Fabricating Self Esteem
by Name Undisclosed
Both of my siblings and I suffered abuse by our mother until we were able to move out of her house (my brother left at 13, my sister at 16, and me at 17.) My story isn’t as saddening as some on this website but it’s one I would like to share.
It’s not the darkest memory I have, but an illustration of what daily life was like. I would have been wearing an Independent brand hoody. When I bought it, I looked at myself in the dressing room mirror of Pacsun and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I wore this every day?’ I was thirteen so there was eyeliner on the waterline of my eye, making my small eyes even smaller. I remember in the car on the way back from the mall my mother was telling me that I must have been a sl*t because why else would my boyfriend want to date a b**ch like me? She would call me “sweetness” whenever I tried to stand up for myself. “No wonder you can’t keep a relationship for more then three weeks,” she said. My rounded nose became red. I hated my stupid nose. Whenever I cried it made me look like a clown. I sobbed in the passenger’s seat of her Scion. Sometimes I would tell her that I wanted to live with my father. Her response would be, “He never wanted you anyway. When we got a divorce, he handed you over to me willingly. I had to fight for him to agree to visitation at all.” It’s still difficult for me to talk to anyone without thinking that they’ll try to hurt me. "Quit it with those crocodile tears,” she would say. I would receive ridicule constantly for my weight, looks, worth, sexuality, etc. This was many years after I was molested by her as punishment for not wearing underwear under my nightgown while her boyfriend was in the house and a year before she forcibly slammed my nose into her bedroom door. It took me almost twenty years to realize what I had been through wasn’t my fault.
I’m in my late twenties and have a great boyfriend and good job now, but I don’t forget about the silent eating disorders, cocaine addiction, and alcohol abuse that I had to get past. And still, all of my self esteem is fabricated. My heart goes out to everyone who has contributed to this page. Thank you for sharing your stories and letting me share mine.