Imagine the scene – a young child being told in various different ways that she is a useless failure. A young child being made to feel like a prostitute because of the malicious machinations of an abusive neighbour. A young child in the most impressionable stage of her life learning that she is worth nothing. A young child with zero self-esteem.
Fast forward three and a half decades and the habit-forming art of self-deprecation is ingrained and natural. It is easy to see fault in oneself because that is what you have been taught The problem, however, is that the teaching was subtle and cleverly done so that you don’t even realise that the idea that you are a failure hasn’t come from within but been planted there with the sole intention of destroying self-esteem.
Well the teachers were bloody good. So many men abused their position of trust for their own means that surely it was my fault after all. I mean they can’t all be in the wrong can they? It must be me not them. One of my abusers even resorted to calling me a prick tease when he tried to take his abuse to the final conclusion and I said only if he wore a condom. If he had one he would have taken the one thing I had managed to keep. That was the only time I actually successfully said no to what was going on and yet I simply felt for years and years that my lack of ability to stop what had happened over and over was my fault – not because I was a child but because I didn’t say no loudly enough.
Nowadays I am trying to be more positive in my belief in myself but am rocking horrendously at the moment. Tiny little things are becoming something that they probably aren’t but each time it gets worse. Stupid things like “shall I pass you the salt” when I am cooking or “you having a rant on FB Surely not!!” despite the fact that, until today with my complaint about really poor customer service from my day out yesterday, I haven’t ranted on FB for a while. I have made a conscious effort not to yet that is all people remember me for.
I have tried so hard to be kinder to myself by being “kinder” to other people (I don’t mean my friends) and not ranting or getting angry but why have I bothered because my past always comes back to haunt me whether it be my recent past or all the way back to my youth.
It is so hard to be nice to yourself if you are used to being brutally “honest” with your failings. I don’t know how to do it and I don’t know how to stop the negativity but at the moment I wonder why on earth am I even bothering trying because it doesn’t make a difference anyway because people “know me” as the best complainer going or expect me to go off on a rant so I may as well live up to their expectations right?
I know it is only me who can let others hurt me but it’s my worst habit and it took me 40 years to stop biting my nails! I think this one may take a little while longer!