 1 year, or more, you rejoice that it happened because without it you
would never have reached the much more rewarding place where you are now. 

Was my marriage foul? Yes. Do I regret it now? No,
because that was the only way that I was ever going to get to where I am today.
I didn’t have the awareness, the motivation or the tools to do it any other
way. My course, at that point, could
only have been the rocky road I took. I
hated it at the time, and it was all worth it. Not just for me, but for my daughter also.

You are at a point, Annika, where you can embrace
victimhood. You have the credentials,
you have suffered enough in your relationship. 

Or else you can rejoice because you have experienced
victimhood and you are now ready to choose something better, something which
will create far better results in your life. 

How can you possibly know that you cannot create a far, far
better life for yourself?


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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