Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Importance of Self Esteem

When I was younger, I had major self esteem issues. I would look in the mirror and hate the way I looked. My hair was frizzy, my body was awkward, my eyebrows were bushy, my butt was too big, and my skin was too dark (compared to everyone else in my family). I literally felt like a black sheep. During high school I changed my name to “Myshel” and swore I was someone totally different than whom I was. I had a different boy every week and would drop them before they had an opportunity to drop me. The attention they gave me felt good, at least temporarily.

A couple of months after graduating high school, I met C’s dad. He swept me away. While I should’ve been focusing on college, I focused on him. Before I realized it, I made him my world. Nothing else mattered to me. My family and I would have huge fights because of him. They saw me becoming less and less of the person I was, and more and more like the person he wanted me to be. He mentally and verbally abused me. He controlled me. The 2 ½ years I was with him were some of the weakest points in my life.

When I found out I was pregnant, I cried. I saw my whole life, all my goals, get thrown down the toilet. He was happy and excited to finally be a “family”. Yet, during those 9 months, he cheated on me and abused me, and put me through a living hell. I felt like I deserved everything I was getting and dealt with it. It wasn’t until C was born that I woke up. He physically abused me two more times and threatened to take my son from me, the last time being under the roof of my parent’s home, and that was the final straw. I was done. I couldn’t have this monster in mine or my son’s life. I finally had the courage to break up with him. Unfortunately, by then the damage was done.

The following year after the breakup, I was at an all time low, self esteem wise. I went from guy to guy to guy. I had just turned 21 and was like a walking ad for Girls Gone Wild. My self respect, amongst other things, went out the window. I no longer loved myself. I looked for attention any way I possibly could. It was disgusting. Before I knew it, a year had passed and I was even more unhappy than I was when I left C’s dad. Unfortunately, it only got worse when I found out I was pregnant from a one night stand. I was ashamed of myself.

During the 9 months I was pregnant with Hope, there were times when my self esteem was so low, I prayed to God to not let me wake up in the morning. I hoped to fall down the stairs or get hit by a car. It was the darkest time of my entire life, possibly even more so since my pregnancy was kept a secret. I went through it all alone in fear and shame of what others would think of me. I was so hard on myself that I never got to see the positives of everything my life had brought me.

Where am I going with this?

While watching Teen Mom, I’ve been reminded over and over of the self esteem issues we all face as teenagers, and even as adults. It’s tough for me to see these girls go through the struggles they do. We saw Maci struggle with Ryan and the way he treated her last season. A lot of us have agreed that Farrah was a terrible mom, but now can see where all her issues stem from after the incident with her mom and her conversation with her therapist regarding her relationship with Sophia’s dad. We cringe at the mental and verbal abuse between Amber and Gary. Worst of all, we continuously see the difficulties of Catelynn and Tyler being in a relationship after placing Carly for adoption.

Teen Mom has been difficult for me to watch lately, as seeing the issues evolve between Catelynn and Tyler’s relationship makes me feel really bad for both of them. When Tyler was being a jerk and Catelynn was crying about how much it hurt her, I wanted to reach through the screen and shake her and say “LEAVE HIM”. No one should be made to feel like they’re worthless, especially by someone who says loves them. The attachment and bond between Ty and Catelynn is strong due to the fact that they went through pregnancy and placement and post adoption feelings together. Regardless, though, there is NO REASON she should allow him to talk to her and text her with the things he was telling her. There’s no reason for any of us to allow anyone to bring us down like that. We shouldn’t have to “settle” with anyone who brings us down and doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves.

Just because you love someone doesn't mean you have to be involved with them. Love is not a bandage to cover wounds. –Hugh Elliott

For awhile, I had labeled myself as “damaged goods”. Personally, I felt like I was a mess that no one would want to be with. I had two children by the age of 22. I didn’t have a degree or a house of my own. I was living paycheck to paycheck. I felt like I had no worth. I dated around, but never opened up about my experiences in life with anyone because of the fact that I was embarrassed by the way my life played out. It was hard for me to trust anyone, let alone trust myself that I wouldn’t go back to my old way of thinking or acting. I was more embarrassed of being me.

It has taken me several years to realize what an amazing person I am. I have become able to see all the good things within myself and be proud of who I am and am becoming everyday. My level of personal growth in the past 5 years since Hope was born is amazing. I have transformed from a single mom with broken dreams and a broken heart to a woman who is selfless, strong, determined, confident, intelligent, goal oriented, and compassionate. I’m proud of myself for how far along I have come in my life and how much more growth I have ahead of me. Granted, I have my off days like anyone else, I don’t dwell on them as much as I used to and have opened myself up for new opportunities, including falling in love. But, that’s another story for another day…

What are some of the things you find you are hard on yourself about and wish you could change? What are the positive things you see in yourself? Focusing on those positives will help get through the bad days. If you ever need a boost, and don't know where to start, I highly suggest this site I read about in Glamour magazine. Try it ;)


  1. The magic of a new life brought in to world of living from the depths of a mother's womb. Isn't that amazing how a newly born life gave change you and gave you new a life!

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  2. The story you have shared with us is really very nice but a little bit sad. Thanks for your nice share and keep sharing.

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