Why do I have self esteem issues?

Abandonment

Image by Shooting Paradise via Flickr

After thinking about how I sometimes get down on myself, think and speak negatively to myself, it occurred to me that I still have some self-esteem issues to work on.  Probably most people have some issues with self-esteem at various times in their lives.  I know I’m better in that regard than I was in the past, but sometimes that little voice is still there whispering in my ear, “You’re not as good as____”, “You’ll never accomplish____”, or whatever else that the little devil on my shoulder decides to say to me.

What causes this?   For me, I think it goes back to my father not being there for me.  He wasn’t there for me in any way that mattered.  He wasn’t there physically and he wasn’t there for me emotionally.  The few times I did see him after the divorce, he never failed to comment on my weight.  And his comments were always negative, of course.  I eventually came to the conclusion (as only kids can do) that he wasn’t there for me because I was fat.  That makes me sad for the little girl that I was.  No kid should have to feel like that, ever.

I allowed that to affect me for way too many years.  After I finally realized that I didn’t cause him to behave the way he did, it was a long time before that really sunk in,  a long time before I finally accepted that he didn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated.  He didn’t love me unconditionally.  Unconditional love is something that every child should be able to expect from their parents.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of parents who are incapable of providing it.  And the children suffer because of the inadequacies of their parents.  Sad, but true.

Now that I’m in a place where I understand all of that, I guess the next step is giving myself that unconditional love.  I’m working on it, but it’s not something that comes easily.  Ahh…it’s so true that the things that matter most in life are often the things we must work the hardest to achieve. 

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12 Responses

  1. Ahhh yes, self-esteem. I have learned that there is a tendency to judge our insides by people’s outsides. I have caught myself on numerous occasions thinking “how come I can’t look like that” or “I wonder if he thinks she’s prettier than me”. Once I started working on the things that make me emotionally and spiritually fit, those thoughts slowly became far and few between. Glad to see that you’re recognizing these thoughts, that can be the hardest part sometimes!

    • Thanks, Kristin. I know you know what you’re talking about. You’ve managed to overcome so much in your life…you have a lot of wisdom for someone so young.

  2. There’s a series of books by Dave Pelzer that once you start them you can’t lay them down. He was a severely abused child by his Mother. His father was no help. It’s amazing how he survived and turned his life around. But not without a lot of trials and soul-searching. The first one is A child called IT. The second is The Lost Boy and the third is A Man named Dave. As you read them you just keeping thinking that soon everything will get better. It took him many years to find peace. Childhood abuse is abuse even if it doesn’t involve physical abuse. Keep moving forward.

    • Thanks, Margaret. I actually have read those books. I can’t even imagine having to endure what he did. I’m so thankful I at least had a mom who loved me and cared for me. How do people manage to make it thru life without either?

  3. I must tell you how much I admire your willingness to be so introspective on the issues that have been challenges for you. That ability, once you can make peace with those things, will lead you to an immensely rich life. And it takes courage to write about them openly, which you have as well. Praise to you for doing the hard work and thanks to you for sharing your journey.

  4. :o) Your an amazing person, I’ve enjoyed following your blog, In the short time we’ve journeyed together. Your a great inspiration for others, keep bloggin! and thank you for sharing the beautiful sunrises! Your a beautiful lady, your dad missed out on knowing a great person.

  5. The fact that you recognize that voice as not your own is a sign you’re on your way. I’ve heard from various sources that girls need affirmation from their fathers that they have value. Your earthly father may have fallen short, but your heavenly Father thinks you’re to die for. Keep up the good work; you are a beautiful person, inside and out, and the sooner you realize it, the better.

  6. You have had 76 wonderful days of success moving towards your healthy lifestyle goals. Don’t allow your inner critic to get you down. We often don’t realize how many people love us, just as we are; the good, bad, and everything in between. We have to remember to love ourselves. To not be so critical. We would never treat our friends with such harshness, why should we treat ourselves that way? Give yourself a big hug and remember all your wonderful accomplishments!

    • Thanks so much, Christine. It’s funny that you mentioned not being that harsh with other people, only with ourselves. I tell people the same thing when they’re criticizing themselves…isn’t that strange? We can give others great advice, but when it comes to taking our own advice we’re not so good at it. I appreciate the kind, caring words..

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