Self-esteem and other issues!

manipulated

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Staff member
Sure!
 
Just a thought... lack of self-esteem can show up in many areas of our lives, but inevitably it will have roots in trauma. You certainly can talk about it here but the topic really could be shared in just about any forum on this website. Shame is a primary byproduct of having been used sexually and it is not easy to have self-esteem when we're marinating in shame.
 

BDD

Registrant
Hi @cyrus1987,

Is there something you need to say about your self esteem? Or would you like others to share their experiences and struggles?
 

cyrus1987

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Great, thanks :)

I will share my self-esteem issues - there's so much there and not sure where to start from. Perhaps bit by bit.
 

JethroTull

Registrant
Self esteem as Kristine Neff say should not be the focus of your self worth. The problem with self esteem is, it is unstable an emotion to build value on because self esteem can be built and destroyed in second. Self Compassion is more stable and robust alternative.

 
Right on Jethro! Self-compassion is the antidote to shame and self-care a confirmation that we are worthy, lovable, cherished. That is my mantra.
 

JethroTull

Registrant
Right on Jethro! Self-compassion is the antidote to shame and self-care a confirmation that we are worthy, lovable, cherished. That is my mantra.
To paraphrase and gender swap the reason why self esteem it to unstable to base your self worth on,

Wow, you looking buff, (building your self esteem) I think all men should have a beer gut and stretchmarks across it. (Self esteem gone) all in one sentence. Self compassion is not dependant on others.
 
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You may be interested in this website from Australia that is devoted to supporting men who have been sexually abused. Self-compassion is an important subject for them. Their work contributed to my recognizing its important in trauma work and led to the line above that I use as part of the closing for a twelve step meeting focused on childhood trauma.

 

cyrus1987

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Self esteem as Kristine Neff say should not be the focus of your self worth. The problem with self esteem is, it is unstable an emotion to build value on because self esteem can be built and destroyed in second. Self Compassion is more stable and robust alternative.


Thanks so much for sharing this. Love the distinction between self esteem and self compassion, especially when she says (in my words), 'don't do to others what you do to yourself or else you won't have friends.' I believe the core issues within me that I need to work on are: stop comparing my lifestyle to others and stop thinking/feeling: I have no friends, I have no supporters or people love me, I have to impress people for them to befriend me, doing things alone all the time makes me a loser, will I have friends when I move back to my home city (everyone has moved on) and will I get a job, will I ever find a good wife/have a family when I have a past (and indulge in wrestling/gay activities without wanting to because I've been in this cycle for 15+ years) etc etc. I've learnt to deal with these irrelevant thoughts in a better way though it isn't easy by any means. Not sure if these issues fall under self-compassion or -esteem?
 
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JethroTull

Registrant
What I hear here is someone who is lost, in living the the life as their inner child, someone who is worried about the future and someone that just needs to know they are going to be alright. My friend you are so much stronger that you know. Kindness and understanding creates friendships. Act of kindness, your compassion for others and the openness to accept you deserve to have friends is the key. There is only now, worrying about the past, or stressing about the future is madness, the only time we have we can influence or change our reality is this very moment, in the Now.

Take a moment to be kind to yourself my friend, what would you say to me if I had written your words? Be your own best friend and show your mind some loving kindness. Remember your thoughts are not you, then are not necessarily to truth that are just the responses of a mind that is over stimulated with fear, of the past, and fear of the future. What fear do you have right now, that is not related to your past or future?

Try this meditation from Tara Brach

There is an Audible and physical book by an British professor call Paul Gilbert, The Compassion Mind which I would recommend.
 

cyrus1987

Registrant
What I hear here is someone who is lost, in living the the life as their inner child, someone who is worried about the future and someone that just needs to know they are going to be alright. My friend you are so much stronger that you know. Kindness and understanding creates friendships. Act of kindness, your compassion for others and the openness to accept you deserve to have friends is the key. There is only now, worrying about the past, or stressing about the future is madness, the only time we have we can influence or change our reality is this very moment, in the Now.

Take a moment to be kind to yourself my friend, what would you say to me if I had written your words? Be your own best friend and show your mind some loving kindness. Remember your thoughts are not you, then are not necessarily to truth that are just the responses of a mind that is over stimulated with fear, of the past, and fear of the future. What fear do you have right now, that is not related to your past or future?

Try this meditation from Tara Brach

There is an Audible and physical book by an British professor call Paul Gilbert, The Compassion Mind which I would recommend.

Thank you for the kind words :) If I was responding to you, I'd say:

- You'll be fine and you've come a long way
- You are in the perfect place because God wants you there
- Focus on the present, forget the past and stop being anxious about the future
- Learn to love yourself and be comfortable in your own company, you don't need to be around others all the time
- Don't rely on others to give you importance, your own approval for yourself is the most important

Not entirely sure why I have the fears right now as over the last year (since my divorce in September 2019) I've focused on personal development and have come a long way - I overthink less, enjoy my own company more, seek less approval from others, focus on my real friends and side-lined the unhelpful ones, put my happiness first - though recently I'm having these insecurity/fear issues again. I live in London though moving back home (Pakistan) soon to live with my parents and look for work here. I've been working on/off in Pakistan in the past 3-4 months due to the COVID situation and it's been a blessing in disguise - spending more time with the family and getting into the mindset of settling back home. Though I don't have many friends here (lots of people have moved on + I've kept moving around my whole life due to my dad's job) and hence a limited social life - looking at my friends' social lives on social media makes me jealous (and I do try to minimise this feeling when I am aware of it). Therefore I make an extra effort with the few people I know and when they don't make an effort it gets to me though I've come to realise that everyone is busy and them not making an effort isn't to do with me - who likes me will make an effort and be friend though this is easier said than done as I have limited friends here. My gut tells me it'll be a good move and everything will fall into place i.e. will find a job (not many companies here, the big FMCGs are in other larger cities though the purpose of moving back is to be with family), make friends at work and meet others through socialising, etc. I am turning 34 in less than a month and tend to think I am late to all this. I want to meet a girl, get married and start a family. Also after having read numerous articles and watched YT videos on self-compassion/worth/etc, I've started telling myself that I should believe in the process, let go of control and let be. Also, I am stepping out of my comfort zone after having lived in London for 15ish years and taking a risk of moving back - heard that moving out of the comfort zone offers the best opportunities (haven't done this much before).

I speak to my therapist about all these issues though always good to talk to 'non-therapist' people and glad I am finally opening up here :)
 

JethroTull

Registrant
You know your answer already, be your own best friend, and the anxiety you are feeling is normal, given you are leaving your home here and going into the unknown to build yourself a new life. You can use this to draw a line, be kind to and respect yourself. There is a book callled the Secret, which you might like to read, you have the power to shape your future. It only take positivity in this moment the now.
 

JethroTull

Registrant
So plenty of time, to get your mind around it then, you just need to be mindful and kind to yourself from here on in.
 

cyrus1987

Registrant
Thank you. The most interesting thing I found is that my parents (in their heart) want me to move back though haven't said it verbally and insist it's my choice. My mom the other day was telling someone, "oh not sure why he wants to move back as he has a good career in London," but deep down she does. I said getting out of my comfort zone will be the best thing and what I need is their support though not telling me to move back verbally could be their way of me not being able to blame them later down if things go wrong. I am being positive they won't and believing in this new journey I am about to embark upon.
 

JethroTull

Registrant
parents, good ones, have mixed feeling about such things, firstly they don't want the child to move away and not see them. they worry whether you are going to be alright and what they would do it you weren't. So they want to tell you not to go. but at the same time they want you to find your own place in the world, allow you so spread your wings and not hold you back. As such the want you to go. so with these two forces pulling them in two directions they tend to stay silent. As a good son you have to reassure them you will be OK, you have a plan b, and will come home if it does not work out and reassure them you will be in contact practically daily at first. Now is the time to talk to them about your plans and understand their feeling and their experiences.
 

cyrus1987

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Your comments/ advice are spot-on. Oh I’m actually moving back home (where my parents live. I do agree that they want to see me happy and settle down eventually. Perhaps I’l understand when I become a parent.
 
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