Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Low Self Esteem and Abandonment Issues

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

NewMom0220 posted 5/17/2014 11:05 AM

Hi All,

I keep avoiding the things that have helped me get to the place I am now- like counseling and posting here. I try to bury my head in the sand and trudge along because I don't want to deal with the reality of what's happened in my life. The truth is, I've experienced 3 major life changes in one year: the birth of my first child, the explosion of my marriage, and moving to a new city (which involves me living with my parents for now).

I guess my biggest problem is that even when I try to bury my head in the sand, all of that stuff is still there. While I find myself truly "over" my STBX, I'm not "over" the hurt and damage that he left behind. Specifically all of the hurtful things he said to me (blameshifting) and the feelings of worthlessness that came with his spectacularly painful exit.

I've kept my job and now work from home. I've made a few friends in town and I have my family around me. When it comes to dating or flirting, I feel like I'm totally unloveable, broken, and carrying around extra baggage. I know I'm a catch, but right now I just feel so low and unworthy that I've realized I'm in no condition to try to meet new people of the opposite sex. I still crave male attention and I can flirt with the best of them, but when it comes to dating...I'm a flop. So I've put my burning loins (sounds painful) on hold for now since I'm not operating at full capacity.

The low self esteem in regards to dating is probably normal for someone going through divorce, but it's seeping into other parts of my life. My grandmother died last week and the first 24-48 hours I just went around saying I'm sorry to my other family members as if they had suffered the loss and not me. I realized on day 3 that her passing is my loss to grieve too. I don't know why I'm feeling so low in all of the other relationships in my life. Like I'm unworthy...of what...I don't know.

The other thing I'm dealing with is the feelings of abandonment. I recently argued with my sister and all of these feelings of abandonment came up. During our heated argument she asked me to leave her house...this stirred up my feelings of being thrown away. Discarded. I spoke to her about it afterward, but it's really my issue.

Anyone feeling like this or going through something similar? I know the answer is to probably get back in counseling, but I'm here for support. You guys usually say something I need to hear and/or kick my butt into gear.

Thanks for reading and for your continued support.

sleepless34 posted 5/17/2014 11:58 AM

So sorry NewMom, it is hard.

I think it would be totally normal to feel abandoned, as that is what happened. The person you trusted most and that was supposed to be there let you down. It has got to normal to feel that way.

I read a lot, both self help, divorce and fiction about people going through hard times and changes and getting through it. I talk to others in the same boat. I go to counseling. It all helps.

Stay away from dating now, go to counseling, work on yourself, time will heal.

dmari posted 5/17/2014 12:35 PM

So glad you popped in ! You are very insightful and perhaps you are looking for us to remind you so I will. Look at how far you have come! You had to deal with so much at one time and you did it! Now that things have become more "routine" (living at home, single parenting, work), perhaps the emotional trauma part is now starting to surface. Totally normal. AND you seem to have identified it and are at the cusp of really processing it.

Now I want to get to your points:
1. The damage our WS's do to us is indescribable. It takes years to truly process that shit sandwich. A lot of my healing from this came from this site , IC, and reading A LOT of books.
2. Dating after a divorce is truly an individuals decision but it seems as if YOU know you are not ready for a relationship. Hang out, make friends but know your boundaries and if you don't know them yet, figure it out.
3. Abandonment issues are real and deep. Probably best handled by a professional.

I am so sorry about your grandmother. (((((NM0220)))))

What I would really wish to get across to you is that you are doing amazingly!! The fact that you have transitioned to a new city, made friends, connected with family, have a job and gave birth and raising your child ALL in a short period is HUGE!! I hope you have a sense of pride in that! Take care!

myowndystopia posted 5/17/2014 13:03 PM

While I find myself truly "over" my STBX, I'm not "over" the hurt and damage that he left

^^^^this! You've summed it up. And it may take a long time to get over the hurt and damage. AN IC can help you with that.
Stick with the baby steps now- you've done plenty of giant steps. Continue to meet new people and grow as an individual and you may find that you will know when it is time to date again.

I know what you mean about it affecting other relationships. Mine seems to be more the ability to trust others... So I think it does cause spill over to other types of relationships,

caregiver9000 posted 5/17/2014 13:51 PM

My self esteem took a boost when I realized that his choices (the lump sum of them all of his life) were so poor, that "discarding me" just fit right in there with huge errors in judgment!

I also looked at the things and people he chose in his life, and (to the tune of Sesame Street/Elmo) "One of these is NOT like the others...."

Being rejected hurts. Being rejected by a classless low life who likes whores and strangers and high risk levels of danger, who lies, cheats, no respect for self or others, jobless, overspending, self inflated ego mouth running loser??? I found a way to make that rejection work for me.

Loss and abandonment, they suck too. It feels personal. Being abandoned by the death of a loved one can trigger those insecurities. It is pain. One pain can feel like another and bring back those doubts. Try to change your self talk to something more along the lines of "I am sad. I hurt and that is OK. My pain is not about me and it is not my fault." I look for the balance in accepting how I feel and placing the cause of the way I feel in properly defined places. The difference between "I miss feeling loved" and "I am unlovable or unworthy of being loved."

I hope you find something here to carry you forward. This board does have a way of being exactly what I need when I need it. I am glad you are posting.


PhantomLimb posted 5/17/2014 18:07 PM

I understand this completely. I feel like there is this weird gap between how well I function most of the time and how easy it is for me to get down on myself either because I'm sensitive to small things (that are probably not even intended to be slights by others) or because I'm not yet ready to date, etc.

I've just learned to be patient at this point. I check SI every now and again, I've stayed in IC, I keep moving forward as best I can. I can't believe how far we've come in the past year, and in another year from now, we'll be in even better shape.

It sounds to me like you are really self-aware and that's huge for sorting out how to proceed and when to own your reactions.

((nice to see you back!)) <3

norabird posted 5/17/2014 18:14 PM

I think this is hugely normal. Be kind to yourself and find some positive affirmations to tell yourself every day, reminding you that you are worthy of love and not to blame for being abandoned. Maybe try reading a book like Living and Loving After Betrayal by Steven Stosny or Getting Past Your Breakup by Susan Elliott. It is a slow journey but you WILL heal. And listen to your gut about not dating until you have rediscovered your sense of confidence and worthiness.


Gemini71 posted 5/17/2014 18:19 PM

I can relate. I've been living with my parents since November. It is quite a blow to the self esteem when you lose your own household. Add to that the insecurities of a new mom, and no wonder you're feeling low.

I take refuge in my kids. They're much older than your munchkin, but my 8yo is still young enough to need his "Mommy". I also remember well those days when 'only Mommy will do.' You may not see it, but I bet your little one lights up when you enter the room. His world literally revolves around you. So there is at least one person for whom you are the most important person in the world.

As for dating. Meh. I could take it or leave it. Like you, I've never been a big dater. Keep in mind that a New Beginning does not require a new relationship. You are stronger than that. Whenever my friends bring up dating I tell them, "I have more important things to do." Plus, where would I find the time?

I really think IC would be helpful for you to process your emotions, such as losing your grandmother. Also, there are a lot of 'firsts' in your life that you are still adjusting to.

You have been through a huge trauma that would have crushed most people. You are Wonder Woman and Super Mom rolled up into one.

Destroyed121813 posted 5/17/2014 20:17 PM

I know where you are right now. The week of December 18, 2013 I found out about multiple affairs that my husband was having and how he was a sex addict (no clue), my grandmother died (who I was VERY close to), and I had an emergency appendectomy. The WORST WEEK EVER!

That said, it forced me to go to counseling and deal with the shock and grief. You have had a ton of change and that isn't something that you are just going to be able to process through by yourself. You asked for a kick in the pants - here it is! Get into therapy! You may be avoiding it because you do not feel that a.) you are strong enough to deal with anymore more right now on your plate, b.) you aren't worth it since your marriage dissolved, and/or c.) this all may pass in time and get better.

It will not get better until you get help. You will dwell on this and I know because I was there. It was literally eating me from the inside out to where I was having esophagus spasms constantly.

You are worth it! You need it! There is no shame in getting help! What you do now will set the example for your child. If they were going through something like this, wouldn't you want them to get help?

Please feel free to send me a private message if you need to vent to talk some more. You are going to get through this and you deserve to be helped and taken care of right now.

Virginiagirl posted 5/18/2014 15:20 PM

Now that things have become more "routine" (living at home, single parenting, work), perhaps the emotional trauma part is now starting to surface. Totally normal

^^ This is exactly what I was gonna say- Now that some you are getting past the days when everything is in such an uproar, and it is a major accomplishment to just get through each hour, some of the deeper more subtle hurts are settling in for you. It just sucks, no way around it. In some ways I was kept going at first by the anger, by the excitement of starting my own new life and "showing him" but now I have a lot more of those dark depressed moments where the sadness feels insurmountable.

Just because you're sad doesn't mean you aren't still being amazingly strong. Just because you feel rejected and worthless doesn't mean you are. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and be proud of yourself for keeping your shit together through all of this, and not letting your life fall apart any more than he has already torn it down. What you have done in the past few months is nothing short of AMAZING! Really!!!

Sometimes I try to look at myself from the outside, the way I might view a friend. What would you see in yourself? A woman who has overcome the worst that life could throw at her with grace and strength. "But I don't feel strong!" What would you say to that from your friend? Of course you don't, and that's okay, that's normal, it would be weird if you didn't have those feelings.

NewMom0220 posted 5/21/2014 08:08 AM

Thank you everyone for your kind words. They've really carried me through the last week. I feel like I have to get my emotions in check as I'm very vulnerable right now. But now I feel a lot more normal and less like a big damaged freak.

Love you guys!

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.