My Low Self-Esteem

So much of what we look like is tied to our self esteem and how we feel about ourselves. Think about it, if you are feeling ugly when you look in the mirror, you are probably feeling bad on the inside; and if you are feeling bad on the inside, chances are you feel ugly on the outside.

I know that I have been in that very frame of mind many times, if not most of my life.

As a 3-year-old child my face was mangled in a horrible freak accident. I had been running in the house and carelessly dove face first into a large glass water cooler bottle. My face was split open and was mangled; I received more than a few dozen stitches on my tiny face and my nose was reconstructed through a couple of surgeries, the last one around age 7. Though I don’t remember anything about what the accident did to me mentally during those years, I do remember what it was like growing up and being asked constantly “What happened to your face?” Β I was questioned, over and over, by strangers about what had happened. I received a lot of attention, on a daily basis. People looked at me, talked to me and wanted to know. I hated it.

As my scars healed over the years and became less visible, people stopped looking. They stopped asking. I didn’t realize that after receiving so much attention for so many years that once it stopped I would begin to feel even uglier than I had felt growing up. I hated that attention when I was receiving it, but once it was gone, I hated the lack of attention even more.

I began to change my appearance almost constantly. From the age of 13 I was obsessed with changing my appearance and self; I piled on make up, constantly fussed with my hair. As I aged, every thing about me was in a constant state of change. My hair cuts and color, my clothing, my personalities and even groups of friends changed. The only thing that never really changed was my unrealized need for attention, my endless search for validation and the hatred I felt for my face.Β It was only in the past few years that I realized how that horrible incident had really deeply effected me.

I was in my late 20’s when I first began to understand. I slowly became obsessed with wondering what I would look like if the accident never occurred. What would my nose really look like? Would my face be symmetrical like my daughters? Would I have been as beautiful as she is? I would look in the mirror and fantasize about how different my life would have been had that never happened. Β It took me about 6 years to directly link the accident to my lack of self-esteem, constant need for change, and my endless desire for attention and validation.

While I am still working on accepting that I can’t change the past or will ever know what my life would have been like if the accident never occurred, I am glad to link most of my internal conflicts to something solid and specific. It’s a closure of sorts. And while it may have taken me 29 years to understand these things about myself, I am glad to finally understand and know what has been so wrong with me. Today I am thankful that the accident wasn’t worse. I am not blind, as the doctors had originally feared, I am not a vegetable and I am alive. It could have been so much worse. While I may not be happy about any of it ever occurring, it really could have ended up being so much worse.

Do you suffer from low self-esteem? Can you link it to a specific event in your own life?

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17 thoughts on “My Low Self-Esteem

  1. Wow! This is a major breakthrough!

    I know this is not the same, but… I felt the same way when I discovered that I had Celiac. All those years of suffering and being told I needed Prozac and my symptoms were all in my head. Yes, it is good to be able to pin it onto something, because that is when you know how to fix it and go on with life.

    Have a blessed day Ginger! ~ Lynda

    1. Lynda, I think it is the same thing. A different incident, but the same effect… Low self-esteem. After coming to my own conclusions I believe that probably each person who suffers from low-self esteem probably also has a specific reason why. Figuring it out can probably really help in healing and moving forward.
      Thanks for sharing your situation, being told that you have issues in your head would certainly take a toll on anyone, especially if there was a real issue they couldn’t see.
      Hugs to you!

  2. Hello there! I suffered from low self esteem most of my life and I decided to blog about it to help women feel more comfortable in their own skin. I have a beauty blog about your inner beauty. Check it out! I hope it will be helpful!

  3. You are half way to accepting when you realize the reasons for your feelings… Self-esteem is always shaky in our “outer appearance” obsessed culture of ours. I feel a shift in the wind.. women are finally protesting and seeking magazines, etc that offer a true “visual” of who women really are.. from the inside out.

    1. Yes, it most certainly is more important to feel good from the inside out! That is where the true beauty is afterall, right? Thanks for reading and thank you so much for your encouraging words πŸ™‚

  4. There are many ways one can develop low self esteem. Thank you for sharing your story. Mine has always been how I see myself. I hate having my picture taken, I feel and look fat, It doesn’t matter how much I do for other people, I never get the recognition I’ hoping for. Sometimes I feel like I’m invisible and don’t really matter or make a difference in this world. I’ve been diagnosed with severe depression and have been off work since March 2011. Even though the doctors have prescribed all sorts of different meds, I don’t feel much better now than I did when I left work. It’s good to hear I’m not alone. Please keep writing, I enjoy your blogs.

    1. I quite oftern feel the same says that you described, it’s not fun. Other times I wish I WAS invisible, I cannot seem to win. It’s all a work in progress, right? I’ve also been out of work for almost the same amount of time. I want desprately to go back and reclaim life but I not capable. The pain is so unbearable some days all I do is silently wish to die. On the days when I’m not in such severe pain my brain is on a whacko vacation.

      I can’t help but think of the quote “This too shall pass.”

      We are capable and desreving of a better life, better than this. I am confident that I am going to get it together, this year. This is my year, and it can very well be yours, too!

  5. I was so stunned to read about your accident; at such a young age. I would have never guessed anything like that looking at your pics today. There is definitely something to be said about figuring out the “why” of your behavior in the past and so do hope this will put closure to those thoughts. Love the little girl you were, the ever changing teen you were and the beautiful woman you are today….inside and out!! Happy New Year!!

    1. I can’t believe it took me so long to connect the two. Once I figured it out it was kind of like… Duhhh?!

      Moving past it is going to be easier than recognizing it, at least I hope that to be true πŸ™‚

      Thanks for telling me to love the past and current me. I will get there and I feel strong when I say that, I really do.

  6. Oh, low-self-esteem and I are old, dear friends.

    I’m glad you had a break-through and have a better understanding of your needs. Therapy was invaluable to me for that sort of thing. I’m so grateful.

    Similarly, I hated my face as well and took to cutting it with scissors. I promised loved ones I’d never do it again and then started smearing makeup on my face so that I looked distorted and mangled.

    Not exactly like what you went through – your inner wounds were created by your outer wounds – and my outer wounds were created by inner wounds. But that we and millions of women have issues loving and accepting ourselves as is seems to be a nearly universal phenomenon.

    Age and sincere introspection tempers those feelings. Now you are grateful the accident wasn’t worse. Soon, and maybe already, you will be grateful FOR the accident – that the accident made you the beautiful and unique woman you are today. Because you never know what you would have been like if you hadn’t experienced that.

    1. Wow, Girly, thank you for sharing your own story with us, it takes a brave person to talk about painful things. You are such a beautiful woman and I feel happy for you that you seem to know that now.

      When I read that you suggested I might someday be grateful for the incident I have to say it knocked me off of my feet. I am not grateful now, but what a wonderful thought to meditate on. I surely will use that idea as a starting point in moving forward, thank you, I never would have thought of that on my own accord, at least not any time soon. I do believe you moved me onto the next step of healing.

      xoxo

  7. I understand all too well what you’re saying. In fact, I think I’ll blog it, if that’s alright with you. πŸ™‚

    But how excellent is it to make the connections that can start breaking down the negativity? Good on you for sticking with it, as painful as it can all be…

    I’m grateful that the accident didn’t take you from us–your writing inspires.

    1. I am so happy to hear that you think of me as inspiring, and I am thrilled that I prompted you for your blog entry! You’ve made me warm and fuzzy inside.. Now I am off to your blog to see what I can learn from you, thanks πŸ™‚

  8. Such an insightful post, Ginger! I wouldn’t have guessed this when looking at your pictures, either! I know the thought process of “what would have been if…” I am glad you turned it around to make it”it could have been so much worse.” It could have been and luckily it wasn’t. That’s all that matters. We have to be grateful for what we have and not what we will never have/need/asked for.

    1. A PS: Scars and other features make us unique! πŸ™‚ (I have a white eye brow. Always had it since the age of 7. I wanted to change many things about myself throughout the years. But the only thing I never wanted to change about me was this eye brow. I wouldn’t be the same without it!)

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