Growing up, I mostly received love and praise from my parents when I accomplished things. And so I got very good at doing that. I still struggle at understanding my value and ability to be loved that isn’t tied deeply into work/accomplishments/service to others/productivity.
I have never really had someone who I felt loved me in that way and I don’t think a lot of people have - but I do hear that exists. I also feel I have loved others in that way so I understand the many reasons why one might love people.
But as a single disabled woman who thinks deeply and is working slowly on many interesting but unfinished projects, I feel I have nothing to show for my life to earn someone else’s love. Which I recognize as really problematic but which is such an ingrained part of my psyche.
Whenever I feel unloved - I overwork. Its not a fun overwork but a desperate, grasping sad overworking where I feel like I’m nothing and that the work will make me something. I started this at such a young age and I doubt I’m alone (which is why I’m writing this thread).
In some ways the overwork is a desire to externalize my thoughts so that I can find people asking similar questions - which I think is a bit healthier. But it’s also the training I was given to be a seal performing tricks for my parents.
I am only ever as good as my last trick. And I must keep performing them.