Have I ever really loved myself?

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Isn’t that a sad question?  Sad for anyone to wonder that about themselves.  What brought that to mind was my daily writing on 750words.com, saying that I want to treat myself like I deserve to be treated.  Then it hit me, maybe that’s always what  I’d been doing…treating myself like I thought I deserved to be treated.  That not doing good things for myself, eating trash, isolating myself from friends and family, not being nice to myself…that this was how I thought I deserved to be treated.  What a kick in the teeth to finally understand that I’d been treating myself  like dirt because that was all I thought I deserved.  Would I ever think that was how anyone else deserved to be treated?  Absolutely not.  So why would I think that was how I deserved to be treated?  Because what?  I’m different from everyone else, that no one else deserves to be disrespected, but I do?  But that’s exactly how I was treating myself, I was being disrespectful to myself.

Why?  Oh gee, I suppose most kids get wrapped up in how their parents love them…or how they don’t love them.  Yes, my mother absolutely loved me, of that I have no doubts.  And I’m thankful that I had her in my life.  My father, on the other hand, who knows?  I suppose he may have loved me in his way, but that way wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t what I needed.  It was not the unconditional love I craved.  It was full of doubt, insecurity, and abandonment.  One of his first comments, after not talking to me for nearly 20 years, was, “Are you still fat?” Seriously?  What kind of father says that to his daughter?  I guess the answer to that would be, the kind of father I got stuck with. 

Have you ever noticed that girls seem to base so much of their self-worth on how their fathers treat them?  That doesn’t speak well for our future when you stop to think about how many fathers are absent in the lives of their kids these days.  I’ve never had good self-esteem.  Now, as an adult, trying to figure things out, trying to make things better, I realize a lot of that has to do with the fact that I felt unlovable simply because I truly believed my father didn’t love me enough to be a part of my life.  Intellectually, I understand that it had everything to do with him and his demons and nothing at all to do with me, but how in the world do you take that understanding and transform it into changed beliefs and behavior?  Simply having the insight into the whys of your behavior isn’t enough to change that behavior…where do I go from here?

Right now, today, I don’t have the answers to that question.  All I know is that I want to reach a place in my life where I can answer the question,
“Have I ever really loved myself?” with a resounding “YES!!”

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13 Responses

  1. I love this and loving yourself is a very powerful message. It took me some years to have the courage to say those words. I to had a father at home that I never emotional connected with. This is a great post .

    • Thank you so much.. I think too many men don’t understand how important a part they play in the development of their daughters…too sad for all involved.

  2. Congrads! Sounds like you’ve begun that journey ~ How’s like the name of a great new blog too ;o)

  3. Very poignant post, Patti. Really excellent.

  4. I’m so happy the daily writing is helping you! My dad was rather emotionally-detached. He said he raised three boys and didn’t know anything about girls, so I was Mom’s responsibility. He would also say hurtful things to Mom and/or me. I was afraid of him sometimes. I was in the low-self-esteem boat headed for shipwreck when I met my then-husband-to-be. He’s been so encouraging to me…asserting that I have value. And you do, too. It’s never too late to blossom. Thanks for daring to bare your soul and share your journey.

    • Thank you, Patti…wow…sounds like a lot of fathers out there don’t realize the power their love (or lack of it) has in their daughters’ lives…sounds like your husband is a wonderful man!!

  5. This is very powerful stuff you’ve written here – it’s now niggling at my brain – is this how I too have been treating myself? I think so, but will wait until I’m in my clawfoot tub to analyze it.

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