new here...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
new here...
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 4:59pm
i am basically new here, i think i posted once before a while back and i don't think i got any responses so hopefully i will hear from some people this time.

i know i have low self-esteem, i don't know why though. i know i'm attractive or at least all of my friends and family say so and sometimes when i look in the mirror, i think i'm attractive. i used to be a dancer so that kind of helped my self esteem. i really don't know where to begin with all of this. i think that deep down, i have always had low self-esteem. my father was drunk when i was a child and when he would come to pick me up, he would be drunk and my mom wouldn't let me go with him. my mom wasn't the most loving mother and for some reason i have always had this fear of abandonment. i'm almost 31 btw.

well i dated a guy for about 5 years that i was engaged to, he was sarcastic and had a dry sense of humor but i know that he loved me and would have done anything for me. well after that i had a couple of relationships that didn't last very long and didn't mean very much. then i dated a guy who is 36, he's the first guy that i've ever dated that was a few years older than i and who was divorced and had a child. well i have no idea how i ever got in the situation that i was in. he was very controlling, i think he was bi-polar and it was definitely an emotionally abusive relationship. of course, everyone wonders how they get in those situations. of course, now i'm out of it, he still calls me about once a month to harrass me but i don't let it bother me. i know it destroyed my self-esteem though and i don't really know how to repair it. i am dating a new guy now who is absolutely wonderful, we've been dating for nearly 3 months and things are going great, he seems "too good to be true". he has a sarcastic nature in him which tends to hurt me sometimes because i'm very sensitive and often read too much into everything. he knows i have low self-esteem and tries not to hurt me, when he picks on me, i just pick on him back. i typically feel guilty about it though. he says a lot of things joking around that my ex would have said seriously which sometimes hits me in the wrong spot but i know i can't ask him to walk on eggshells b/c of my past. for instance, this morning i was making his bed for him (i typically do that for guys, i dunno, i think i have ocd too when it comes to cleaning, i generally just start picking up after them, etc.) and his son and he called me his little concubine, i told him not to ever call me that again. my ex used to call me that which he doesn't know but it's just the little things like that.

anyway, i feel like i tend to make things in our relationship a bigger deal than it should be. i always need reassurance about things which i know bothers him and i know that things he says in general, even just joking around upset me more than they should. i know he's just joking but it tends to make me feel like he doesn't care or just hurts me. i tend to make the guy in my life my number one priority, putting him first instead of myself or anything else for that matter and then i get sad b/c i focus on him too much and not making other things in my life a priority. i have a good career but i'm sure i'd be doing better if i was focusing more of my time and energy in it. i just feel like i'm pressuring him in certain aspects and he feels like he always has to make me feel better about things. i'm worried that i'm going to screw this relationship up b/c of my fears and worries. plus i need to help myself so that i feel better and not always so down. does anyone have any suggestions or help?

Avatar for loritemp
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-17-2003 - 10:45am
Glad you posted again! I know exactly how you feel, investing 100% in a relationship and saving nothing for yourself. I did that. And now the relationship I was in is over and I feel like I have nothing left of myself. So my advice to you is while you do need to work on this new relationship, please don't let go of yourself! Take time to do things with your friends and family without him. If he is a keeper, he will support that and encourage you to have your own life. If he demands all of your time or doesn't want you to have other friends, he isn't the right man for you.

As far as taking things very seriously, I did that too. But another thing I learned is, you should be able to tell if a guy is serious with his comments. you said this guy clearly does it jokingly, remind yourself that! Yes, you will still take some things to heart but onc eyou get to think about it, you will see that jokes for what they are. Be honest and open with this guy and he will undersatnd! Again, if he doesn't then he isn't the right guy!

I hope you stick around here. These ladies have helped me a lot and been a great source of support.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-17-2003 - 12:22pm
well thank you for your post. i agree that i need to spend more time with my family and friends and i know that he would be supportive of that. i guess it's just that most of my friends have their own lives and i really wasn't doing much with them before i got together with him.

and you're right as far as me knowing when he's serious and when he's joking. i know when he is joking, i just still probably take it too seriously sometimes. today so far has been a good day, he invited me to easter dinner with him, his son and his family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 04-18-2003 - 12:27am
Welcome back to the board!!!

I am in the same boat you are sweetie, I know exactly how you feel...I could really relate with alot of things you posted, and well, I'm still dealing with it all, so I might not make the most sense or have the best advice, but i'll try anyway...

You already know where your fear of abandonment as well as your inability to really trust comes from, so now what you need to do is really focus on that and know that there is an explaination for the way you feel... you might also want to try posting on the "Children of Alcoholic Parents" board as well, as I have just learned that ALOT of my "problems" have been learned and drilled into my personality...

If you dont mind, I'll give you an example of how I can relate: For the past 3.5 years that I've been with my b/f, he's never given me reason to think that he's unfaithful, isnt serious or is planning on breaking up with me.... we even talk about marriage (quite often) and children and whatnot... BUT, despite this, I would get scared and nervous thinking that I don't deserve him, and sooner or later, he's going to realize that. When I read your statement "it's almost too good to be true" when refering to how you feel when you get scared, my mouth almost dropped b/c it's the exact same sitch that I found myself in quite often... once things went really good, and we didnt fight and things were just "perfect", I'd start to look in for red flags in the relationship... i'd basically be picking fights (not always meaning to), to "rock the boat"; to get myself out of the daydream that I thought I didnt deserve... I began to immensly fear that my b/f would get sick of me having these emotional freak outs all the time and eventually leave...

What you have to realize is that you DO deserve the best... I congratulate you on getting out of the dangerous relationship you were in... those situations are very hard to get out of, and it takes alot of courage, so kudos to you! Does your b/f know of your past? Does he know how much this past relationship has scarred you and hurt you? If not, I think it'd be great to tell him... and even if he does know already, explain to him that there may be times that you get angry/upset/sad at something he says that he may not understand, and during those times, he must know that you aren't reacting the way you are to make him feel bad or guilty or anything like that... He has to know that you dont mean to lash out at him when he makes what he thinks is a harmless comment, and you have to know that he didnt mean any harm by it.... next time that happens, leave the room, take a deep breath and remind yourself what it is about him that makes him such a great guy....

I'm sorry if i havent made a whole lot of sense or have gotten off track or even missed your point completely!! (lol would i be embarassed!!!) but i hope i've helped a bit

Feel free to come back anytime and post, we're here for you!!