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Old 01-21-2006, 01:42 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Nina000 HB User
How to regain self-confidence?

As I always resort to you guys for help, I would really appreciate your thoughts here. I have come to realise that I am losing my passions and ambitions to a dull and emotionally unfulfilling lifestyle. I honestly feel like a housewife already. I go to work in the morning, come back to tidy up and cook, open my PhD articles and then itís bedtime again!!!!!! Strange for a student in a foreign and exciting country to feel like that, right?!

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the person that I have become: very laid back and not bothered about pursuing certain targets I once fought to achieve. I guess my self-esteem has suffered a massive blow with my ex and my current relationship is not making me feel much better. Dave can easily go into one of these low moods, and can be very stubborn sometimes. He said that he went to a chat site few days ago and that he was talking to girls about football ! To girls?? I mean I know itís innocent but why to do it only when I am out? Anyway, I decided to let him taste his own medicine and put my profile up on a dating site haha (havenít subscribed and I donít intend to so he knows that I am not serious but only curious), and I had like 70 winks and 40 emails over 2 days, my profile has been viewed like 500 times.. some of the guys who responded are really attractive. Well, I was honest and I told him and he knows that itís only a joke.

The thing is despite all the attention I have and more so in real life, I think of myself as very inconfident! My PhD supervisor says that he wants me to break the shell that I live in , my boss says his mission in life is to make me less quiet.

I guess this feeling of low self-worth is the product of severely negative past experiences that I had. I hate to think about those days but I remember that once, I mentioned a male friend to my ex, and he hit me so hard on my face that my nose started bleeding so heavily and my eyes went swollen and black that I struggled to open them in the morning, which was my first morning in work!ÖThree years on and with a new man, like a frightened animal, I unconsciously carried inside this fear of speaking openly and honestlyÖI lost a lot of weight and couldnít put it back.

I canít completely divorce myself from my abusive pastÖand this is negatively and unfairly affecting my relationship with Dave. I sometimes break down in tears for no reason.

Needless to say, I had a lot of counselling straight after my violent break-up.
However, I would appreciate any thoughts on how I might start to love and appreciate myself better (and therefore love and appreciate my partner better).

 
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Old 01-21-2006, 02:02 PM   #2
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: How to regain self-confidence?

You have asked the million dollar question. I wish I had the answer to it myself...
But after 30 years I have also been unable to divorce myself from an abusive past. I think it may be unrealistic to ever think we can "put it behind us" since it was a part of our lives.
With time I have managed to push it more in the background. I may not even think of it every single day.
But things come up out of the blue to rocket me back to the past and a memory that hurts just to think it.

That's about as good as it gets for me. I have a really good marriage to a truly nice guy. And yet I had to tell him the basics of the abuse I underwent because the echoes were affecting our life unfairly also.
A really small example was my reaction when Mr. Ruth came up while I was backed up against the kitchen counter and put a hand on the counter on either side of me. Effectively "trapping me". My anxiety level went out the roof and I know my face looked totally panicked.
So I know about how "not fair" it can seem to the relationship.

The thing is, keep in mind that the right guy will be busy giving you a life that will never give you reason to ever worry about abuse again.
Sure, we'll have our knee-jerk reactions to kitchen counters, or someone drinking too much, etc. but time and a really caring loving guy give your brain better things to concentrate on then the abuse we suffered in the past.

I wish I could tell you that it goes away - it doesn't.
But it DOES get better.

 
Old 01-21-2006, 04:19 PM   #3
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SophiaM HB User
Re: How to regain self-confidence?

I agree, for me it didn't go away, either. I was abused by my mother, growing up, both physically and verbally. My entire body used to be constantly covered in bruises from a belt she beat me with. It does get pushed more into the background, like Ruth said, when other things in your life are going well and especially if you're surrounded by supportive friends and are in a loving relationship. But the shadow of the abuse probably never completely disappears. Certain things can bring back painful memories and old feelings in a flash. THat's just something we have to live with. It's really sad so many women and children are abused by the people who supposedly "love" them. It robs us of our trust and confidence, for sure. For me it's also a constant struggle to feel good about myself and confident on a consistent basis.

I think one way to at least somewhat reclaim your power is to tell yourself that the person who abused you did so not because YOU did something wrong or didn't derve to be loved, but because that person was a miserable, emotionally and mentally disturbed individual who did not know the concept of love. That person was broken and deficient, not YOU, and they were trying to take out their own rage and misery on someone innocent and physically weaker than them. They were probably abused themselves by someone at some point. So their horrendous acts are only a reflection on them and NOT YOU. You are still the beautiful, pure soul you've always been and despite the injustice that was done to you, your core remains the same.

 
Old 01-21-2006, 11:56 PM   #4
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Eath HB User
Re: How to regain self-confidence?

Quote:
....I would appreciate any thoughts on how I might start to love and appreciate myself better....
How to appreciate myself? Appreciation is not appreciating something that is not; appreciation is appreciating something that is. If I am not appreciating myself not appreciating myself, that is what is and is appreciated. In this appreciation I may appreciate that there is no 'how' associated with appreciation. If there were a way to appreciate, that wouldn't be appreciation would it...

If I am not appreciating myself I am depreciating myself. This is appreciated.

Last edited by Eath; 01-22-2006 at 12:03 AM.

 
Old 01-22-2006, 01:50 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The UK
Posts: 1,315
Nina000 HB User
Re: How to regain self-confidence?

Thank you for your replies.

Sophia, I am so sorry you had this mistreatment inflicted on you as a child. OMG, can't even imagine it. Your ability to put this behind you without it affecting your inner beauty as a person is just amazing. I hope that you will meet a caring loving man who deserves your company and who will love you and treasure you immensely. I am glad Ruth you have found this nice person...and you are absolutely right it gets better.

I was probably feeling extremely low, fighting on many fronts that I had a major setback...I was thinking about this whole ex business, about the marriage issue, about graduation, I just feel overwhelmed. Honestly sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I realise how indifferent I have become. Not that I am neglecting myself but I feel physically tired. Dave suggested going to the swimming pool today but I just couldn't be bothered. I went cycling with him for like 30 minutes but that was all.
I feel so depressed that I unconsciously removed his hand away from me when we were in bed this morning and I told him that it's nice to be friendly but that I wasn't receptive to love or romance. I guess he was hurt!?

I feel already better with my football team winning this weekend HAHA my boss will be furious tomorrow as he always teases me (he is a fan of the rival team!)

Last edited by Nina000; 01-22-2006 at 02:12 PM.

 
Old 01-22-2006, 01:53 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Nina000 HB User
Re: How to regain self-confidence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eath
How to appreciate myself? Appreciation is not appreciating something that is not; appreciation is appreciating something that is. If I am not appreciating myself not appreciating myself, that is what is and is appreciated. In this appreciation I may appreciate that there is no 'how' associated with appreciation. If there were a way to appreciate, that wouldn't be appreciation would it...



If I am not appreciating myself I am depreciating myself. This is appreciated.
???????????????

Last edited by Nina000; 01-22-2006 at 01:53 PM.

 
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