Missing Self Esteem? It Happens in Childhood

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 After I wrote my Mother’s day post, the comments and emails inspired me to write this additional post. It is not my usual style; more of a collection of snapshots, but I believe it gets the point across.  

The truth will set you free

~Why didn’t you hear me when I told you I was being abused?

~Why didn’t you see me as a person?

~Why didn’t you fight for me?

~Why did you disregard my feelings, my pain, my existence and my right as a human being?

~Why did you hit me?

~Why didn’t you care?

And the question that I never dared even think about, much less ever say out loud ~

Why didn’t you love me?

So I changed the question in my head to “why am I not lovable, not worthy, not good enough?”  It seemed easier to face if it was something that was wrong with me.

These were all the questions that I had for the adults in my life; my teachers, my family, my parents. And I tried to deny that I had these questions. I tried to disregard them. I tried to shove the pain back down into the dark where I had learned to keep it in order to survive.

I learned to discount myself, just as I had been discounted. The way they mistreated me was my example of love. It was the only example that I had. It became my teacher. And I learned self love and self worth by the examples of love and worth that I was shown.  And since the examples were so faulty and so absent, I learned my value and worth was not.

Still, my teachers were god. They set themselves up to be gods over my life and how was I to know they weren’t?  My parents held my life in their hands. They brought me into this world and they could take me out of it.  I had to survive.

And because I was born with a will to live, I had to learn how to survive; without the tools that I had a right to. Without the tools that I should have been given.

I could not fight for myself and yet when I got older I was blamed for the abuses and told that I could have fought, could have stopped it, could have behaved better, so that I deserved better; so therefore it must have been my own doing. Something that I wanted. Something that I caused. Something that I deserved.

So confusing for a child. So confusing for an adult child who never grew up properly because of all the lies.

And what they taught me, by example, was so contradictory to the way that I had to regard them. There were two sets of rules. The rules for them and the rules for me.

I had to comply with their wishes and orders if I was to survive. I had to accept. I had to understand, I had to conform to the ways and the rules they set out; I was too afraid not to.  The consequences of not complying, not accepting, of fighting or questioning, were steep. 

And then I grew up in age

~ With no understanding of my value, no identity of my own, with the wrong definition of love and with fear as my constant companion.  Fear of being wrong, fear of their wrath, fear of being cast aside.

Not knowing that I had already been cast aside.

My self esteem was missing. I had not yet become a person.  I had no rights because I had not been given any. I was completely brainwashed but I couldn’t know that, couldn’t see that, I had never had any other example of life or love.

Only survival, always survival

And the depressions started when I was a child. No wonder.

And I felt that I had no right to my struggles; I existed only to serve the needs of others and I failed at that too, because I had never learned by example. NO one took care of my needs ~ my need for love and for protection… and the guilt and shame and feelings of failure grew.

I was not seen

I was not heard

I was not valid

I knew not love

And all of this had to come to the light, so that I could make a difference in my own life. I had to realize what happened to me, so that I could grow myself up, validate my own existence, learn the right and true definition of love and embrace myself. I had to give myself permission, first to struggle, then to validate and acknowledge the pain, and then to live, to heal, to flourish and thrive and carry on to make a difference in the lives of my own children, and others too.

That is “Emerging from Broken”

This is Emerging from Broken.

The darkness did lift. My joy is abundant.  There are no more depressions. I found my true self. I live for a purpose. My life has worth. I have equal value. I am living alive.

The world lied. I am not unworthy; I am not here to fill their needs and serve their purposes. They lied, they still lie.

They are not god. I do not OWE them. I am not obligated to them.

They DO NOT OWN me. They do not decide if I live or die.

I no longer fear their wrath,

They were wrong about me; I have dispelled all the lies, replacing them with life giving truth.

I am free; I have emerged from broken.

Please share your thoughts.

A collection of little snapshots of truth;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

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Recommended Reading ~ The truth will Set You Free ~ Alice Miller

For more information visit the Family Category and the Mother daugher Category in this blog

160 response to "Missing Self Esteem? It Happens in Childhood"

  1. By: Asia Posted: 12th September 2016

    I just figured out that I have fear of wrath. I didn’t notice this until now but that created so much pain in me. How to get rid of that fear? I can’t find articles about that.

  2. By: psychodynamic theory Posted: 16th July 2012

    Thank you for share.Nobody has the right to determine if someone else’s reality, and way of coping is dysfunctional or destructive.

  3. By: diane Posted: 9th May 2012

    Darlene, I appreciate your response! I am having difficulty with something and I dont understand what it is about my belief system. I do understand that they didnt love, like or tolerate ME and who I am. And I do understand what my definition of love is vs. theirs. Where there is a disconnect is that there is still something inside of me that has been crushed like a bug which means that I must still be believing a lie…but I cant figure out what the lie is! I wouldnt still be so sad and feel the loss if there wasnt some lie I will keep reading . I have been taking one article a day…and pouring out my heart on the comment section. It really helps!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 10th May 2012

      Diane
      It will come to you. I figured out the lies along the way ~ it was as though they suddenly clicked, one at a time, and I wondered how I hadn’t seen them before. It takes time to undo what has been present for a lifetime.
      Hugs, Darlene

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