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One of the definitions of self-esteem is self-respect. How can we respect ourselves if we are constantly accepting the leftovers of a relationship? Or if we think the tears and pain someone brings to our lives is excusable just to say that we are in a relationship? And I have been to this place so many times, where the little was enough as long as I could tell people I had somebody.
I guess it has to do with the fact that I never loved myself. It is a sad sentence to even think about. I have suffered a lot because of my lack of self-esteem. I wish I were thinner, curvier, more beautiful, successful, or even taller. Sadly, what I never wanted was to accept and enjoy who I really was and understand that I could never change any of those aspects of my life. Comparing my life to the others used to bring me anguish and all I did when I had those days was to cry. Hating myself attracted so many wrong people and bad energy into my life that I got to a point where I was surrounded by sadness and negativity.
During many years of my life, I had dates with guys who tortured me psychologically and physically. Whether they thought they were superior to me or they thought of me as a sexual object. I do not blame them at all because today I know that my behavior contributed greatly to that kind of treatment. I thought of myself as a person who did not deserve the best; whatever came was enough. Throughout years, I had sex with guys who raped me, forced themselves into me because I was never brave enough to say no, in fact, I never understood the power of "no" in one's life, so I never used it.
The guys who treated me well were exactly the ones I got tired of because all they seemed to want was the damn sex as well. I got frustrated and many times depressed wondering why I was never interesting as a human being to them. With some guys, it was a one night stand and I would never see them again, with others we would have sex a couple of times until the day came when they would also disappear. I always felt empty and used, mostly because sex was not even good. It took me years to notice I had become only a shadow of the woman I wanted to be when I was a teenager.
In my search for love, I only found emptiness and pain. One day, in a conversation with one of my best friends, she pointed out problems I never realized I had. I was constantly seeing the worst in myself. When we passed by mirrors, I would immediately tell her how ugly my body was, how big my nose looked, and how dry my hair felt that day. When she gave me compliments, I would always change the topic to my low points.
I have not worked on my self-esteem for so many years that I do not know if I will be able to ever see myself as a person worth accomplishing great things. I spent my entire life hearing that because I was poor I would never get anywhere, that if I decided to go to college, I would never find a job because of my skin color, that my hair was not beautiful because it was not straight, that if I did not have a curvy body, I would never have a boyfriend.
My struggles were so big, that sometimes I’d look at nice photos of myself, but the woman staring back at me seemed like a stranger. “Wow! I am so pretty here, I wish I actually looked like that” and what I never understood was that I looked like that indeed, because the person in the picture was me in every way.
Although I’ve begun to discover that I can be appreciative of myself, I still have a long way to go, because there are still those times when I get home and cry so hard because I feel like the ugliest person on earth. The more compliments I get, the bigger my complexes become.
When it comes to my physical appearance, there is so much of me I would change if I could. Although I know perfection does not exist, I suffer thinking I could have a better body, a better face, a better image, knowing inside that my appearance is not what needs to be changed. Self-esteem has to do with how we feel inside in spite of how we look outside. Happiness may have a lot to do with that as well. I pray for the universe to bring me peace, the peace that only surrounds those whose lives are lived for themselves, not for the others.
It is a shame to be so weak, but I will not just spend life showing strength outside of my bedroom and crying almost every night when the lights go off. Yes, I am this person who has suffered her entire life for not being perfect. I have no self-esteem and this is so hard to say out loud.
Part of the process of rebuilding self-esteem requires patience and the other part needs time. I spent such a long time bringing myself down, thinking I was worthless of anything good that to stand up and say that I would not accept to be that person anymore demands a lot of courage. Most of the demons I have inside were created and fueled by me, so no one but me can fight them. “Each person should exorcise their own demons,” a famous priest said once on a TV show and I took those words as a mantra. I hope I get to the healing point where I can come to terms with myself. When that day comes, it will be, for sure, my definition of happiness.