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Fragile Self Esteem

One thing that’s been on my mind lately is the concept of self-esteem and how other people can affect it. Granted, the ultimate goal in our journey would be to have a healthy enough level of self-esteem that we can forge ahead even when other people are doing things that cause us to question ourselves, but let’s face it, for most of us dealing with childhood abuse issues, that goal is still in the future.

The question for me is, what people are having a negative impact on my self-esteem and how to deal with that. If someone is actually trying to make me self-conscious or to doubt myself, the healthy thing to do is find a way to not have to interact with that person anymore. But sometimes people just manage to find small ways to do the same thing without actually trying to. It’s not so obvious to me whether the healthy thing to do is try to not interact with them, or simply learn to not allow those little comments, or acts to have that much of an affect on me.

It’s a tough call. Growth comes through dealing with different people and different situations. If the goal is to learn how to not allow other people to shake your belief in yourself, then you need to be exposed to some situations where people make you uncomfortable. On the other hand, too much of that can cause a crushing loss of self-esteem that would be highly unhealthy, and dangerous.

Technorati tags: Self-Esteem

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  1. growth. is. fucking. hard. but it’s either that or die, one way or another.

    i pretty much subscribe to the theory that we keep running into versions of people and situations that wounded us (abusive encounters, relationships, in one way or another) until we deal with the demons, make our peace with them, strip their power by making peace. then, what’s the use of running?

    but it may crush and hurt and even kill. that’s why we have therapists and psychiatrists and support groups and friends, etc. one should never do life alone.

  2. Mike,

    One of the things that I’ve found helps is to make a list of everything I like about myself. It’s like an antidote to those hurtful comments. The second thing is to reframe how I perceive the comment. I ask myself what fear or hurt might be behind the words or actions. IOW, I make the assumption it has more to do with that person’s internal hurts than with me. Third, if someone is a truly hurtful person who will keep repeating the behavior, I will choose not to associate with that person. It’s not a bad thing to protect oneself and look instead for people who won’t act in hurtful ways.

    So…what do you like most about yourself? What do you value about yourself? Making an actual list you can look at and add to has power. Plus it’s fun and my experience has been that any time you bring fun into the growth process it’s easier and more likely to succeed.

  3. I am currently working on a book and I want to hear from survivors of child sexual abuse. I want to hear personal stories , poetry, how you have coped, what you are doing now, and/or how your abuse has effected you life. I would also love to have some pictures of survivors. Once I have all of my info. together I plan to seek out a professional photographer to add these pictures to the book along with the many stories I hope to receive. You do not have to include your name if you don’t wish to but what my Hope is , is to have a book that is kind of “in your face” about the abuse and what it looks like. I plan to have this book help me fight our laws in Indiana and get stronger laws implemented. The Books title will be: THE MANY FACES OF A SURVIVOR.

    So if you have a story to share or know someone who is willing to share please pass this message along. I really appreciate it.

    Through our pain as victims I am hopeful to get our stories told and to give a voice to those who are unable to speak up. In the end, I hope to make a difference to a child because of this book. I hope to get these stronger laws passed and enforced because of this book. Please show your support!!!!

    Thanks and God Bless.

    Stories and inquiries may be sent to:


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