Do you ever get tired of people telling you how you should be as a person?
I remember having issues with friends in high school. I took my early teenage struggles to a close friend of my aunt’s who told me, “Well, you do like to talk about yourself far too much and you make everything about you so they don’t want to be your friend.” I took it as constructive criticism and went to work correcting my ways.
Years later, as an early 20′s something, I ran into another issue with friends who accused me of all sorts of things wrong with me. Again, hurt as I was, I used the information given to better myself.
Now, somehow throughout my whole life, I’ve always thought myself to be ugly and fat, even when I was skinny I felt fat. And I grew up with the thought-process that my life would be so much better if I could just lose weight.
Then I got married. And my emotionally abusive husband spent ten years telling me all I can do to be a better wife. Being a loving wife, I took that information and did the very best I could to reshape, remold and remake myself into the woman he wanted. I even subjected myself to suggestions from him on how I can be better, both in bed and out, based on his experiences with other women.
This lead to endless meetings with various people in the Christian world – some had wisdom; some didn’t. Nevertheless, it all pointed to one fact: There was something always wrong with me and never with the people around me. It was all me. This is a rule-of-thumb I lived with during my marriage, also.
Divorce hits the self-esteem in funny ways. To me, it affirmed all my negative beliefs about myself. It confirmed I was ugly. It confirmed my life would fall apart by getting fat. It confirmed how undesirable I was and how little investment even Christian people wanted to put into me.
So I picked myself back up from the dust of all this and became…..myself. Not the prettiest but not the ugliest. Not obese but not skinny. Not really anything but wanting to be everything.
Over the last seven years, my self-esteem has continued to take hit after hit due to various people giving me “constructive criticism”. Yet one common theme threads through my life: Not once did any of these people ever come to me and tell me they were also hopelessly flawed and working on themselves. Not once, did any of them take accountability for who THEY are while telling me who I should be. Not once did I ever tell them who I think they should be. Not once.
Perhaps, this is why I’m so severely protective over others trying to do the same to my children. People try to take issue with Shelby’s hair being different colors. But you know what? That’s WHO she is! And thankfully, she’s not apologizing to anyone for it. Emilie is a mini-me so I’m working on her being her own person and not having to apologize for that either.
There really are reasons why I don’t search for friendship outside of my family. And it’s a shame because I’m a great girl!!