As much as you’d like to deny it, there have been many days where you have thought:
- “Damn this; why am I allowing myself to be treated in this manner?”
- “Why am I still with this person who treats me like dirt?”
This is an unfortunate after-effect of low self-esteem.
The issue with low self-esteem is that you are going to allow your abuser to treat you in this manner until you put your foot down…
I have never been a violent person, but there was one occasion that I had reached my breaking point with the total lack of respect that my partner had shown me over a number of years.
At that point, I grabbed my partner by the shirt and basically begged her to stop treating me in this manner.
Note the word “begged” and not “told” as there was still that uncertainty to what I really wanted in the relationship.
I knew that I didn’t want her to treat me in this way, but I also knew that I didn’t want her to walk away from me either as I loved her deeply.
Even though I knew that my words meant nothing to her, it was a breaking point in our relationship.
I think that I reached that point where I realised that why should someone treat me in this manner when I would never do so to myself or to anyone else?
For some reason, my whole being reverted back to who I was before the emotional abuse started; someone who would never have accepted being treated in this manner by anyone.
I had been bullied for so long to believing that everything in the relationship was about her, that I didn’t realise that my self-esteem had reached the lowest level ever.
You are going to have to dig deeper into your soul than ever before to build up the courage to walk away.
But walk away is something that you need to do…
Struggling with low self-esteem may be the reason that you stay in this relationship for longer than is necessary, but the courage that you garnered to confront your abuser must take precedence.
An unfortunate side-effect of low self-esteem within a relationship is the manner in which your life seems to take a backseat in the larger scheme of things.
You don’t want to be at home; you sit all day at the office thinking about what you are in for when you get home.
Your full potential as a human gets stifled for fear of reprisal from your loved one.
No-one is born with low self-esteem, but our circumstances mould us into how we react to what happens to us.
I have never understood why I allowed this emotional abuse to continue for so long, but something in me dictated that this was the path I was to follow with my ex.
Stupidity must be a side-effect of low self-esteem if we really want to be honest about it.
How else can we explain our willingness to allow someone to treat us so badly for years at a time?
I suppose that your self-respect also gets lost in this whole game that your emotional abuser is playing with your life.
What we need to remember is that it take two people to have an argument, and if you are not even in the room due to your low self-esteem then you are going to have a tough time of it.
How many times have you heard “I will never leave you!”?
Unfortunately, I always thought that this was a good thing, not the actual veiled threat that it was.
But, because I was battling with low self-esteem, I always believed that my ex wanted to be with me for me, not for what she could take from me.
Getting to improve your self-esteem is a very difficult thing to do if you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship for many years.
One of the things that I tried for too long before realising that I was wasting my time was the old “self-help” tactic of positive self-talk.
I listened to myself for many years, but I never really believed that I could make the changes that I was psyching myself up to make with this self-talk.
There was only one thing that really worked in helping to improve my self-esteem, and that was to focus on the things that I could change.
In my relationship, there was one thing that I had absolute control over and that was to stay or to go.
And obviously, surround yourself with people who know what you are worth…