Growing up didn’t come easily to me. I wasn’t sure of myself and didn’t have much self-esteem in my teenage years to my mid 20’s. I was extremely sensitive (and my sister’s mocked me for this, which only exasperated it). Being sensitive was a bad thing? Yes, it was in my family. I finally learned to accept myself in my late 30’s – that’s a lot of growing pains if you ask me.
I had no self-worth. I knew I was pretty but thought that was the only thing I had going for me. In high school, I didn’t get good grades because I didn’t know how to apply myself. I didn’t know and therefore I did not apply myself, whatsoever. Junior year I discovered “skipping” school and hanging out with my then boyfriend. I’m pretty sure I didn’t turn in a single homework assignment and flunked out of most of my classes.
It wasn’t until my senior year of high school, where I had to retake most of my failed junior classes over again where I really excelled. For the first time in my academic career I actually applied myself and was on the Dean’s list. I became an honor roll student for the first time in my life. I was proud of myself but I had to work really hard for it, it didn’t come easily. I slipped back into my old ways when all of my friends went off to college after graduation. I was left behind working at a dry cleaners with my boyfriend. My parents had moved out of state and I stayed behind with him under his control. It was not a healthy relationship.
He had a new truck which meant driving me everywhere I needed to go, which was nowhere without him. He even drove me to and from work. It was like I breathed this man 24/7. He was very jealous. I didn’t have any girlfriends anymore because he would get jealous and just wanted it to be “me and him”. I’m not going to lie, part of me was flattered that he was so protective of me, nobody had ever been that protective of me in my lifetime. I looked at it as if he loved me. That was what love was to me. I resented him a bit because it didn’t stop him from having his little gang of friends but I had nobody but him.
We dated for 4 years. I gave him my everything and tried to make it work. We fell into a routine slump. One I was just not happy with so one day I called my brother (my favorite) and he drove to get me and took me home. Best thing I ever could have done. Sadly I went from one bad relationship to another because that’s all I knew. Having no self-esteem or self-worth is such a hard thing. I felt worthless but nobody would be able to tell that on the outside, I hid it well. I had a steady self-loathing thing going on toward myself that nobody knew about.
One day, my best friend since kindergarten and her boyfriend set me up on a blind date. I went out with this sweet guy and was like, “NO WAY” – he was too nice. Too nice? Is there such a thing? Yes, when you are use to be treated like crap, there is such a thing. I liked him, but he made me nervous and I wondered what ulterior motives this “nice guy” had. Funny thing, he didn’t have any ulterior motives, he was genuinely a nice guy and he didn’t take crap from anyone. So, he was strong, sweet (on me), caring, understanding, and sexy as hell but I still resisted because I just was not use to being treated so well. I finally gave in one day and let myself go with him. We had such a great time and once connected we stayed that way and have been married 25 years now. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He has taught me how to love myself, accept myself, and most importantly how to just be myself and he loves me just the way I am.
I never had anyone encourage me before. For example. I became interested in building a family website after my brother gave me one of his old computers. My husband went out and got me a new faster one and also bought me the programs I needed to build and maintain my own site. He wasn’t jealous or threatened that I wanted to learn something new. He encouraged me to call my mom to go for a visit or to call a friend when I was bored. What? This must be what a healthy relationship was – but someone had to hit me over the head with it because it just wouldn’t register. When you tell yourself you are no good for so many years, it begins to stick. He helped to “unstick” it with me.
My husband would buy a new car, and drive the old one and let me drive the new, always. He put my son and I first and foremost above anything and I could call him any time of day with any problems we were having and he was always there for us. I began to trust. To trust in his love but it didn’t come easily or fast. I was always wondering when he would leave me. I was depressed. I suffered from clinical depression and anxiety and didn’t even know it. Add to that OCD and PTSD from a childhood trauma.
And as these “things”, these demons unraveled, he didn’t run- he didn’t even hide. He stepped up to be the strong man that he is and held my hand through all the trials and tribulations. It took YEARS to sort out. It took years of psychiatrists and therapy to learn what he had been telling me all along. That I was ok. I was not the problem. What happened to me was the problem and all that was wrong stemmed from this problem.
To this day I struggle from depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD but he’s always there for me, my rock. All he has to do is say, “How are you doing?” and if I say, “Not too good” he knows exactly what I’m going through and is there to soothe away the pain. What would I ever do without this man. God made him just for me. I swear. I believe that so much I had it tattooed on my back.
If you are out there, young and have no self-esteem or self-worth please talk to someone. It’s something that can be overcome. With the right help it can be whipped. These are just the wrong messages that you are sending to yourself. OR- Messages that others are sending to you which can be so damaging. You count, you matter, and have worth. You may not feel like it now, but it’s true. I’m not perfect and have my days but we’re all just human after all. It’s especially hard if you have someone knocking you down day after day telling you that you are worthless and that you wont amount to anything. I’m here to tell you that is NOT true. You are unique, special, and one of a kind. You just need to learn how to let your light shine. I’m here to help if you need. Just shoot me a message and I’d be glad to help you out.
I’d hate for anyone to have to waste as much precious time as I did learning that I’m an individual, not made up of anything that anyone told me about myself. I am me. 100% authentic and one of a kind. You are too, you just don’t know it yet.