I am enough

Self esteem is something that so many of us struggle with. I met a lady the other day who could quite happily say out loud, ‘I am fabulous.’ Apart from feeling slightly weirded out by this self labelled (and quite rightly so, because she was) fabulous woman, I felt jealous of her. I found myself mesmerised by her self belief and enormous amount of self worth. Why can’t I be more like that? Why can’t I be the girl that walks into a room and holds her head up and feels at least equal to every other woman there? The truth is, I am the one with the smile plastered across her face but doubting every single move she makes, doubting her outfit choice, makeup, hair style. Wondering why she couldn’t be as together as the fabulous woman across the room, wondering, and this is the biggie, why I am not good enough.
For ten years I was told I was ‘ten a penny’. From early on in my abusive marriage to him I was told when he was in one of his moods that I was nothing. Who the fuck would want me if I left him? I was a piece of shit. Fat, ugly, lazy. And then there were the really personal hits, which I won’t mention on here, but let’s just say when someone puts you down by the way you look it’s a blow, but when they make you doubt the person you thought you were it messes with your head. But then on top of that, my abuser also put me on a pedestal. I was the beautiful untouchable princess that no one dared talk to for fear of what might happen if he saw. When we went out I made sure I looked at the floor, that my eyes didn’t wander, that I never caught the eye of another human being, female or male. You see, I couldn’t be trusted. I wanted to have sex with everyone, or at least that’s what he told me. Draped in diamonds I trotted beside him with my head down. He introduced me to people like a trophy he had won, he showed me off, wore me about his neck like a pendant, until he got home and locked me back in my case.
This is what they do. Abusers are probably the most insecure creatures that walk among us, and to feed that insecurity they will, using every trick in the abusers handbook, try to bring down their victim, breaking them down piece by piece till their self esteem is non existent. It is the way they gain power, and unfortunately in most cases, it works and they win. You end up an empty putty that they can mould and transform into whatever it is that they want you to be. I hung on in there with gritted teeth and bleeding fingernails. I reminded myself who I was before I met him on a daily basis, I conformed to his ideal in front of him, but away from him I allowed that small streak of ‘me’ that was still left to creep out. She was like a child hiding in the dark, eyes wide and scared that she would get caught, but when she realised the coast was clear she would edge slowly out until she was standing in the sun, with the warmth of real life on her face. Those moments kept me sane and kept me grounded no matter how far up in the clouds my life really was, but ultimately they didn’t protect me from the deep wounds he was slicing into my heart and my mind. Every negative comment, every put down, cut me deeper and unbeknownst to myself I was bleeding. 
                                                                                                                                                 My wounds have healed now, but I still wear the scars on the inside.
I will need to continue to work on my self esteem for some time to come. And maybe I will always get that little voice that pops up every now and then telling me that I ‘can’t’, that I’m not ‘good enough’, or perhaps it’ll fade and many years from now I’ll look back and laugh at how silly I was to allow him to win. Someone said to me recently that in the moment we are in it is hard to see how far we have come, and how true that is. I have come a long way, I know that in my heart, however it is still so easy for me to fall back into the pattern of feeling anger at all those years I lost to unhappiness. To feel frustration that my life didn’t go the way I had wanted it to, sadness that the happily ever after with the person that I was meant to be with didn’t happen before he did.
And so to those that are still there, give the ‘you’ that is hiding away those moments that I did. Allow it too to come out and feel the sun on its face, even if for a fleeting moment, and remind yourself of who you were before. Who you are.
“Some people when they have taken too much and have been driven beyond the point of endurance, simply crumble and give up. There are others, though they are not many, who will for some reason always be unconquerable. You meet them in time of war and also in time of peace. They have an indomitable spirit and nothing, neither pain nor torture nor threat of death, will cause them to give up.”  Roald Dahl


2 thoughts on “I am enough

  1. stephieann8

    I was abused for 12 years and he was embarrassed to be seen with me. He used to weigh me everyday, put me on diets, beat me… ect. I am still working on my self-esteem but it gets stronger every year.


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