What I went through wasn’t easy at all. For more than fifteen years, I let myself go and believed that life revolved around my husband and my kids. He took advantage of me and my gullibility. I thought, love was like that – he can trample on me anytime he wanted. In my mind, that was normal. When I became free, I realized that for a long time, I forgot to love myself. That’s the reason why I allowed him to use and abuse me.
At some point during our marriage, I know for a fact that he loved me. I held on to that thought, which was the doorway to his lousy treatment towards me. If I could go back and rewind time, I would change the way I saw myself so that he would have treated me the way that I deserved – a woman who is loved, cared for, and respected. But if you have low self-esteem, you will be blind, and try your best to reason out for the people that mean so much to me.
If you are wondering what I meant by reason out, I can give you an example.
He used to stay out late at night because of poker. He would join poker tournaments during the weekends, but at night, during weekdays, he would play cash games. This is his “work.” It is his “profession.” He was a professional gambler, but I didn’t say it that way to our children, my family, and friends. What I would “reason out” to them was “He is such a great card player that the Poker Club hired him to their in-house player. This is a real job, and that is his profession.” That was one of my reasons.
Empowerment requires us to seek, cultivate, maintain, and support our inner power, as well as that of others. — Genevieve Gellert, LSW
At times, he would not participate in family gatherings. What do I say to relatives who are looking for him? My reasons: “Oh, he is not here because he has a business deal going on right now. He is sad that he can’t go to your party, auntie, but we have a family of five to feed wherein he is the sole provider. I don’t do anything to earn money, auntie. It is just him. I don’t help out, and so, he has to work even on weekends.”
One interesting way to gauge if you’re compassionate to others is to ask if you feel like others are judging you. Although it sounds conflicting, a worry that you are being judged is often an indication you have been taught to judge others. — Vicki Botnick, MA, MS, LMFT
How stupid I once was with my reasons, keep the marriage and family intact.
But now, I am not doing it anymore. I am not allowing myself to reason out for him or anyone else ever. People who lack self-esteem would do that, and I am trying to change it. I am worthy of respect and love, which is why I will not anymore subject myself of his lies and his crap.
When you realize your worth, you will not let other people put you down. You will not let other people mistreat you. The reason for that is self-love. You will prioritize your feelings and thoughts more if you put yourself first before others.
I am not saying that you have to be selfish. What I am trying to express here is that low self-esteem will make you a target, and you must not let that happen. If you let yourself go, people will see that you’re a pushover and they will take you for granted.
Far from being selfish in a negative way, self-care helps trauma survivors let go of behaviors that don’t serve them well, and take part in healing both internal relationships with themselves and externally with others. — Robyn E. Brickel, M.A., LMFT
You are worth something. Don’t let others fool you into thinking that you are nothing. Remember, self-love. You are worthy of respect and everything else good in life.