Self-esteem and how it affects you


I came across this article all about self-esteem the other day from Alpha House and would now like to share it with you

Definition of self-esteem is:

Many things make up  self-esteem. Here are some of the key components and what I used to do and sometimes I still do.

  • The ideas you have about yourself when I left my partner I thought of myself as a looser and failure.
  • How you feel about yourself I have to tell you I was not in a good place.
  • What you say about yourself  constant self sabotage that is what I was doing.
  • How you act towards yourself and how you act toward others I did not want to talk to anyone and kept myself isolated most of the time I also got sick because I hardly ever ate and had a sleep problem which I still do.
  • The trust you have in yourself I did not have any I was always second guessing myself and what I was doing.
  • The acceptance you have in yourself I wanted to change to a better person however I had no guidance from anyone to help get me there.
  • The acceptance for who you are I constantly go through struggles, feeling alone most of the time still in a state of depression and have now accepted things for the way that they are getting through life the best way I know how and reading lots of self-help books..
  • The awareness of your abilities, competencies and limitations I have many abilities competent at many things and have some limitations.

How is self-esteem developed?

Self-esteem is not developed  solely by a single reason, in fact, many factors help to shape our self-esteem.

  • The environment where we were raised  in I had a wonderful childhood with my parents I never knew what abuse was or that it was even existent.
  • Your parents limitations and expectations of you from any other significant adult raising you I did not have to deal with that.
  • Other people’s beliefs in your abilities being significant adults, teachers, coach,counsellor, mentor, godparents, grandparent or guardian there were so many people who believed in me and my abilities I always felt so good about myself and I was always so happy I looked so forward to going to school and then coming home and spending the evening with my parent’s life for me back then was great.
  • Learned messages from others which were from childhood and carried into adulthood to help form your self concept.Well, this one is hard for me one thing I remember is that my mother’s sister Kathleen when I was eight years old  I was over at her house cleaning her bathroom and remember hearing from her the words “when your mother and father are gone I want nothing more to do with you” I am now fifty and remember this clearly from forty-two years ago, I kept this to myself and never told my parents because I know how much it would hurt them and I also did not want to cause any friction in the family.
  • Accumulation of your life’s emotional experiences both good and bad I’m not sure where to start with this one as mentioned in statement three and four these are some of the things I dealt with growing up and now that I am an adult there are other factors as well I have been in many bad relationships before and with the help of Alpha House I have been able to stop the cycle of abuse and violence I have also unfortunately been put in a situation on more than one occasion where I have been homeless eating in a soup kitchen and although I am happy that there are places such as these it really does not do much for your self-esteem  I think that was one of the lowest points in my life there are many other factors but to heavy to get into now perhaps an other day.
  • Relationships with friends, partners, children directly affects  how you see yourself and what you think about yourself  I am so afraid of anyone getting too close to me as I do not want anyone seeing my faults.
  • How others treat you and what they say about you  Quite honestly I`m afraid to know what other people say about me.

All these external forces help to shape and formulate our self-esteem and self-image. Self-image is pictures or images you have about yourself in your mind.

Self-talk is what one says about yourself. Self-talk is a link between self-awareness and self-esteem. It can either reinforce an already existing image or used to change opinions and attitudes you have about yourself. Positive self talk is a powerful tool for change and improvement which I find sometimes very hard to do.

Negative self-talk and negative thoughts are very destructive and disempowering which I have found myself doing lots of in the past. It is critical to consciously pay attention to these and to arrest them in mid thought or mid sentence.

Things to remember

  • It’s important to remember we have a choice.
  • We can choose being negative or choose being positive sometimes I need to remind myself of this.
  • We can choose to change the way we see ourselves or stay the way we are.

We can begin by changing to positive self-talk.

People with good self-esteem can:

  • Make their own decisions.
  • Ask others for help.
  • Have faith in their own competency.
  • Appreciate their own worth.
  • Respect others.
  • Show trust and hope.
  • Accept feelings without guilt.
  • Accept responsibility for their behavior.
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Anger Management


For many years I was very bitter and angry had no idea on how to deal with it then I moved into Alpha House in Winnipeg which is a second stage shelter and soon to realize that what I had longed for which was to let go of my anger and finally find some peace and tranquility in my life would eventually take place.

When we had women’s group once per week we would talk about various things one of which was anger we were all given a hand out to read which I would like to share with all of you:

Overview of a healthy approach to dealing with anger :

1) Recognize and allow yourself to believe that anger is a natural, normal, healthy non-evil healthy feeling. Everyone feels it we just don’t all express it. You do not need to fear your anger.

2) Remember that you are responsible  for your own feelings. You got angry at what happened, the other person did not make your cry.

3) Remember that anger and aggression are not the same thing. Anger is expressed assertively.

4) Get to know yourself, so you recognize those events and behaviors, which trigger your anger . “Find your own buttons, so you know when they are pushed”

5) Learn to relax, if you have developed the skill of relaxing yourself, learn to apply this response  when your anger is triggered.

6) Develop assertive methods for expressing your anger.

7) Keep your life clear. Deal with issues as they arise, when you feel the feelings not hours, days or weeks afterwards.

Check yourself with these statements:

1)  I no longer feel like unloading my feelings of anger and hurt.

2) I have stopped hoping that my ex partner is feeling as much emotional pain as I am.

3) I no longer feel so angry at my ex partner.

4) It is no longer important that my family and friends be on my side and not on my ex partners side.

5) I have outgrown the need to get even at my ex partner  for hurting me.

6) I  no longer blame my ex partner  for the failure of the relationship.

7) I have stopped trying to hurt my ex partner  by letting he/she know how much I hurt emotionally.

8) I have overcome my anger and have begun to accept the things my ex partner has done.

9) I am expressing my anger in a positive way that is not destructive to me  or to those around me.

10) I am able to admit it when I feel angry and not denying my angry feelings.

11) I understand the emotional blocks that have kept me from expressing my anger  in a positive way.

12) I am able to express my anger constructively instead of venting it inappropriately.

13) I am reaching a stage of forgiveness and not remaining angry.

 

The stages of grief


1)  Shock and numbness

This is often the first reaction and the hardest. This is a body reflex that usually occurs right after the loss. It is a way that the body shuts down our emotional system and provides a temporary cushion against the full impact of our loss.

It does not usually last for more than a couple of weeks but can occur when the pain gets too much. This is not usually a good time for making any long-term decisions.

2) Denial and withdrawal

This is the “oh no this isn’t happening” reaction. At this stage we are trying to absorb that the loss really happened .Some of the signs are feeling weak which happened to me quite often, feeling drained of energy it was like that for me nearly everyday, loss of appetite this is a big one for me, to this very day I still have this issue I even have my friends worried about me as I now have an eating disorder because of it I still only eat one small meal a day even then sometimes I takes me an hour to eat, sleep disturbances or not being able to sleep, for about five years now I have had this ongoing issue of not being able to sleep so unfortunately I am having to take medication every single night before I go to bed otherwise I will be up for days on end. This stage  can feel  very confusing and it can feel like you are going crazy. This stage will come and go regularly.

3) Acknowledgement and pain

At this stage, we begin to know that the loss is true and ongoing I dealt with this for twenty-five years it was so hard for me. We feel everything. This is overwhelming.It is important to remember that these feelings will not last forever. We need long-term support at this stage as it can take a long time to recover as I mentioned at the beginning it took me twenty-five years to finally be able to let go.

4) Adapting and renewal

At this stage, we begin to feel like living again. A future seems possible and times of pain decrease.

Marriage can be a blessing or a nighmare


Abuse: power & control behaviours

If there was a time in my life that I would re-live and do things differently it would have to be when I was between age 19 to age 21.

I never would have gotten married honestly it was a nightmare, for the duration of my marriage which all but lasted just under two years thats when I first learned about sexual abuse.

And then around the age of thirty or so my mom passed away I wish I had done more for my mom by being there everyday.

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Things that I avoid asking for help with


Helping hands

1) Emotional support as I have done without for many years and had to figure things out for myself.

2) Financial support even though there have been many times where I have been so down and out with no where left to go I had to ask a friend because I was so desperate for money because I was out of food.

3) People moving me I am so sick and tired of people saying that they are going to help me move when all I end up with is nothing but excuses.

4) Doing my laundry I much prefer to do my own laundry and no-one else touching it clean or dirty.

5) Advice I try to avoid asking for advice from others unless of course I have thought things through and unable to still reach a decision.

6) My grocery shopping, as I like to take my time, look at the prices carefully and compare from other places, spend less and still have money in my pocket when I leave the grocery store.

7) Cleaning I have a certain way of doing things and now that I am older I am very much set in my ways and do not like anyone helping me clean.

8) Looking after my kids ( they are my cats Keenie and Weston) I am the only one that will discipline my children and give them everything they want including their treats Weston loves attention from everyone and Keenie only wants to be around me and he gets tons of love and attention all the time from me as well.

9) Dealing with my own personal issues as I do not want to burden anyone else with my problems they have their own too.

10) When I am grieving I usually go into seclusion and don’t talk to anyone I have a problem asking for help and very stubborn too.

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A brand new start


Hello everyone:

Well, today I am filled with peace and very calm my blood pressure has not risen at all.

 I am so looking forward to whats in store for me in the next couple of weeks and although the moving will be stressful enough It will be a welcome change to be in a bigger city that has nothing but friendly people not to mention there are a ton of jobs out there in Calgary that I can apply for as well as feel safer on the streets walking.

Colin, my friend has done so much for me been a listening ear, giving me so much emotional support,  saw me through being homeless out on the west coast and now he’s going to welcome me into his home so that I can get healthy as I am not very healthy now due to the issues in housing like black mold that I must,  at the moment deal with.

Colin, my friend I have to tell you that he has done more for me than most people I know and helped me out of so many tight binds. I will be moving in with him for a while until I get myself set up with a good job and have some financial stability behind me.

I’m looking forward to moving out of here although the issue of packing  is really very stressful especially having to go through so many papers and sorting stuff out , however,  the good news is that I’m over half way done thank god I cant wait to get this move over with and out of this province for good.

Good-Bye Winnipeg Manitoba

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