I Love Being Me And Sharing Myself With The World.

For years I had a very low self-esteem and was even suicidal. I starved myself to get my own approval but could not get thin enough. I worked hard to acheive great things but none of my achievements helped me love myself. They only set me up to have to do something greater the next time. My mother was verbally abusive and liked to humiliate my sister and I. She drove away my friends and would not let me talk to my grandmother, so I was alone, only hearing what she taught me about myself. I developed severe anxiety and social phobia and was afraid of my mom for 40 years. I didn't try lots of things because I already thought I was a failure. I was afraid to fail again and confirm my worst suspicions. I married a man I didn't love because I didn't think I deserved the one who did love me. 13 years later my husband divorced me. All of this lead to alcohol abuse. But I'm a fighter and a survivor and I truly know that whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger. I got with AA and got sober two years ago. Three years ago I met the man I'm married to now and he believed in me when I was at my worst. He said when I felt better all kinds of talents would come out. I'm not afraid to go to college now. I am applying to go on line. I even chair AA meetings. Being in front of people used to terrify me. I was afraid of my own shadow and ashamed of my body. Now I love my body. I am fat. So what. I have curves. I like my hair and I love the choices I have in how to wear it, and what clothes to wear. I treat myself better, too. I buy good make up and perfume whereas once I thought I didn't deserve it. No one intimidates me anymore. I question doctors and sometimes let them know I disagree with them. These changes came about when I began to learn that God loves me. I came to believe He made me who I am for a unique purpose and that is a good thing. He was never this punitive guy up there looking for reasons to tear me down. He wants me to be happy, to be me, to reach out to others and enjoy life. With my mother, nothing I did was ever good enough but with God that isn't so. Part of this journey involved a "boot camp" experience with rejection and insults. I gained weight and my mom started really putting me down, finding millions of ways to tell me I'm ugly. An old friend from college got in touch with me and wanted to fly up to see me. I told him I'm 43 years old, overweight and I don't look like I did when I was 17. He indicated he didn't really believe me. I should have told him not to come. My confidence was non-existent at that point. An internet affair had ended badly and my mom looked me in the face and told me she did not want to be my friend anymore. I was so stressed out that my hair started falling out in clumps. I cried one whole summer, holding my face and asking God " Am I a bad person?" I lost my volunteer jobs. Then this guy from college enters my life. Part of me thought maybe he would rescue me from the despair. But he met me at the airport and first off he began insulting my body and face. I never knew a person could be so cruel. I had no idea why all of this was happening to me. The next day I asked him to leave and he wouldn't go. He slept all day. I finally insisted he leave and he insisted I drive him to the airport. I should have kicked his *** out in the snow and let him walk. What a jerk. So here I am with no one loving me and absolutely no one thinking I was attractive. I was ashamed to go outside because I felt so ugly. I prayed hard. I hated looking in the mirror. I left my mother's house when she took all the blankets away. I was homeless for 5 days and then went to another town to rent a cheap room. I fell in love with the landlord. But he didn't make me feel beautiful or confident. He didn't think I was beautiful. I asked him why he wanted to have sex with me and he said " you're interesting." oh boy, thanks. I told him if he loved me he'd think I was beautiful. I waited for months. I dressed up. I tried new make up. Nothing worked. Then I realized my whole self-esteem was dependent on one person and I didn't like that. I asked God to help me think I'm beautiful, so no one could ever make me hate myself again. Who cares what everyone else thinks if you have a good opinion of yourself? I wrote affirmations everyday and embraced my inner beauty, my spirituality and m y philosophy of life. I looked at others differently. I decided to see everyone as beautiful since God made them. We were not designed to all look like supermodels and they don't corner the market on beauty. I accepted my flaws as part of what makes me beautiful. When I started seeing other's beauty I started to see my own. I cut contact with my mother and not hearing her disparaging words on a regular basis helped me begin to change the tapes, speak kindly to myself. Getting self-esteem was hard and there were a lot of tears involved. No one was there to tell me I was good, beautiful or even wanted. My husband was grieving his wife at the time, who had abandoned him. He loved her, not me. I went through a year knowing no one on earth loved me. It was very painful. But what I got out of it was a self-esteem based on something no one can take away from me, the love of God. I got a view of myself that was not dependent on affirmations from anyone else. In fact, at that time, My husband was being very critical. I had to fight rejection, criticism, not being wanted or loved and being told I was ugly. He even told me he wanted me because I'm ugly. Never make a pretty woman your wife, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, get an ugly girl to marry you. I could not believe he actually sang that to me. We fought hard over that one. I gave up on getting a compliment out of him. I dressed well every day and walked with my head held high. In time, he started saying I looked pretty. Once he got drunk and said over and over again how beautiful I was. It's nice, but not essential. I don't turn heads like I did in my 20s but I do get the occasional compliment now and then such as " your wife is a model, you better keep a close eye on her."I write all this to encourage others. No matter how far down your self -worth you can emerge with confidence. It is worth the work it takes. It has to come from inside you or it is too fragile to carry you through. I'm no longer afraid to say " I am an artist, writer , and musician." I'm not afraid to pursue my dream of becoming an English professor. I'm no longer afraid of a job that would require me to speak in front of a class every day. I hope something I said helps someone out there. Thanks for reading. :):):)
Siberia1000 Siberia1000
46-50, F
Dec 12, 2012