Recently, a therapist told me that I have a serious issue with repeated self sabotage. She was right, I had just never heard it from someone else before. I had never thought about how dangerous it was. I did not realise that it had nearly killed me.
Sabotage is defined as “an act or process tending to hamper or hurt” so adding the self to this gives you an idea of what self sabotage is. But, it does not help you to understand why self sabotage happens. It does not seem rational to harm yourself. It’s not particularly rational but many of us still do it, I do it more often than most.
Fundamentally, I see myself as the worst person. I cannot comprehend why someone would want to be with me. Rather than accepting the love, I act in ways which I think will help the other person realise that they do not really want to be with me. I repeatedly say to my partner ‘I don’t understand why you are with me.’ My head literally does not understand how someone could want me. I am always in the mind that it is just a matter of time before everyone around me realises how awful I am.
So, I try to mess things up. All the time.
It’s not just with relationships though. When I am happy, I only enjoy it for a brief moment before entering high alert mode. I’m not supposed to be happy. I do not deserve this. Something is going to go wrong. Why is nothing going wrong? I start to look for things that will ruin the happiness because I am expecting them to come along anyway. If I cannot find anything, I will create something.
I am always hurting myself. In turn, this often hurts others around me, that is never the intention.
Self sabotage is such a complex issue. It can be something as simple as overeating when on a diet. Or it can become ingrained into who you are. That is what has happened to me. My head thinks that I do not deserve anything good so I do all I can to make sure I am in control of when and how that good gets taken away.
Now that I am aware of this, I will hopefully start to recognise self sabotaging behaviour. However, I currently have no idea how to rectify this. Perhaps it will start with trying to be a little kinder to myself…