Life, no matter how long, is short. A turtle that lives for 400 years still dies, and the story of it’s success in life is how many of it’s offspring survived to have young of their own.
For us humans, it’s not how many children we have or how well we’ll be remembered, although most of us would put lasting fame as the true mark of success. For us, the true test of how well we’ve lived our lives is how much self-esteem we end up with when our time is up.
Happiness is everyone’s goal in life, regardless of how they go about achieving it. Happiness is very much dependent on self-esteem, though, and being the ruler of a bunch of people or head of a large company, or having more toys than the next person, none of that gives true self-esteem That stuff gives pride, which is not the same thing at all. Self-esteem isn’t feeling superior to others, it’s feeling happy with oneself, in personal integrity. Each time we steal some small thing or tell some small untruth, or cheat in some small way, we nibble away at our self-respect. No one respects a liar or a thief, and that includes ourselves, so when we do those things and take chips out of our self-respect, we’re also wrecking our self-esteem.
Some of us are raised to believe that we’re not as good as others, that we have little or no value, or that we’re inferior to our brothers and sisters or one or more parents. I know about this personally as I was raised that way. I have a grandson who will forever be 18 because he overdosed on heroin at that age and died. The kid had no self-esteem at all and lived on the streets with all the other losers, whom he felt more comfortable with. I have to give his parents credit for that resounding failure.
It’s only recently that I’ve learned to understand the nature of psychopathy, in the process of learning why my family has been such a mess for generations, and why so many members of it were so abusive. It’s also only recently that a consensus has been reached within the field of psychiatry that psychopathy is not a mental illness but is actually a genetically inherited condition, and is therefor untreatable. I’ve posted on this subject before and I’ll keep this short. Psychopaths are egocentric, charming and manipulative, and don’t feel guilt or love. It’s all for them and none for you. Psychopathy is common and was a much more successful survival trait in less civilized times than now, but it’s still very much with us.
When normal children are born into families with psychopathic parents, they do what is natural to them and seek the love of their parents. They never get it, because their parents are incapable of giving it. More than just that, normal people have a conscience, a sense of guilt, of right and wrong, that psychopaths don’t have, and the mental conflict that grows in children in the effort to be like their parents when everything within them tells them that it’s all totally wrong, drives many children insane at an early age. Their minds simply can’t deal with the contradictions.
My father was a very charming, manipulative psychopath who married my normal mother and drove her out of her mind. My father had brothers and other children besides me, and the others were born psychopaths, so I’ve had a lifetime of seeing their behavior and incredible selfishness and never understanding it. You can imagine what a revelation it’s finally been to me to read the latest findings on the nature of psychopathy.
Which brings me back to the subject of this post. Self-esteem. My father and his brothers treated me as an inferior while I was growing up, and taught my brother to do likewise, and as a result I grew up with almost non-existent self-esteem. Fortunately I was also blessed with a great deal of ability and a high mechanical aptitude, which enabled me to do anything they could do and often better. I still had to fight for their respect and they did finally gave it, but the truth is that it was respect for myself that I was really after.
For the psychopaths in our population, and they’re probably at least half of all of us, this post is not for you. You won’t admit to ever having been wrong about anything, ever, nor ever apologize for anything. You’ll always blame everything you did wrong on someone else.
This post is for us who are normal. If you feel bad about yourself, take a good look at the reasons for that and chances are its because you have some psychopaths in your life who want you to feel that way. Get away from them and look to your own abilities and your lives will get a lot better.
Two of my kids were born with what I call the “family curse” of psychopathy. They don’t feel love, never admit to a mistake, are cheap and stingy with gifts if they give anything at all. My brother, his 2 surviving children, my sister, my father, his father, all have -or had- blonde hair and blue eyes and psychopathy. The only solution for dealing with this has been to cut off all contact with those still living. There can be no genuine relationships.
My mother and her side of the family were all dark haired and brown eyed, as I am, and while not all were the kindest or most generous types, they were at least normal, genuine and honest people who never did me the slightest harm.
Growing up with psychopaths is hell for normal people but it can be overcome. Happiness, self worth, self-esteem and self-respect can be regained as your birthright, it just takes an understanding of what was wrong with those people, that they treated you that way. People who have no sense of guilt and will do or say anything to get their way may end up as some corporate chairman if they can restrain their impulse to just steal it and be done with it, but the rest end up in prisons or despised in their old age.
You don’t have to.