Self-Esteem and Child Sexual Abuse

May 7, 2012 in Ramblings

I feel a little awkward sometimes about being so transparent throughout this journey. Sometimes I feel embarrassed or even ashamed. I made the difficult decision for complete transparency so survivors and supporters would have a sense of what is inside someone who has been through child sexual abuse. I wanted other survivors to be able to say “I feel exactly the same way”! and supporters to say “I understand it so much better than I did before”.

One of the biggest challenges I struggle with is self-esteem. For 30 years, it was LESS THAN ZERO. When I was abused, something was taken from me. I am still struggling to fully discover what that “something” was.
The problem was compounded because my parents terribly mishandled the entire situation. (more on that some other time…I love my parents with all my heart and have largely forgiven them for making some very bad decisions).

For thirty years I have walked around in this life feeling worthless…completely without value. I was in an extremely emotionally abusive relationship for many years…a couple years back, a friend of mine asked “Why do you permit this kind of treatment for your life”? Without even thinking, the words “It’s all the better I deserve” just fell out of my mouth. I was shocked. I had no idea I felt that way. It was at that moment I realized something was seriously, seriously wrong.

I struggle every single day with my self-worth. I bring all of this up because of the weekend scooter ride I just participated in. I was sitting here blogging about it and feeling the fun of it…feeling the “it’s a wonderful life” in it. Then, suddenly the guilt set in…and the thoughts follow…”I don’t deserve that”. I should have been working or doing something productive”. I should have been focusing on something serious”. “I can’t permit myself to have fun or see the light side of life, it’s wrong”.
I don’t know why I always feel that way but it kills my joy for life. I know that I did NOT feel that way before I was repeatedly abused. Something changed.

I really need to figure this out because it has suffocated my life and suffocated my joy for too many years.

Would any other survivors of child sexual abuse like to comment on this? Or anyone else who might have some insight? A personal goal of my journey is to FIND a joy for life and LIVE that joy. I know it’s there somewhere…I just need to find it and connect with it.