Messages from the world are embraced and internalized during formative years and beyond. In the perfect world the messages are aligned to harmonious interaction with the societal environment. They are meant to positive in focus, delivered from a spirit of love and caring. This focus provides a framework for fitting into the world.
Sadly you live in an imperfect world. A portion of the messages received and internalized align with a world that does not fit how you define yourself. The misaligned world is firmly grounded in contrary political themes, religious dogma, or societal norms. While this does not make them inherently wrong, the disconnect is incorrect for you. The framework of the messages becomes the square peg pounded into your round hole, and in this analogy, the peg is larger than the hole. The end result is human struggling for survival.
There are several ways to know if you are struggling. The most basic is a self-phobia manifesting when you feeling loathing or condemnation. The source of these negative emotions is feeling or thinking contrary to previously internalized messages. The internalized messages become a programmed loop explaining how things should be. The interpersonal reality differs. I private war erupts, with you as collateral damage. Another way to know you are struggling is to experience invisibility, also known as erasure. The definition of who you see yourself is explained away as a delusion, sickness, or fantasy. Alternate explanations are provided. These do not fit when compared to the reality of self.
How can struggling be addressed? Turning to the source of the conflict does little good. Instead a new frame of reference must be created. Breaking away from programming of old messages is facilitated by new role models, peers, or mentors. These can manifest in person or through media. They provide a sanity check in which the internalized messages may be voided or replaced. The disruptive programming is recognized for what it is and put aside. The outcome of this transformation is the gradual lessening of the self-loathing. The private condemnation is replaced by an acceptance of the unique person you are. The network of support also fights invisibility, decreasing the caustic nature of erasure when you are recognized for the person you’ve become.
Look to where you condemn yourself. Identify if the judgment comes from messages implanted by others. Decide if you deserve those harsh verdicts, and if you don’t, seek those who can provide alternatives. In the end you will learn to survive and thrive.