How did this post come about?
Heyyyy Explorers! This week’s post topic of low self-esteem came at a special request from one of my followers on Instagram. I asked my followers to ask me questions, and I gave answers on demand. Well, I was asked, “How many compliments do you get on your eyes, and do you get annoyed by them?” My response was, “I really don’t get that many compliments on my eyes. When I was younger people use to comment on my eye, hair, and skin color all matching, but not in my adult life. Compliments on my eyes or my appearance period don’t annoy me, but it makes me uncomfortable. My childhood has made it really hard for me to accept compliments.”
Following my answer, a few people asked how childhood made accepting compliments hard. Well, buckle-up! I’m about to shed light on a topic I really don’t talk about much. That topic is my childhood. I am going to try to consolidate this as much as possible! Okay, here we go.
As far as I can remember…
I was often recognized as a pretty little girl. I’m not sure if it was my sandy blondish brown hair, my hazel eyes, my light skin, my smile, or for whatever reason, but I can remember always being told that I was pretty. I remember random people approaching my mom while we were out telling her she should get me into modeling, and later people told my dad the same. However, neither one of them ever exposed me to the industry. I think this was where my self-esteem issues started.
How could all these people think I was beautiful and could foresee a lucrative future for me in modeling, but my parents didn’t. I didn’t understand this. I remember thinking, do my parents not think I’m pretty? WhatI didn’t know back then was that those sorts of questions were going to lead me straight into twenty plus years of self-doubt, extreme self-criticism, and so much more (I could really go on with this list).
From those experiences, I carried around distrust. It’s like I knew I was pretty, but I didn’t feel beautiful enough for my parents. Shoot, I didn’t feel like I was enough of anything for parents. My feelings were validated when I was both neglected and abandoned by them for years a time.
Low self-esteem in middle school…
I was teased a lot for being super skinny. Girls my age were beginning to bloom in areas that set me apart just at a glance. Boys made fun of my pants being baggy. They concluded that it was because I didn’t have a booty. I remember feeling so embarrassed in front of the girls that had breast and were thicker and more filled out. I remember just wanting to disappear. This is where I believe my social anxiety began.
I didn’t feel comfortable around people because I could feel the judgment. I could hear their silenced mean thoughts. I was different from the people around me, and I’m not just talking about physically. I was different mentally and emotionally. Because of everything I was going through at home (or the lack of having a place to call home) made me emotionally sensitive, and at the time I felt like I was cursed with the ability to process a million thoughts and emotions at once. I hated it.
Consequently, I worried about possibly being bullied for not having the best clothes (or the fact that someone would notice that my best friend shared her clothes with me), not having my hair adequately cared for, and not even knowing what good feminine hygiene was. Thank God I wasn’t picked on for these things, but I might as well have been cause it was a worry of mine every single day I went to school.
Low self-esteem in high school…
Unfortunately, things got worse. Every time I turned around some girl was trying to fight me. I was so checked out socially, that half the time I didn’t even know it was me the person was trying to fight. I didn’t understand girls my age. I didn’t understand why girls didn’t like me. I didn’t understand why people always pointed me out. I never bothered anybody. I never tried to be apart of any clique. I just had 2-3 friends, and my boyfriend (now my husband). Smh. That boyfriend of mine. That’s a WHOLE ‘nother story!
I remember my freshman year being called out in front of the entire class by one girl who was known to have “them hands” but still ‘till this day I don’t know what I did to her to threaten me in that way. I went home crying so many times after school. People would try to console me by telling me the girls were just jealous of me. This was the craziest thing I had ever heard. What would someone be jealous of me for? I didn’t have anything. I barely had parents. I seriously only had three friends (at max). I didn’t have anything worth being jealous over. Then, people would say it was because I was pretty. I dismissed it so much because I didn’t believe somebody would think I was soooo beautiful to the point of jealousy and treat me horribly because of it. I didn’t understand. I began wishing I wasn’t “pretty” and I did everything I possibly could not to be recognized. I just wanted to fade into the background.
Matured low self-esteem my adult life…
The same patterns existed. This unrealized low self-esteem carried over into college, and even into me being married. My husband jokes about me not being able to accept compliments all the time. Then one day I realized just how sad it really was. I have wasted so much of my life trying to dim my light because people were uncomfortable with me for some odd reason.
When I tell you the devil started chipping away at me early in life, you have no idea! All of that made me grow up not realizing just how great I am. Just how special I am. I felt like I was different, because I was. Not because I’m better than anybody…I’d say the total opposite. I feel like God has allowed me to have the not so easy life because it is for a higher purpose! I thank God I finally see this.
I know this blog post was long. I tried to shorten it as much as I could. I took a poll on Instagram to see what other people though low self-esteem was, and evidently I’m the only one who didn’t know. Everytime I thought of self-esteem, I thought of somebody who thought they were ugly or felt unnoticed by others in that same respect. I thought successful people had to have high self-esteem! Through self-reflection, I realized I had low self-esteem, and my roots were deep. Like I mentioned before, this has affected so many of my relationships with friends and my husband.
I finally got up from a dark place and have been in a season of change for a while now. I find myself wanting to socialize more. I realize I want to give more of myself to people. I want to help other people…mainly kids. So now I smile differently. I talk to myself differently. I don’t accept just anything, and I guard my peace with everything in me! Why? Because God has called me to guide little girls. He has called me to be to these young girls what I needed so desperately growing up. I needed a mentor and a cheerleader. I want God to give me the strength and resources to be a beacon of light to brighten up the dark places kids face every single day. I have found so much joy! That’s how I know I am doing what’s right.
Through my journey of wanting to be more like Christ, light has been shed on so many of my dark areas in life. It has been challenging, but I can honestly see the change in myself! I know want to prevent other young girls from wasting so much of their lives on things like this!
Btw…I have some exciting news that I will only be sharing here on my blog! Make sure you sign up to receive a weekly newsletter (more like monthly) especially if you share the same passion for kids!!
As always, thanks for reading! I am hosting another Q&A on Instagram after this post is live. If you have a question, go to my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/exploringmypieces/) to connect with me!!
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