There is no doubt that I have low self-esteem. I don’t know why I don’t have healthy self-esteem, but I do, and I remind myself constantly.
I hate aspects of my personality; I continually tell myself that I’m a terrible, selfish person, that I’m manipulative, abusive, and cruel, that I’m annoying. I also find it hard to find any redeeming qualities in myself.
I also have body image issues. Despite what people tell me, I can’t look in the mirror or at a picture of myself without thinking that I’m unattractive, or too skinny, or too fat.
Every day, I look at myself and find something I don’t like, and every day, my self-esteem suffers a little more.
And that’s really dangerous for me. Not only does it contribute to my depression and anxiety, but it also drives me to create poisonous relationships while getting rid of healthy ones.
In high school, that’s exactly what happened. I became friends with a horrible person who made me feel inferior each day, but I did so because that was the friendship I thought I deserved. And by falling into that relationship, I found myself in a damaging cycle that was hard to get out of.
And now as I go off to college, I’m really scared that I’m going to find myself in a similar kind of poisonous relationship where the person uses my already low self-esteem to make me feel worse about myself.
The thing is, intellectually I know I have good traits, and my family and close friends do a good job at reminding me that I am not unattractive. But I have trouble believing them, and that makes me vulnerable to people who will use my low self-esteem to manipulate me. And I’m scared to death that despite knowing that, I’ll still let it happen.