February 01, 2006

 

Survivors Thrive With Self-Esteem

Last night, at my survivor's support group, we discussed affirmations for self-esteem. Self-esteem has got to be a challenge for any sexual abuse survivor. I know I've struggled with it many, many times. How do we learn to honor our selves when we were so dishonored by the abuse? How do I know when I am properly honoring my self?

In my group, we talked about this issue of self-esteem and honoring the self. We discussed how it is okay to be angry, as long as we express the anger responsibly. We talked about how it is okay to say no, without any excuses, reasons or apologies. We discussed our right to say things like, "I don't know." and "I don't understand." I guess healthy self-esteem is about acknowledging that we are, indeed, okay. We have rights and it is okay to assert them.

In my "A Day of Thriving" poem (located in the archives of my "Meditations" page of my website: survivorscanthrive.com) I note the following: "I'm assertive with others. I'm not afraid to express my feelings or voice my opinions. I set and maintain healthy boundaries." To me, these are all a part of having healthy self-esteem. For me, it was necessary to forgive myself for what happened to me. I also had to learn to love myself and believe in my inherent worth. Then, I was on the road to practicing the many aspects of healthy self-esteem.

I looked up some websites that have content that I found helpful in regards to self-esteem. The first, www.self-esteem-nase.org is the website for the National Association for Self-Esteem. This site defines self-esteem and gives healthy "self-esteem boosters" anyone can implement. They also include a self-esteem rating guide, books on the subject and a forum for discussion.

I also found a page I liked on the topic of assertiveness. It is at the "Coping" website here. The site's section on assertiveness talks about steps to improve the skill, your "assertive rights" and even includes a journal exercise about the topic.

Last, but not least, I looked up the subject of "boundaries." What are boundaries, anyway? I'm sure many a sexual abuse survivor has struggled with this issue. When we were being abused, our personal boundaries were extremely violated. As abuse survivors, we may have some people in our lives who are just downright toxic. In order to finally be true to ourselves and develop the healthy self-esteem we need, we must set firm boundaries with these people or protect ourselves and say goodbye. At the "Joy 2 Me and You" website, boundaries are discussed along with ways to use "I Statements" to express feelings. Link to it here.

Copyright 2006 by Marj McCabe. All Rights Reserved.

Comments:
My wife is a survivor and setting up those boundaries after finding some self esteem were and are very difficult to set, but she is succeeding! As you said, there are people who are obstacles to self esteem and do not recognize boundaries and sadly, they are often family members who are still denying that anything happened to her, or her three brothers or her sister, including them!! Two of her brothers have come forward and one is thriving, unfortuneately the other has passed away. Even our own children constantly try to eradicate her self esteem but she has not allowed them to defeat or demoralize her and that has been a very difficult decision to make. Letting go of your children because they are part of the problem with their attitudes hurts tremendously.

She now sets boundaries, has self esteem, and is thriving, hurray for her and others who are enabling themselves!!!

John W.
 
HOORAY FOR YOU. KEEPERS THINK IT IS WONDERFUL THAT YOU ARE SPEAKING ABOUT SELF-ESTEEM AND BOUNDARIES. THESE ARE ISSUES THAT HAVE COME LAST IN HEALING. EVERYONE ELSES SELF ESTEEM ALWAYS CAME FIRST FOR US. SLOWLY BUT SURELY KEEPERS HAVE REALIZED THAT THE BETTER WE FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES AND THE MORE WE RESPECT OUR OWN BOUNDARIES THE MORE OUR DESIRE AND WILLINGNESS TO GIVE IN HEALTHY WAYS GROWS. I AM SO INCREDIBLY GLAD YOU USED YOUR BLOG TO BRING THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF ESTEEM AND BOUNDARIES TO LIGHT. KEEPERS WILL BE VISITING YOUR BLOG OFTEN AS YOU SEEM TO BE A VERY WISE PERSON.

PEACE AND BLESSINGS

KEEPERS
 
Thanks, John & Keepers for visiting my post about self-esteem. It's a topic that I'm continually reminded that I need to keep working on. I see it as a work in progress. When I view it this way, I can stay positive about it and realize that it's something that's growing and that I'm building on every day. Blessings to you!
 
Marge, this is Jane from WINGS. I hope you are doing okay. I was concerned.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?