I wasn't as big or as heavy as the other babies. I wasn't as healthy as the other toddlers. I didn't grow as fast. I didn't learn as fast. I didn't grow tall enough like my cousin. I'm not as smart as my classmates. I'm not as talented as other people my age. I'm not as attractive as the other girls. I'm not as caring and sweet as my high school classmates. I'm not as ambitious and driven as my significant other. I'm not as sociable as my roommate. I'm not as strong, independent, and confident like my sister. I'm not as tough and funny as my best friend. I'm not as hardworking as my cousin. I'm not as passionate as my sister.
Those were just some things I heard on a regular basis. People loved comparing me to others. It happened too often that I grew up thinking that that was normal. Although the thing is, I wasn't always on the winning side whenever they compared me. It was always the other person who was taller, smarter, friendlier, stronger... better. The other person always had a tangible evidence that they were better, like higher grades, gold medals instead of bronze, more certificates, badges, trophies, special mentions, more friends.
I know, they deserved it but the fact that I did not receive the same things made me feel as if I were insufficient.
Since I grew up with those words, I carried the habit of comparing myself to everyone else. I always placed whoever I was comparing myself to on a pedestal. I immediately think that they are better than me since I was frequently compared to people with better credentials. This started the decrease of my self-esteem.
I would always believe that those who were better than me, which is pretty much everyone else in my point of view, deserved to be loved first.
If ever somebody chose me, I would immediately frame it as that person settling for me even though they assure me that they're not. My analogy for that situation is that person opted for a bronze medal instead of receiving a shiny gold medal.
I would immediately think that they deserve someone better—someone more attractive, smarter, ambitious, tougher. Someone more driven, just someone who's not me. How did this midset make me believe that I wasn't fit to be loved?
Whenever I hear my significant other say "I love you", I immediately think that they say this out of pity or because they are obligated to say it to me. I know they deserve better than everything I could ever give combined. Throughout the course of our relationship, my significant other has given me nothing but reassurance that I am so much more than I think of myself albeit I won't deny that there's still a part of me that thinks that I don't deserve to be loved.