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Author Topic: 5.03 | Self respect and our sense of ourselves  (Read 10922 times)
united for now
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« on: June 05, 2010, 08:27:50 PM »

Our self respect, our self esteem and our belief in ourselves is slowly destroyed over time as we are exposed to the criticism and abuse of the pwBPD. The constant barrage of what we do wrong, how we aren't good enough, the listing of all of our faults and flaws - this toxic negative brew is bound to poison our sense of ourselves  :'(

The good news? It can be changed... .

Self-esteem is based  in what you think.

Self-respect is based on what you do.



Self esteem comes from comparing ourselves to someone or something else. To esteem anything is to evaluate it positively and hold it in high regard - if we don't measure up then we wind up feeling bad about ourselves. We wind up not accepting ourselves.

Self-acceptance means you accept the things about yourself that you cannot change. You have a large nose and can’t afford to have it fixed. The option of putting a sack over your head and hiding doesn’t work. You are forced to live with it. This is where self-talk becomes vital. Do you make comments like? “I hate my nose.” “I wish I was attractive.” “I wish I looked like so and so.” “Is she staring at my huge nose?” Comments like these tear at the walls of your self-respect and confidence. As difficult as it is, you will have to choose to accept the fact that your nose is not your best feature. You will choose to focus on your better features. You will choose to stop focusing on your nose. You will choose to overlook the fact that you have a large nose. Seems impossible, but the hardest part is in the choosing to think differently.

Foundational self-confidence walls would be: self-acceptance, self-improvement, self-respect and self-talk. These building blocks interlock and strengthen each other. If you lack self-confidence in these areas they are in need of repair. And everything built on them risks being unstable.


Changing what you "do" - how you respond to abuse, how you take care of yourself, how you talk to yourself -  builds self respect, which in turn leads to better self esteem  Smiling (click to insert in post)

Remember, NOBODY can take your self respect away from you. If someone tries to cut you down, you can compare that person's words with what you have accomplished and the standards of behavior that you attempt to attain. If their words don't fit the facts that erodes their credibility, not yours. Our own actions create the strength to believe in ourselves and to dismiss the attacks of others.

Clear away the FOG of doubt and work on building your self respect by taking care of yourself  

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Change your perceptions and you change your life.  Nothing changes without changes


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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 07:32:17 AM »

Thank you for this post, UFN.  I have lost my sense of self, but am working hard to regain it.  I WANT to be a great wife, so I've done many of the things that I thought a great wife does.  Unfortunately, my BPD DH sees none of this.  More often than not insults me, devalues me, calls names, makes threats, and compares me unfavorably to others (mostly fake people like adult film-stars and movie stars- people whose substance is unseen, but beautiful on the outside).  Of course, this is all when he is dysregulated, which has been about 75% of the time since diagnosis.

 So I'm working now on being a great JDoe.  And learning to respect myself because of who I was created to be and who God says I am- His beloved daughter for whom He sacrificed His Son.  

 Looking forward to hearing what others have to say about this.

God bless,

JDoe
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 01:24:50 PM »

Great post UFN.  You've covered this topic beautifully.  I have noticed the when I make promises to myself in the area of self-improvement and follow through, my self-esteem/self-respect increases. I experienced this when I stuck to a tough work-out regimen for 90 days and last year when I lost 40 + pounds. This success gave me the courage to tackle other items on my agenda.

I think when we make New Year's Resolutions or other types of promises to ouselves and then renege on them, a part of our self-respect is lost.  Perhaps setting boundaries and then letting someone walk all over them produces the same result.  I personally began questioning if I really deserved to be treated with respect.  This forum has really helped with my confidence and sense what is reasonable and acceptable.  

The lessons I'm learning here and the personal work I'm doing with EMDR has changed the way my H perceives me.  Even our MC noticed a change.  No major rages have occurred.  For the first time in 7 years I am hopeful for the future.  

I agree with JDoe about understanding that our value (self-worth) comes ultimately from God.  I know this isn't the board for focusing on spiritual issues and don't mean to offend anyone.  But this pariticular one is foundational for me.  My self-worth is not assigned by other people or my subjective view of myself but from an outside source.  That is something I can cling to and count on even when I'm not feeling worthy.  
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 02:06:01 PM »

Thank you for your post UFN. Your wisdom is appreciated by many here!
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 02:27:21 PM »

I think we believe the pwBPD too much. We give their words more importance than they deserve.

We need to start doubting them more and believing in ourselves more.

We can do this with our thoughts. We don't have to express these out loud to believe them. We don't need to counter (invalidate) the pwBPD statements. In our heads, we can question the validity of their words and replace their negativity with our own positive and empowering statements.

pwBPD - "Why can't you keep the house cleaner? Why do I have to do everything?"

our thoughts... .((by normal standards, is the house a mess? I don't think so. This must be a case where the pwBPD is exaggerating how bad things are. I know I do a good job.))


pwBPD - "See? You can't do anything right!"

our thoughts... .((by normal standards, am I a failure? Let's examine that statement. I'm a success in a lot of areas, including this one. I just made one little mistake. This is the pwBPD exaggerating things. I know I'm capable and competent.))


When we trust their interpretation of things, we wind up hurting ourselves  :'(

Why do we trust the perceptions of someone who is mentally ill?





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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010, 03:04:11 PM »

i think my childhood was rife with uBPDm and BPD relatives, so it was what i thought was normal and went into lots of relationships with BPD people.  expecting neglect and covert abuse as the normal.

now i'm learning different, it hurts... but i'm learning to emotionally withdraw from BPD's.  not to argue

with them because it seems to make no sense to argue with the mentally ill. i will get out of my current relationship asap (currently disabled) and to have better standards in the relationships that i have, because i believe that it helps and heals no one to be in relationships with BPD's. they need to be alone to try and work it out by themselves.

Excerpt
We need to start doubting them more and believing in ourselves more.

... .definately.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2010, 06:08:08 PM »

We were once at some friends' house for dinner and he said I had butter fingers, so he wouldn't trust me to wash his best china. Things with him never break, he said. One of those friends replied "for you to drop something you need to hold it first, so it's clear you never hold anything on your hands". He didn't speak much for the rest of the meal.

I never forgot that sentence.
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2010, 07:58:38 PM »

It's definitely a tough thing to deal with constant criticism. I was lucky enough to head into T early enough when I started getting down on myself. One thing I found that works is as soon as she gets on the "your fault" train I just walk away, go outside or suggest an activity to do to get her mind off of whatever it is that's bothering her.
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2010, 09:26:30 PM »

I'm learning that there are some terrific ways to respond that stop the abuse; unfortunately I wasn't in enough control last weekend when my uBPDh called me "stupid" - and then said, "you never finish anything".

I told him I was going to finish something right now: Us. We just weren't going to do this anymore.

I meant it and am under a lot less stress the past couple of days. Now it is time to move on.

I hope this is the motivating factor that gets him into therapy; but I'm not sticking around to find out.

I guess I learned the lessons too late; otherwise I would have stopped being the victim to his abuser a long time ago.

God bless you all. It's a tough life with a BPD.

xoxox

Qkslvrgirl
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 05:31:34 PM »

Great read, I truly have began to realize how I had no self respect and how low my own self esteem had hit rock bottom. I always considered myself a very confident person. I truly believe the constant battering from my daughter over the years trying to always live up to a perfect mother when in her eyes I never was I truly lost who I was as a person. I lost my own sense of Self. I realized I lived for everyone else trying to make everyone else happy including my husband I forgot what made me happy.

Although I have what I would consider a good husband I realized I also put up with things to keep the peace. I sacrificed myself. I am now on the road of standing up once again to what I believe in (Myself again) actually speaking up and settings boundaries I didn't have because of the struggles to keep conflict down. I realize I allowed myself in far more ways to be trampled on.

I am realizing that I can say no and not feel guilty that it doesn't make me a bad person which over the years I had began to believe because of all my daughters hurtful words. I am once again beginning to get my self respect back and my self esteem I am holding my head up high and realizing the only thing that matters is what I believe in myself to be true and not what people think is true. Hard to be around people when you are painted as an evil person when you know you weren't you were just human trying to do the best you can
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2014, 06:34:05 AM »

Hi Gidget - I wrote my previous post on this topic three and a half years ago - and I have made my life a success by my standards. Your words indicate you are aware of your situation and are healing yourself from within. You can do this!

One thing I've learned is to let the manipulators be accountable for what they say and do - which means that I refuse to create any excuses for their bad behaviors.

As a result of no longer being the peacemaker, they change behaviors; and I go ahead and do what I want on my schedule. I do not need or welcome abuse in my life. It is my responsibility to be happy and shed any victim roles: That means awareness of my self-talk and breaking out of self-imposed limiting (false) beliefs. It sounds like you are on a good path to embracing your best life.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) - Quicksilver Girl
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 08:21:41 AM »

When we trust their interpretation of things, we wind up hurting ourselves  :'(

Why do we trust the perceptions of someone who is mentally ill?

very trenchantly put!
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2014, 04:48:39 AM »

Hi,

I haven't been on in a while. I have been what I would call by myself doing a lot of self reflecting. I started see a counselor actually I found her to help with my communication with my daughter. She has tons of experience in DBT.

What I have to come and realize that so much of my own childhood experiences played such a big role in how I related and disciplined and reacted with my daughter. I in a few session and after reading the book CoDependent No More. I am I am and have been very much CoDependent. I guess my experience growing up in a family with alcohol issues marrying an alcoholic which I have divorced from when my daughter was very young. I have and always was the Peacekeeper the Caretaker the fixer yet I realized I couldn't fix anything or anyone. I truly had no boundaries.

I have began to feel so much freer and less guilty about saying no speaking up and not allowing other people to use and abuse me. I have definitely played an active role in the game of drama and life around me. for the first time I am doing the work on me. I am no longer losing sleep over issues I can not change I am fixing myself. I have been and extremely loving mother who took a lot. I also have a great husband although I realize I allowed his unhealthy form of communication make me also dance.

I decided to look at everyone in my life told them I will no longer do the dance if they didn't want to live and communicate in a mentally healthy way I will no longer allow them to effect me emotionally mentally or physically.

OMG setting those boundaries feel great I have gotten some of the best sleep in a long time.  And what changes I am starting to see from the people around me that have made me crazy or should I say I allowed to!
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