A less common self-esteem problem

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wormyeyelid's picture
A less common self-esteem problem

Right now, I'm hating myself. Not because of my body or because of how I've 'let myself go', but because of what's inside of me.

Most people suffering from eating disorders have low self-esteem and self-worth.
I, on the other hand, have too much self-esteem. Although, I am not super-confident and cocky; in fact most people assume I lack self-esteem because of my shyness, I am quietly self-assured. And it sickens me.

This is the first time I am confessing to being a narcissist. I am a vain, selfish and shallow person with very little consideration for others. And while most people develop eating disorders because of their lack of self-esteem, I developed mine because I am an attention-seeker.

I don't know how I ended up leaning over a toilet with my fingers down my throat but I'm pretty sure that as a 13-year-old I was 'suffering' from a severe case of "wannarexia" or "fauxlimia".

To what extent of a narcissist am I? Well the amount of times I look in the mirror daily is a good indication. I am always overdressed. I wear a full face of makeup even if I'm not leaving the house. I crave adoration and if I can't get that, pity. I am incapable of thinking about anybody else but myself. My favourite activity is talking about myself and my 'problems'. I am a serial liar, I love to embellish the truth, and I know I am a good liar. My own self-worth is measured on how others perceive me, so I make sure I know what they think of me with paranoid interrogation. I cannot take criticism, yet I can very easily criticise others. It's either my way or now way, everytime. I judge others on their personality, but I judge myself on my appearance. I talk a certain way to sound as if I have superior intelligence to everyone else. The only reason I do good deeds is to take the moral high ground, be praised, or to make myself feel good about the person I am. I think I'm f-ing 'special' because I have no loyal friends and because I have 'problems' and because 'nobody understands me'. I need to quit being a whiny teenager and realise I am nothing more than the dirt I am walking on.

Truth is, no matter how I look on the outside, I am an ugly and rotten person on the inside, and I need to be bashed and treated like crap to bring my bloated ego right down.

Any words of advice? People are always ready to help the poor soul that lacks self-esteem but never the person that thinks they're God.

Liza's picture
I understand completely what

I understand completely what you are saying, and i've felt the same thing & i've heard plenty others speak the same words you have...

That feeling of wanting to be better than everyone and believing that i was better than everyone is starting to go away the more i get into recovery and the healthier i am feeling inside...

... which leads me to think that the narcissism and the attention seeking and being super critical of everyone else was just good, old fashioned low self esteem - i needed to critisize everyone and tell myself i was better than everyone becuase really inside i knew i was less than the scummiest scum. It was like i kept trying find fault with everyone else so i wouldn't have to deal with the fact that i really -deep down- believed i was lower than everyone.

What i know now is that those feelings of narcissim and feeling better than everyone were not the real me... And they weren't REALLY how i was feeling (even though it felt real at the time). I was really feeling scared and alone and worthless.

There is a line from a poemey thing i love which i want to share becuase when i read your post it made me think of this immediately...

"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here."

I hope my rambling makes sense. Hang in there. Recovery has taught me that i am both weaker -and stronger- than i thought i was.

You are not a terrible person. What you believe yourself to be is not really who you are inside. You are a wonderful, special person who deserves the love and attention she so desperately craves.

Keep fighting

'I will not choose not to be'

wormyeyelid's picture
Thank you for your kind

Thank you for your kind words.

I really want to believe you.

*Hope*'s picture
i use to be like that

HUN Its Ok :)
omg i totally understand where your coming from

i grew up with a narcisstic mother, so i had learnt to have a narcisstic view of the world.

i hated the way my mother treated my family, friends, and me, i was never worthy of her love.Nothing was ever her fault, it was the world against her. she hurt too many people. i new i never wanted to end up like her. one day i noticed i was becoming more and more like her. i looked in the mirror and i HATED what i saw.

so i started my disppearing act, i saw the fat on my body as my mum, once it was all gone i could start freash, i lost weight , but i was still the same person on the inside.

Through counciling and my familys love "not including mum"
i have learnt about life "realisticly"
the mirror does not define you. you have to work on the inside, in realty its all that matters
you can change if you CHOOSE to, its hard, but its worth it.

i still have to constantly change the way i think anout things, but its actually working.
i am sooo realeaved

XooXooX Peace XooXooX

wormyeyelid's picture
How do I change? I never

How do I change? I never thought it was in mine own hands.

punkrocklibrarian's picture
There's a lot of narcissism, rage and -

There's a lot of narcissism, rage and conflicting emotion in this illness - i've seen it, i've experienced it, and it's a lot more complicated that you realise. When you've got very little to cling to, you cling to your reflection; you try to control your appearance, hence the eating disorder, or whatever other disorder - we're not the only ones affected.

Of course i'm over-simplifying it now.

The same goes for putting other people down. You feel like shit yourself, so you put other people down. It's not because you think you're better. Quite the opposite. A so-called superiority complex is quite the opposite.

Quite possibly you've been derided by others, or you've spent so long giving yourself a hard time, that you react in the only way you know how - to lash out.

I have been, possibly still am - i can't tell sometimes - a compulsive liar, though now i admit to it a lot of the time. You're not alone there either. It's another very common aspect of any form of low self esteem. If you feel like you're not good enough you'll make stuff up. One moment that you're way better than you are, one moment that you're way worse than you are.

Me, me, me!

You obviously don't think you're better than others anyway - you've just spent your entire post telling us all how awful you are! If you can be kind to yourself and realise how special you are, you'll be able to make peace with the rest of the world.

Catastrophising is also very common among eating disorder sufferers. My life is worse than yours, no, my life is worse than YOURS, etc. And at the same time we can often realise how ridiculous we sound; and we get angry with ourselves and tell ourselves to shut the fuck up, and beat ourselves up even more, because we're such stupid, stupid people, who deserve to be punished, etc etc. Making our predicament even worse.

Chasing your tail like an agitated puppy won't get you anywhere. Let yourself think about yourself. What's wrong with that? You're the only one who'll definitely be there for you for the rest of your life.

You can also do some things for others, like voluntary work in charity shops, homework help in the library, looking after children or the elderly, walking people's dogs, cleaning in hospitals, whatever needs doing in your local area. But you also have to remember to allow yourself enough time in the day to fight your own battle.

Of course it's in your own hands. You're influenced by everything, including your world and your upbringing, but you are NOT your world or your upbringing. You can choose to take responsibility whenever you want. It is that simple - though it certainly is not easy, never think that, ha ha


~Solidarity is strength~

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
I feel like this could be about me!

Its horrible when we really think about ourselves in that way, but honestly, as much as I try to be a good person, and I do try to work through a lot of the things I hate about myself and the way I treat others, reading what you said I could identify to every single point at one time or another.

But the only difference is I relate all those things to having low self esteam not high. I mirror check a stupid amount too - not because I like what I see though, because I worry that something might be out of place, that other people wont like what they see. I always wear a full face of makeup too even if I have no plans for the day, but again is it really about too much self love? Because I see it as weakness and fear at least on my behalf. Im scared of being anything but this fake me, because Im scared that people wont like me.

"My own self-worth is measured on how others perceive me"
Mine too! But this again is a really classic sign of low self value. Having to always please others, but at the same time craving their attention and having a need for them to look up to you and think you are perfect is all something I know I do to try and make myself feel like Im worth something. Think about it, people with high self esteam wouldnt need to do this because they have their own approval.

"I cannot take criticism, yet I can very easily criticise others" - I do this all the time, It's what I hate most about myself but it really is something I try and stop doing. I know this is a trait I got from my mother, when you've done something for so long it's hard to stop I think.

Anyway my lovely, I am very sure that you are not alone in feeling all these things about yourself x x

wormyeyelid's picture
*my. Thanks for that. I'm


Thanks for that. I'm just wondering though, how do I know whether or not I am a full-blown narcissist or just lacking self-esteem? You're all giving me the benefit of the doubt for some reason and making me feel a victim of the world.

I could really have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you know. I hope I don't, but it certainly is a possibility.

I want to believe that I am secretly lacking self-worth, but nobody has really put me down in my recollection, I don't know if I've even put myself down like this before.

From my post, you would THINK that I have really low self-esteem. But maybe I'm just saying all those things so that others will disagree with me and tell me how great I am and fuel my ego even further. Maybe, I just want pity.

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
You're right

We don't know and we can't know. But at the same time I don't think anyone here wants to give you pity, just to let you know that you're not alone in the things you feel about yourself. I don't feel like you're a victim, like any of us are victims, but I do know that we are trapped somewhere we'd rather not be, and I know that having other people out there who go through the same things you do can be really helpful when you're trying to work things out (at least it is for me) x x

*Hope*'s picture
by learning.... it is in your

by learning....
it is in your own hands, the best part is that you have realised that your views of the world are not ideal.
that is the first step! YAY

take a step back from the mirror, it helps.
prove yourself wrong!!
do things that you wouldnt normally do, become aware of your feelings and the thoughts behind them.

XooXooX Peace XooXooX

wormyeyelid's picture
Thanks for your comments,

Thanks for your comments, you've all cleared up my concerns somewhat. I'm actually quite surprised at your responses really, although I've never doubted the support of people on this site, I've always believed that people who lack self-confidence were the only ones that received empathy. Being narcissistic sure can be a pain in the ass too.

But I doubt any of you have ever thought about your talents and achievements and said to yourself, "People must envy me and think I'm perfect". That is incredibly unhealthy.

punkrocklibrarian's picture
Loads of people, whether they

Loads of people, whether they have an eating disorder or not, really want others to envy them or think they're perfect. When you put it like that it sounds really extreme but in real life it isn't necessarily. I've never heard of narcissistic personality disorder but that sounds like a very black and white way of thinking anyway - why would you necessarily be "full-blown narcissist or just lacking self-esteem"? And if someone's a narcissist they obviously have some kind of psychological problem just like the rest of us and need help too - they are no less worth while than people who are lacking self worth.

Yes it is incredibly unhealthy to want to be thought of as perfect - perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking is rife amongst those with eating disorders and that's what gets us into this mess, ha ha.

None of us are victims of the world. We're all capable of drawing ourselves out of the pits but we need help because who can seriously pull themselves up by their own boot straps?

~Solidarity is strength~

Courtneyyyy14's picture
Have you ever tried community

Have you ever tried community service? I think if you had a really humbling event in your life that you would gain an extremely eye opening experience. There is a lot more to the world than you see right now. I think you criticize yourself too much. Everyone has beautiful qualities, if it is narcissism that drives your eating disorder then see what helping others and living purely for the benefit of others might do to change your perspective on things. I don't mean working at a soup kitchen once and watching the people walk by and thank you for handing them food. I mean, go sign up for a habitat for humanity project, help build a house, tutor kids in poor areas. Plenty of organizations out their plan trips and are looking for volunteers. Oh and if you do this, try not wearing any make-up. That is extremely humbling, find your inner beauty and lose the obsession with vanity. Change can bring about great things, even if you don't see it or understand it at first. Just a little suggestion :)

Too Damn Good To Let This Tear Me Down

sam95's picture
its ok, im sure everyone

its ok, im sure everyone thinks that way sometimes. i have periods when i hate who i am and wish to just be anybody else, and at other times, i think i'm above everyone else just because most other people i know arent bulimic and havent had an eating disorder. im sure lots of people with this particular problem feel that way too.

i mean, sometimes when someones getting on my nerves, i just want to tell them everything about how hard it is for me to cope with my eating disorder, and how its taken up my life, and how ive been through things that they never have, and how that somehow makes me more experienced and above them, etc.

but i think this is just natural. for now focus on yourself. who cares if you're self centred, vain, a narcissist? sometimes, too much pride is what gets you through the day. trust me, being super-shy is not much fun either!

and you said you think to yourself "People must envy me and think I'm perfect", but trust me, everyone at some point has probably though that about themselves. dont feel angry with yourself :)

swan's picture
Voluntary work

I agree with courtney..I volunteer at a dog shelter and it makes me realise there is more to my life than how i feel about myself.

anna999's picture
just wanted to let you know

just wanted to let you know that you're not alone, i fit almost the exact same description. the best thing to do i guess is consciously try and change behaviors and thinking. fake it til you make it natural

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