: an amount of something that has a specified value, that lasts for a specified length of time, etc.
: the amount of money that something is worth
: usefulness or importance
By contrast, there is the word worthless.
: having no financial value
: having no use, importance, or effect
: having no good qualities
You hear yourself defined as worthless enough times, and you begin to believe it. I did.
“You’re Just Worthless, Trease”
I will never forget the first time my ex-husband looked me in the eye and told me I was worthless to him. He was a big man (6’2″ tall, 245 lbs. at the time), but if he had landed one of those upper-cuts he was famous for, the blow couldn’t have been more devastating. It was still early on in the marriage so y’all know I flew back on him, but as I said, that was the first time. The next time I heard it was when I overheard a conversation he was having with one of his friends. Over the years, he would say it to me in a variety of ways, during arguments, and a couple of times, out of the blue.
The last time he spat those words at me was shortly before I had that brain hemorrhage. He blindsided me. He had called me from work and told me that he needed to talk to me when he got home. He didn’t sound angry or upset. He was good like that. Just a day before, we had been talking about traveling, so I thought he wanted to talk about a trip. That’s not what it was. He told me that I was costing him too much money and that I was bringing him down. I didn’t cry because, by that time, the detachment I had to life itself was incredibly strong. I just looked at him. I didn’t fight back because I didn’t have it in me anymore. The truth is, I couldn’t fight back because I actually believed him.
For lack of a better description, until I decided that I was no longer going to be the victim of domestic abuse, I lived in space. Every single day blended into the next. When I tell you I was just going through the motions, believe that. Outside of my son, nothing meant a thing to me. Long before the marriage ended, I had decided that I was going to get it in gear and rebuild myself, but it took me a long time to take action on that vow. I waivered between believing him and believing in myself.
It was a long, painful journey to reach a point of solace in my life. I finally let go of the facade of being Super Woman and started counseling. One of the most frightening experiences I’ve ever had in my life was when that detachment began to fade and I had to face the smut under the surface. A couple of times after I left counseling, I sat in my truck for over an hour because I was staggered by some of the things I had disclosed to the counselor. Up to that point, I had dared not utter the details of my marriage out loud. It was the beginning of the un-learning process for me. Hearing the details of the abuse from my own mouth scared me, but the very act of speaking them to another person shook me into an awakening. I decided I not only wanted to live, but that I wanted to live on purpose.
I had to remind myself daily that outside of the fact that I’m educated, funny, and smart, there is a whole gaggle of people who love, love, LOVE me! I had to remind myself that I have wisdom and goodness to offer others. I learned that I am worthy of my own love.
I know what it is to live in constant mental pain. I know what it is to live in fear. Because of these facts, I can tell you with certainty that you don’t have to live that. Love does not hurt and you’re not obligated to live with or for anyone who tells you otherwise. Life can be amazing, but you have to decide that you’ll live it that way. You’re amazing. Understand your worth. Realize the beautiful being you are. Love yourself enough to eliminate your presence from any situation where you’re not absolutely adored and cherished. Do you!