Where Does Low Self-Esteem Come From?
Do you know someone with low self-esteem? Do they blame their mother?
Self-esteem is not something that only affects adults. It’s a life time tug-of-war, beginning at birth, between how we see our self and how we
believe the world sees us.
Do you think it matters if people see us as “the cup half empty”, instead of the “glass half-full”?
I used to believe it was. I would measure my worth on how other people treated me. What was the end result? Not so good.
As a kid with ADHD, my mom sent me daily subliminal messages that I interpreted as; “this girl is unlovable”. It wasn’t my mom’s fault. I was a difficult child and maybe my mother wasn’t the best one to raise me do to her temperament and less-than-perfect patience, but we both did the best that we could to get along. Unfortunately, years of playing the black sheep in my family took its toll and my self-esteem suffered.
I think it even influenced who I chose for a marriage partner. The man was controlling and emotionally abusive but in a strange way, he reminded me of my mother. In my subconscious, he was “home” and that is what attracted me to him. After 13 unhappy years, of allowing him to make me feel ‘less than’, I sought help. I thought I was seeing someone for depression, but this expert diagnosed me with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and treated me with EMDR.
I think of the treatment as a “re-boot”. Like a computer, our brains hold memories and store them away. Like a computer that eventually shuts down, our brain can’t work up to full capacity, because the files or memory chips have been stored in all the wrong places. EMDR is the re-boot that gets the person on the right track, re-organizing the misplaced files into the correct folders.
I learned that my low self-esteem was partly due to my temperament, partly due to years of emotional abuse, and partly due to me seeing myself using a mirror filled with cracks. The cracks were collected over the years; placed by every criticism, every roll of the eye, every insult.
After EMDR, I began loving myself again, and two years later, I divorced my husband.
Do I still struggle with low self-esteem?
Sometimes, but I think it’s a life-long journey and we have to keep working at being our own best friend. This is just my own opinion.
Heck, I’m a writer so what do I know?
That’s why I researched the topic today and wrote another post on my own blog that I named, “Building Your Child’s Self Esteem”. That article references experts and gives parenting tips to help children develop and recover from lost self-esteem.
If you know a child, or someone raising a child, who is struggling with low self-esteem, I hope you will share that article.
And remember: “The best mirror is an old friend.”~Proverb
Learn how to become your own best-old- friend and see yourself using a mirror without cracks. Just sayin’…
Tags: adhd, black sheep, brains, correct folders, cracks, emotional abuse, end result, life time, low self esteem, marriage partner, memory chips, patience, post traumatic stress, post traumatic stress disorder, strange way, subconscious, subliminal messages, temperament, traumatic stress disorder, tug of war