I know, I’ve been spending less time focusing on what I should be focusing on. I should be spending time working on processing. I have been. I feel that right now I need to take inventory of some more negative things. Negative mental effects that I’m pretty sure came about from the years of abuse.
The first main thing is low self-esteem. I have a very poor personal point of view of myself. I have… well, since I was in middle school at least. At least that’s the first I remember for sure, and I’m willing to bet it goes even further then that. I think the earliest I can remember being entirely aware of it was when I was in 5th grade.
Of course, I was bullied. I was bullied starting in 3rd grade. I was poor. I couldn’t afford new clothes. A lot of the clothing that I had when I was a child was hand-me-downs from my cousins. I always wanted something that was more me and more fashionable. I didn’t really get that. So, going to a school that is predominantly upper-middle class children meant that people like me were often bullied because we couldn’t afford more fashionable clothing. My clothes were generally a couple of years out of date. Of course, with a last name like mine it was also fodder.
What also didn’t help is that I started developing when I was in 3rd grade. It’s really embarrassing being in the 3rd grade and being the only girl wearing deodorant and a bra.
So, the abuse was never just at home.
Which is why I find it interesting that just now bullying is becoming an issue. I was bullied when I was a child. I was pretty much bullied up until I changed high schools. It didn’t help that I went from being made fun of because I was overweight when I was younger and starting puberty at a young age to going home to more emotional abuse from my stepfather.
So, it’s little wonder that I have such a negative self-opinion of myself.
I’ve been called a stupid, fat, ugly bitch. I’ve been called a she-male. I’ve been called almost everything you can imagine.
Of course now I have some deep-rooted issue when it comes to myself.
It’s hard for me to think that I’m attractive. I might in all outward ways be attractive, but when you’ve been called ugly, fat, man-like and things like that your entire life, it’s hard to see yourself any other way. It’s something I’m working on, but in some ways I tend to be fragile. I take things harder than I really need to. I know that. It’s something I’ve always done. I’d like to blame going to Catholic school on that… and religious dogma might be a large reason of why I have such a strong guilt reflex.
It’s as I’ve been going through my group therapy and I’ve been really dealing with issues from abuse that I have begun to realize that I really see how mangled and twisted thinking can get.
I don’t think that even if I get a better handle on my PTSD that I’m all of a sudden going to get better. I’m not that naive. I’m hoping that having a better handle on the consequences of decades of abuse that I might be able to get a handle of some of the more detrimental emotional side-effects.