You feel different than others, like your on the outside looking in. You work really hard to appear "normal" or "together" and there is a strong inner critic that is relentless.
The pattern of guilt and shame is exhausting and your longing for acceptance.
A childhood with a parent who is hard to reach emotionally puts kids in a bind. It creates a conflict between our innate desire for love and affection and the need for safety. We must stay in relationship with the adults who are our only source of safety (i.e. housing, food, clothing) AND make us
feel unimportant and rejected. As a child and teen you coped in creative ways. You are resourceful and found what you needed where you could. You had good friends, focused on school or sports and became a high achiever. Maybe you turned those feelings inward and became depressed, withdrawing from the world, finding solace online or in art. Sometimes, we took it out on others and sometimes on ourselves by self-harming.
As an adult you have more options
Therapy can help by:
Offering information to understand how difficult childhood experiences inform how we feel, think and behave in the present.
Process difficult memories so that you don't feel overwhelmed and stuck.
Learn skills to tolerate difficult emotions and gain clarity about your thoughts, feelings and impulses.
Reconnect with all parts of yourself .
You do not have to be Perfect, without Flaws, to be Loved and Accepted.