Archive for low self esteem

 

Getting Unstuck on the Healing Journey

Getting Unstuck on the Healing Journey

If you have not already downloaded my complimentary Guide to Getting Unstuck on the Journey to Emotional Healing, please grab a copy of it now! There is a box in the right hand side bar here>>> just fill in your first name (or any name you wish to use) and your primary email address and you will be sent the download link. In this 9 page mini booklet I answer some of the most popular questions that I get here on the Emerging from Broken blog, privately through the contact form and on the Emerging from Broken Facebook Page.

 

Welcome to the discussion page for the Guide to Getting Unstuck on the Journey to Emotional Healing.

As you may notice when you read the guide, there is a common thread expressed through the most popular questions that I get asked. Behind the questions is the belief that the people who have been authority in our lives are ‘right’. That if the people that have authority in our lives say in words or with actions such as disregard or disrespect, that we don’t deserve better or that we are not worthy, then for some reason their opinion is not questioned as much as it is ‘accepted’.

This is because for most of us it was communicated to us from a very young age that ‘they’ know best and that ‘they’ are right and that ‘they’ are not to be questioned. This belief is linked to the belief that ‘without them’ we may not survive. As an adult I had to work very hard at realizing that I COULD survive; through facing the origins of my belief system and how it was formed I was able to see my own strength; I was able to take my life back and learn to love myself and take care of myself. I learned this by seeing the truth about why I believed that I was ‘less important’ and why I ‘accepted’ that my needs were less valid than the needs of others. Seeing the roots of why I believed this about myself enabled me to see that it was a lie and that I was just as worthy and valid as everyone else on this planet!

People in authority are not always right just because they are in authority. I had not considered that truth when I was a child and growing up because of my dependence on those people. Going against the adults and caregivers in my life threatened my survival and therefore my life. That was true then. Seeing that it was no longer true was a huge part of how I was able to take my life back and overcome the manifestations of trauma, abuse and neglect. (When I refer to the manifestations I am referring to the resulting struggles such as depressions, post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, low self-esteem and a few other common issues.)

There is another common belief expressed behind these questions; it leaks out through the questions how many of us had never been taught that we have the right to have boundaries and how habitual it is to accept that our feelings are not valid. I was taught that I ‘had’ to accept things the way they were. The funky part of that teaching is that many of the things I learned to accept were truly unacceptable but they were so normalized that I didn’t know they were wrong; in some cases the treatment was even Read More→

Categories : Freedom Rocks
Comments (76)

 

psychological abuse

poster by Judy Baxter ~ quote by Darlene Ouimet

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means to YOU………

A lot of my emotional healing grew out of realizing the truth about some of the concepts that I had been taught wrong. The people who were in a position of power in my life taught me a lot of false definitions of words like love, respect, relationship, trust, forgiveness and a few others. Growing up from so young with the false definitions I had been taught caused me to automatically accept them as the truth.

Yesterday on my previous post “how to recognize when your best interest are not being considered” when referring to her mother a commenter wrote “I am sure she thinks she deserves to be respected…” and it got me thinking about how much learning the truth about definitions of certain key words and concepts helped me in my process of overcoming depression, trauma and low self-esteem.

When I refer to a person in a position of power I am not just referring to our teachers, the police, or judges or government. I am also referring to “our elders” and our families. My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles were all in a positions of power in my life. My in-laws were in a position of power in my marriage and in our lives.  All these people were in that power position because they were “the adults” and I was a child. In my childhood that meant that they were right and I was wrong. In my adulthood, this belief didn’t change because they never let it. In both cases (as a child and as an adult) this is called a dysfunctional relationship because the elders decide and communicate that not everyone in the relationship has equal value.

It was a huge part of my survival mode to go along with these false teachings and when I became an adult I still believed the false truth that Read More→

Categories : Survival
Comments (136)

Blame sharing with PerpatratorI was reading one of my own quotes today about my willingness to share the blame in the past and thought that it deserved to be expanded upon because it is a popular subject here on Emerging from Broken. Blame sharing or willingness to share blame seems to be especially difficult if we are dealing with it within our own families. ‘Blame sharing’ and ‘blame sparing’ both seem to be part of the problem and are stick points in recovery from neglectful or abusive childhoods.

Here is the quote: “When I started to try to figure out why I was such a mess, I found that one of the stumbling blocks in my way was that I was and had been willing to share the blame for everything that happened to me.  I had been told that acceptance was the answer, and I tried to accept that something must be WRONG with me because “I couldn’t accept,” and I concluded that I deserved to carry the responsibility for the mistreatment I had suffered.”  Darlene Ouimet

I got thinking about the concept of “blame sharing”, where it comes from, how it starts and what it actually means, and how I could communicate that information more clearly by showing exactly the way that I overcame blame sharing in my own process of emotional healing. As always I have to show how it got there in the first place in order to show how I overcame it.

When I talk about my willingness to share the blame for the treatment that I received I am talking about specific things that should never have happened to a child that I was willing to actually take a share of the blame for. I was willing to share the blame for things that happened to me when I was powerless over my circumstances; things that I convinced myself that I was NOT actually powerless over. There is a chain of events when a child is damaged. There are consequences to the messages that children hear and accept as the truth when Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (195)

dysfunctional families“I learned to set boundaries by realizing where they were missing in my life. I learned where they were missing in my life by seeing the truth about abuse etc. As long as my value was in question (by me as a result of the way I had been defined) I could not set boundaries.”  Darlene Ouimet

I googled the key words “setting personal boundaries” and the top info I found on it included understanding the abusers and not judging or placing blame on them because after all, we are all wounded souls! No wonder we have so much trouble healing from abuse! Oh it all sounds so lovely, but the truth is that I healed by setting ALL that aside after trying it that way for well over 20 years with the main result being that the depressions only increased and my boundaries got weaker. (see the links at the end of this post)

Have you ever thought about why setting personal boundaries is so dang hard in the first place? Here in Emerging from Broken, I always talk about how everything has a root. Depression starts somewhere. We are not born with low self esteem. And it is the root of both those things that makes setting personal boundaries so hard!

When I was defined as “not good enough” or “not worthy” by the actions of others in my life, it is understandable that I believed that definition of “me”. And as long as I believed that the definition of me was correct, I didn’t believe I had a right to HAVE boundaries.  I didn’t believe that I had a choice in my own life about what kind of treatment I had to accept. I didn’t understand that I was being treated badly and that I had a right to say no to that treatment. 

There was a root to why I had no idea Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (310)

overcoming low self esteem

The New Deal

This week I keep running across sayings, posters and quotes that I find frustrating because they are all sayings and directives that I believed in and strived towards for so many years. The problem was that in reality I was spinning my wheels and not really making any progress with moving forward and away from my struggles, depressions, and oppression. Today I see some of these sayings as “directionless directives”. They sound great, ideal in fact, but they didn’t actually HELP me.

 They motivated me and inspired hope in me for about twenty minutes or even a few days before the familiar feeling of personal failure set in once again. I thought I was the only one who could not achieve the decisions these little sayings were meant to inspire.

For instance the directive “Stand up for yourself even if you stand alone”; No one ever empowered me to know how to do stand up for myself. No one actually even stood up for me. I was a victim in my own home for most of my life and as I grew into my twenties and thirties I tried to change the course of my life by trying to follow some of these directions but standing up for myself was not something I knew how to do or even felt that I had “the right” to choose to do. I had no idea where to even START standing up for myself.

My self esteem had to be repaired and restored first. I didn’t know that I didn’t actually deserve the disregard for my feelings that was my reality.  In my victim mentality I thought that the way to emotional health was Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (117)

Emotional Recovery

Poster by Judy Baxter

How do you talk to yourself? Are you loving and patient with yourself or are you the evil boss in your own life? Are you understanding and nurturing towards yourself or are you constantly nagging and reprimanding?

When you think about re-parenting yourself, do you think about the kind of parent that you would have loved to have or the most loving perfect parent that ever walked the earth and then BE that parent to yourself, or do you treat yourself the same “not good enough way” that you were treated somewhere along the line in the past?

What role do you play in your own life?

Paying attention to my “self talk” has been and continues to be a huge part of my process.  And self talk is sneaky; if I don’t stop the spin long enough to get quiet and LISTEN to what is going on “back there” in the depths of my own mind, I don’t even notice when I am being hard on myself.

I have been suffering from a little “burn out”.  I knew that I was working too hard and that I needed a vacation and I bargained with myself that I could take two weeks off but when I came home from my Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (125)

emerging from broken and Freedom ROCKS
Freedom ROCKS

Our survivor and EFB global community event “Freedom ROCKS” will this coming weekend on May 12th and 13th.  Today I am happy to have Mimi share her story about what Freedom ROCKS represents to her. I hope you will consider sharing this no cost virtual event with others. For information on how you can get involved see the Freedom ROCKS about page here. ~ Darlene

 The Motivation Behind Freedom ROCKS! By Mimi

Hello Everyone! My name is Mimi, and I am excited and honored to celebrate “Freedom ROCKS”.  For me this event will represent taking my life and power back, once and for all. I am 43 years old, and for the majority of my life, I’ve been in the shadow of my abuser; under her thumb. I have continually tried to fit into the perfect little box she designed. The box had very rigid walls and came with fine lines and stringent expectations. Nearly every decision or thought of my own has been run through my internal filter that separated out ideas or actions that would be viewed as impressive, acceptable, weak, wealthy, good enough, strong, mentally ill, poor, unacceptable, trashy, classy, lazy, smart, foolish, stupid, entitled, guilty, judged, loathed, an embarrassment, dependent. The list goes on.

There has been a black cloud over my head that enveloped all these implications and consequences for as far back as I can remember. The cloud has prevented me from living a life of independence, self love, self acceptance, self esteem, affection, freedom, equal value, and that list goes on as well. It meticulously dictated a life of anxiety, fear, depression, self hatred, self injury, rage, mental illness, addictions, withdrawal, social fears, phobias, uncontrollable emotions, and Read More→

Categories : Freedom Rocks
Comments (145)

 

Am I okay without a man

Darlene and Jim

My parents split up and eventually divorced when I was just turning 13 years old. After my mother went through her suicidal phase she started dating. She had not been separated from my father for very long when she started dating. Men and dating became her priority.

Through her behaviour she communicated to me that attracting men was the way to cope with low self esteem and pain. Looking back on what she taught me and how she impacted my belief system, she herself believed that men and having a man in her life was what she needed more than anything else.  She believed that she needed a man in order to survive. She needed a man in order for her to feel complete or even good about herself. Men defined her as worthy and good enough.  Her self esteem came from them. Their attraction to her identified her. Having a man meant that my mom was okay.

I had learned from my mother’s actions, words and teachings that men were the most important connection or relationship a woman can have. Because belief systems grow from layers of information, add to that teaching what I learned from the media (movies and books)  and from observing Read More→

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness
Comments (49)

grieving mothers loveWhen I finally drew my boundaries and make it clear to my mother that I was no longer going to accept her devaluing treatment of me, she walked away. She never called again. Oh she played her usual manipulative tricks including telling me that I could contact her “when I have thought about it” but I quickly told her that I it wasn’t up to me anymore. It was now up to her to decide if she was going to have a real relationship with me based on love, mutual respect and equal value, OR if she was going to continue to abuse me. (An option  I would no longer tolerate)

She wanted to just put the whole thing behind us and “start over” I said no and that this time I wanted to deal with it. This time I wanted my say.

She said “Oh Darlene, we have always had our differences but we have always worked them out in the past” and I responded “No Mom, in the past I have always backed down and let you have your way”. 

Always her way. Always a one sided relationship. Always her side.

That was the last time I spoke to her. I left it with her and she refused to bend. She refused to meet me half way.  She turned me down. My mother abandoned our relationship.

When I realized that she wasn’t going to contact me again, it cut me to the core.  I was rejected all over again.  By walking away from me she was saying “you are not worth it Darlene. I can’t be bothered Read More→

Categories : Mother Daughter
Comments (1,170)

Messages recieved in Childhood

one step closer

I had a hard time with self love as long as I saw myself through the eyes of the people who defined me as “unworthy”.  I saw myself through their actions and through the way that they treated me. They treated me as though I was “not good enough” and not important.

For instance when I was in a crowd of family and trying to be part of the conversation but no one heard me. I would say something and sometimes I would be ignored. Sometimes I would get a cold blank look as if to say “you have nothing to contribute here”.  At least that is the message that I got.

Imagine a young child. The child is trying to get the attention of his mother. He is trying to tell his mother that there is a kite in the sky. But the mother won’t look.  She won’t acknowledge the child’s pleas for her to share the moment with him. He keeps trying; he keeps tugging her sleeve or patting her arm… “Mommy, look! There is a kite in the sky! Mommy LOOK!” The mother brushes him off. She is reading a book and doesn’t care about the kite. She shrugs him off at first, but as he becomes more persistent, she pushes him Read More→

Categories : Self Esteem
Comments (94)