My self esteem (or rather lack of it) was given to me; it was taught to me. There were reasons for the depressions, the struggles, the nervousness and anxiety. It is strangely comforting to read your words; read that I can be my own validation.
I was so disconnected from myself I couldn’t even hear myself.
It was in realizing that I didn’t relate what happened to ME, as having happened to me, that I realized why I was always in that emotional spin and always in my head invalidating myself.
If a waiter in a restaurant treated me like my business didn’t matter I was hurt and my mind would start spinning about why he was treating me that way.
I would examine every single sentence that we exchanged, looking inward for something that I must have done to cause this attitude in him.
If my mother told me that I looked nice, I wondered what she wanted; subconsciously I braced myself for what was coming next…. All through the history of my life, people complimented me when they had a motive. I could not trust anyone because I had never learned that there were people that were trustworthy.
To make matters worse, I was comfortable and even attracted to the familiar abusive types who DID have motives, and who were not trustworthy. I wanted to let live fully and free of the guilt and shame, but I kept thinking someone else could affirm that I was worthy of freedom.
By the same token if a waiter was really nice and attentive to me, I wondered if he was only doing it for the tip. I was always second guessing everyone and everything because of my history with abuse, but I also second guessed everyone, because I was always second guessing me.
If friends invited me over, it wasn’t long before I questioned if it was because they wanted my company, or because they wanted me bring cooking or baking. That was the way that my mind operated because that was the way my mind was trained to operate.
I heard me, others heard me and validated me and through all of that I was able to finally really see the value that I have as an individual human being.
Not the value that was given to me by someone else.
Not the lack of value that I had been defined by others with.