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Low Self Esteem
I'm new to BB and I'm not sure what I am expecting from posting this.
Lately my low self esteem seems to be effecting everything I do. I live in a small town and dread going out, even to do the shopping in case I see someone who knows me. If I'm alone (when the kids are at school) I will do it as quickly as possible - get in and get out. I am a little more comfortable if I take my children with me, but still go in avoiding eye contact and hoping I don't run into anyone I know. I also put off making local appointments, so I don't have to attend them.
This has been going on for some time. I know it has a lot to do with my separation and the smear campaign by my narcissistic ex.
This morning, however, I saw a link with my self esteem issues. This is what happened - I took my children to school and I thought to myself that I should go for a walk, it might make me feel better. Then the thought of people around town seeing me doing exercise filled me with dread and I went straight home.
I can see that this is not a reasonable thought process because there were people I know who saw me walk in and out of the school.
I'm finding it hard to explain and rationalise. I need to seek some help, but I am worried that my narcissistic ex will use it against me in some way.
Anyones thoughts will be appreciated.
Hi TTSP. Welcome here. How long were you with your hubby. Narc's take great delight in belittling, deriding and generally degrading anyone who they think is trying to 'better' themselves. To a narc, they're the only ones who have any rights as far as thinking, controlling etc. Everytime you are able to walk the kids to school, that I would count as a 'plus'. If you feel uncomfortable about being seen in public, that's because you've been made to feel less worthy. There are some helpful comments on this forum regarding narc's and the different tactics they use to stay in control. I think there are quite a few different personality traits, such as waif, witch, queen, king, hermit. Each different terminology explains the personality trait of the narc. If you can find the personality trait that best describes your ex, this might be of some use to you. Actually, the best way to overcome the derivation from your ex is to not show you're scared of being seen in public. If you see someone you know that also knows your ex, don't play his game of deriding him. If he is mentioned, just say, I don't wish to discuss him. If anything gets back to him, don't show fear, stand firm, look him in the eye. This will challenge him, he won't be able to face up to the challenge because you've taken back the control. Each time he tries to twist the truth, think about what you've learnt about narc's and smile. I can't see him becoming violent, narc's are not usually violent, they can't afford to be if they wish to retain the 'face' they've built up. I would also think about seeing a therapist/counsellor to help you regain your emotional strength.
I'm sorry you are finding things so difficult. In lots of ways you describe things I have been through. I used to be exactly the same with getting the groceries. I used that belief that small children have - if I refuse to see you, then you can't see me either. I can't believe I did that now but I did. I can do the shopping ok now. Still don't enjoy it though.
I don't want to go outside either. I don't want to be seen by anyone but I also don't want to feel (wind, sun) & I believe I have more control inside. It's safer inside.
I'm sorry, I haven't been much help to you. But thank you for sharing. It seems easier to cope when I know I'm not the only one.
Take care, Lyn.
Hi Lynda. You have been giving me very helpful advise on my introduction post today.
I was married to him for 12.5yrs. The last 2.5 years were the worst when it escalated from emotional abuse to verbal, physical and sexual.
My low self esteem began as a result of my first abusive relationship and my narcissist ex exploited this and did all he could to ensure I didn't leave him.
I was defiant to him throughout our marriage. Especially during the final 6mths when he became violent - I think I went into survival mode.
I am fortunate that the VRO (only after being charged with breaching) keeps him at a distance from me. I have been separated for 17mths.
I had no idea about narcissists until after he was removed by VRO. I thought there has to be an explanation and I was both happy and worried when I discovered his traits were narcissistic.
You are right I should hold my head up and be seen, I think I've just lost my fight at the moment. You gave me some good advice about counselling on my introduction post and I know that is what I need.
Thanks again Lynda.
Thanks so much for replying to my post. I'm sorry you are dealing with similar and I am glad to hear you've made some improvement with shopping. Knowing I am not alone in feeling this way, truly does give me some comfort. Thank you and I wish you well.