I feel like these two go hand-in-hand. Rarely do you see one without the other. Abusers do their fair share of convincing their victims all bad things are the victims fault. A steady diet of blame the victim eventually the victim believes they are the ones that are the problem.
4. “I always feel like I am doing everything wrong… It’s very hard to convince me I am good at something.”
5. “I become apologetic over everything. If someone doesn’t text back, I’ll believe they’re upset with me, and I’ll apologize. If I ask for something and annoy them, I’ll apologize. Everything becomes a situation where I feel like I’m to blame.”
Bless my lovely teenage daughters that grew up into amazing adults that would scold me over and over for always saying, “I’m sorry.” Even when I knew it wasn’t my fault I would apologize. I remember confronting one of my abusers and within 5 minutes everything was my fault and I was apologizing again. (Note: rarely is it a good idea to confront an abuser. It can be extremely dangerous and almost always disappointing.) I grew up hearing “Love means never having to say you are sorry.” (From Love Story) Dumbest idea ever but self blaming and apologizing for everything is equally dumb. My counselor spent hours teaching me to trust myself and recognize when I do things wrong. I do believe in a true apology when I hurt someone or do something wrong. Pseudo apologies wrapped in excuses and blame hold no interest for me.
How to over come feeling like I do everything wrong? Finally learning to love myself. Learning to recognize my strengths. Stop looking for outside praise. I decide what I do is good enough. Criticism is their opinion but does not define who I am. I do NOT need to apologize to a hyper-critical person. Their opinion is their problem not mine. I also learned that sometimes the other persons bad words and feelings towards me are not about me at all. I was stunned to learn that the universe does not revolve around me and I do not create everyone’s happiness. Who knew? My counselor and every other reasonable healthy person know these things. I still tend to apologize first and assign responsibility later. However, I am learning to accept what I am able to do. And for most people, most of the time, what I do and who I am is enough, no apology needed. I do not need to apologize for breathing. I do not need to apologizing for eating food. I no longer apologize for existing.