You may not think about it on a conscious level but we all carry a belief about our value in the world. This is a great article about determining your worth.
After James and I split, especially after I lost my business, Lady Witha Truck; I had a bit of an identity crisis. I don’t think it is that unusual for the victim of narcissistic abuse to feel worthless which stems from not having a good sense of who you are and what you stand for.
I found myself in a place where I didn’t “belong” to anyone. I had been so-and-so’s daughter, then I was someone’s wife, after I had Kris I was Kris’s mom, When I introduced myself I literally would say, “I’m Carrie, Kris’s mom, or Victor’s wife, or James wife, and then I became the “Lady Witha Truck”, without realizing it I was attaching my worth as a person to who or what I was attached to. I had started my company during a period when James and I were living apart but still dating, I had left him and gotten a job and then bought the truck. I was independent of him for the first time in 4-5 years and I loved being the “lady witha truck”, it symbolized my independence and autonomy (to me and to James). I got well-known as the lady with a truck, especially after I was in the newspaper; I had people stopping me in the street to say they had seen me in the paper or asking where my cool dog was. It was great for my ego, I was the only woman who was hauling scrap metal totally on her own without the help of a man and men loved it (so did I, the attention was just what I needed after a few years of James devaluing me.
Unbeknownst to me James worked behind the scenes trying to destroy that, although he liked the attention being my boyfriend got him and the perks of cool stuff he got off my truck he hated the independence it gave me. I fought hard to keep it because it became, over time; who I was and it became more important than being James’s girlfriend. It is hard to explain but it affected all aspects of how I viewed myself. I felt more attractive physically, I was independent financially, I felt popular, confident and well ……… valuable. When James was able to destroy my truck and I was unable to afford to fix it any more I went into a deep depression, I literally had a nervous breakdown. He would promise to fix my truck and I would wait with bated breath, literally; to see if he would keep his promise to fix it on his next days off. Then he wouldn’t fix it and I would know it would be another week before there was any hope. Every day that I woke up and realized I could not work, not get in my truck and be the lady with a truck, a little piece of me died.
When I lost the truck and James almost simultaneously I broke totally and that was when I quite calmly decided to kill myself. I had no value, James was telling me to kill myself because no man would ever want a psycho bitch like me anyway. Like without a man, without him I was worthless. As long as I had my truck I still felt I had value. Now I was nobody, Kris was on his own, I didn’t have a husband, or a business, not even any friends. Who was I?
I had a tough couple of years trying to figure out who I was, what I stood for, where was my value. that is when I decided to start the blog and in a round about way give myself worth by declaring to the world how worthless I was. By sharing my experiences of being broken and discarded I hoped other people would be helped and in doing so I would be of some value in the world, me being here was not a waste, I did something worthwhile in my life. It worked, better than I ever anticipated it would. It started a series of revelations and insights that led to me finding myself and my worth, just as Carrie. When I meet people now I introduce myself as Carrie, I don’t “belong” to anyone. If someone takes the time to get to know me I as the owner of a great dog, a mother, grandmother, activist, blogger, honest, and a work in progress.
How do you determine your worth? Not what your logical mind tells you but deep down what are you worth? who or what determines your worth?