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    avacad0
    Participant

    I have a question, how in the world am I supposed to love myself when I grew up constantly being criticized and with lots of emotional neglect? Is it even possible to attain a positive self image? I am working so hard to undo all the damage, but it is so difficult.

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    Eli Weinstein
    Participant

    I am so sorry to hear that you went through such tough times.

    It is a long and hard fight to reverse things that might have happened in our past. I do believe it is possible, but takes determination and get the right help and support needed.

    I truly wish you the best, don’t give up and keep fighting !

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you! I am doing everything in my power to change. It is just so hard that I need to nurture myself at my age, when I am raising my own family. I need to feel satisfied within and plus to constantly give my children positive love and validation. At times I feel completely depleted.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Hi @Avacad0,

    This is a really tough but good question. I didn’t go through the abuse you describe, but I’ll try to offer something.

    It is might mighty hard work. And I can imagine how depleted you are. You’re trying to take care of yourself and your kids. It’s exhausting!

    Maybe it could help to think of the Chazal “B’shvili Nivra Haolam.” Translated as the world was created for me. For You.

    No one in the world can do or accomplish what Hashem set out for you to do. You have incredible potential. I never met you, but I can tell that you’re strong, capable and hardworking! That’s something to feel good about and own.

    As far as your abuse goes, no one can take away your pain. And it takes an enormous amount of work to undoe it. But, that doesn’t take away from how special you are. Maybe you could try to separate the abuse you went through and your intrinsic worth?

    One last point that I find helpful is to think about how much Hashem loves and values us. Hashem loves and values you more than anyone can.

    I really hope this helps and validates you. I know that whatever I said is much easier said than done. (I feel hypocritical for suggesting what I don’t always do…!)

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you @Chavy for your validation and support! I will keep in mind all your tips as I continue to trudge along my  personal journey. I am usually a positive and upbeat person by nature, but at times the going gets just too tough for me………..

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to avacad0's post #6537:

    Sure and no worries! You’re doing an amazing job 🙂 We can’t be upbeat all the time 😉

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    EshesChay
    Participant

    Dear Avacad0

    Wondering whether the following would help:

    Turn fast forward and imagine your child (total theoretically!) seeking help for the very same.

    What would you advise to this adult seeking help?

    Then, apply the same to yourself.

    Wishing you inner strength with a Huge amount of Help from Above. Just “Log in” with some Tehilim from Dovid Hamelech. After all, measured on the Richter scale, how much did he suffer from his closest family?

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thanks so much! Beautiful thought. Will keep it in mind as I trek along.


    @fatbody
    Participant

    Hey Avocad0,

    I’m feeling for you now… I don’t remember much of my childhood, the trauma of my past is blocking those memories. Yet, the voices in my head berating me and telling me what a loser I am, etc. caused me to seek the answer as to why I feel this way. Through different ways I managed to discover that I grew up with emotional/physical/sexual abuse… The pain and trauma inside of me caused me to have an eating disorder and some other problems. Since I recently figured this out, I don’t have any tips yet for you… I just keep thinking that my zivug is waiting for me, I can’t kill myself and leave him to be alone… Neshamos are waiting to come down, and they need to come through me.

    All of this keeps me going and I hope they help you too..

     

    Hi avocad0,

    Evident in your subject title and question, is a lot of pain.  I can only imagine the suffering you experienced and how that has affected your sense of self.  Oftentimes when we experience abuse of any kind as children, instead of thinking “my parent(s) is doing something damaging and wrong” we blame ourselves and tell ourselves “I must be doing something wrong/bad to deserve this.”  This is at the center of why as adults we struggle with self-esteem and self-love: it is because our parents failed to give us the love we so deserve.

    Therapy allows us to heal these wounds, and to answer your other question, yes I truly believe in the transformative power of therapy.  It takes tremendous investment of time, expense, and energy but it does and can work.

    Loving ourselves might be an ever evolving process but the process itself can give us a sense of contentment and healing.

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank  you so much for your insight. I am in the middle of going twice a week for therapy and I am doing everything to heal. It is so difficult, the more I dig the more I uncover the damage. I am so affected emotionally. I am the most positive and cheerful person on the outside, but it is a facade. I make everyone happy besides myself. I am so nice to everyone besides to myself. I do favors for everyone besides myself. I take care of everyone besides myself. I am just such an emotional wreck. I crave love and affection, but cannot take it in for the life of me. I have the most amazing husband who loves me, yet I cannot accept any love. It is so painful…….

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    Yeshaya Kraus
    Participant

    Hi,

    Your question about loving yourself in spite of all you’ve been through is very powerful; there many who struggle with loving themselves even without the abuse. Pile that on top, and you’re in a really tough place.

    I don’t know you, so I can’t give more personalized feedback, but a few questions to think about: What does loving yourself mean to you? What actions would you take to show yourself love that would be meaningful?

    I find that it’s helpful to look at self-love through the lens of a relationship with another person. If you had to make friends with another person who was exactly identical to you, what would you do? How would you show honest caring? If “this other person” has had a tough upbringing, it may be hard for them to recognize caring. Giving honest compliments to yourself can help.

    All the best!

    In response to avacad0's post #10636:

    I hear the deep pain in your writing and I am so deeply sorry you are in this place.  It sounds like you are surrounded with so much love that you find you cannot access because of wounds from your childhood.  Therapy is definitely the place to be, and it can take time to heal these deep wounds.  It might be helpful to keep in mind that healing comes in layers and in baby steps, it’s not a one time cathartic kind of event or experience.  As you experience your first taste of healing, the experience can also give you a sense of hope that another way of living is possible.

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    splitandtrying2bme
    Participant

    In response to @fatbody's post #10623:

    whoa, I relate to your words so much….can’t even tell you… It gives me encouragement to read those last lines, and to realize I’m not alone with these types of thoughts…Stay strong.

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    avacad0
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you so much for all your support! it really means so much to me.

    I know that I will get better with all the time and effort that I put into therapy. I am very hopeful. I just feel so flooded at times being that I am so successful out there and such a wreck inside, it just makes no sense, that a person can walk around where people are viewing me with such respect and I am feeling such havoc and pain inside……

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