Thursday, July 29, 2010

Child Abuse, the Impact: Self Worth

I have stated before that I struggle with self worth and shame.

I was very young when I was first molested, 10 years old. I didn't understand what was happening, but I knew that it was wrong and that I felt like a "bad girl" for allowing it to happen. As the years passed I felt worse and worse about myself. The shame was overwhelming.

On the outside I put on a happy/brave face. I didn't let anyone know how incredibly ugly, dirty, bad, hurt and ashamed I was. I was able to hide it from everyone until I couldn't do it anymore.

I had to tell someone and I decided to tell my best friend Rachael at that time. She knew what I was going through, because she had told her mother the same thing before me. She would not keep my secret and forced me to tell my mom.

This was the best thing I ever did. To let someone know I was being hurt and that I couldn't take it anymore. That was all I let them know.

The pain, shame, and ugliness I felt lay hidden deep. It influenced every choice I made after that. I tried to bury it and be the happy girl everyone thought I should be. I was perky to the point of annoyance, I know, but I felt that if I didn't put that mask on people would see the ugly me beneath it.

I picked a college that I knew I would get into. I chose a career that I knew people thought I should. I dropped out of college because I was so eager for people to like me that I neglected my studies.

I did things to attract boys and keep them around that I didn't want to do. I smoked because my friends did. I hid my hatred of myself from them, and let things happen sexually that I was not prepared for.

I did these things and many more, all to keep friends in my life, and boys interested. I did these things because I didn't believe I deserved better.

I have since learned that by stating my needs and letting people know the real me, I can keep friends easier. Friends that love me for me. Friends that want to be there for me, in good and bad times.

I have also learned that I was too young to make a decision about what was happening to me, and that it was not my fault. I knew this intellectually all along, but I have finally taken that knowledge into my heart.

I am a great person, friend, I'm kinda cute and I deserve to be loved for who I am.

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