Posts Tagged ‘self-esteem’

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in the present

October 18, 2010

in high school on slow nights, my best friend and i would drive for hours through the meandering roads of a park. we drove because we had nowhere to be, but even though we drove in the same tired circles, we felt free, exhilarated. we would play the stereo so loudly we could feel it vibrating in our chests. we would talk for hours about boys, college, getting out of this horrible, cliquey town. it may sound ridiculous to you, but on those drives, we felt alive and young and present. it was like living life in color.

i’ve always had this problem living my life versus watching myself go through the motions as if i were the narrator to my own story. there are very few times, like those car rides, where i’ve felt as if what i was feeling was pure.

how to explain?

example: friend tells me about a mutual acquaintance, very close to her, who died at age 27 of a heart attack. my reaction is clinical. my brain, and i almost picture a dry british voice doing this, articulates that i should feel sad because that’s the appropriate response. and so i do ‘sad’. and truly, i am sad. what frustrates me is that i have an emotional middleman—nothing i feel is instant but the result of some sort of consultation. during special events when i’m out on a night where there’s no reason not to enjoy myself and be happy, this voice constantly flits through my head: “remember this moment, try to picture how everyone looks right now, laugh harder, make your face relaxed and happy in case someone is looking”. i’ll be taking care of my drunk friend, and as i’m rubbing her back as she retches into a toilet, that damned voice says to me, “look at what a great person you are”.

i think maybe this might be the root of my self-esteem issues. basically, i have so few seemingly unadulterated emotions that i feel like a fake. i can’t really believe things people think i am—compassionate, sweet, thoughtful—because even though i feel empathy, go out of my way to help or do nice things on a birthday, there are always those few seconds before whatever feeling i’m supposed to be experiencing kicks in, or that Voice takes satisfaction in a good deed. even when i know people like me, i’m left thinking that they couldn’t really because i’m not fully what i portray. they just don’t know that, and i don’t want them to because i desperately need people around to be happy.

why can’t i just BE? not just during those special days scattered throughout my 25 years of life, but every day.

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girls and low self-esteem

October 7, 2010

Is it normal to get super needy and promiscuous after a break-up? So far I’ve only slept with my two ex-boyfriends, but I seem to hit the lower bases with regularity after each break-up. I don’t want to be this weak, un-wholesome girl. What if I really do lose it one night after drinking and sleep with somebody, not just kiss them or let them touch me? As it is, I can’t handle the guilt the day after I do anything and I’ve already screwed around with two guys in the month since I broke up with my ex. I know it only happens when I drink, but there must be something in me just lurking under the surface if it keeps happening. Not drinking would get rid of the symptom (promiscuity) but not the underlying issue (self-esteem). What’s worse is that with this last guy, he said I mentioned “relationship” to him a few times. I don’t want to date this guy!! Why would that even come up? He’s not my type at all, I think I’m just needy for male attention. So of course I can’t see him again and now it’s just another dirty secret stored away in my brain.

This blog isn’t just supposed to be my personal diary, but I’m trying to be honest about what I’m doing (and doing wrong) in life to get at bigger realities. For example, why are so many girls running around with such low self-esteem? I know that’s the root of my problem, but where did it come from? I know I’m a pretty girl. I know I’m a smart girl. And yet, I don’t really feel like I’m worth it. I don’t understand WHY. There are so many girls just like me out there who, at bottom, feel the same way. Heck, guys joke about finding insecure girls because we’re easy to get into bed. We want so badly to be loved but don’t actually think anyone could love us. And for some reason, that translates into promiscuity even though that’s the last way to get a guy, to get love.

Is this an American phenomenon? I don’t know if European girls are doing better. I also don’t know how to solve this kind of problem because I don’t know where it came from. I’m trying to pin-point where exactly in life I lost my self-worth. Do we all have a particular event in our childhood that killed our ability to love ourselves? Did our daddies not love us enough? Or is it just something chemical, just fucked up brain chemistry that we could never control in the first place?

What happened to this girl? It seems that just as I’m building my confidence, I meet a boy and he brings me back down. Other people break up and they don’t question their worth. Why do I?

How can I fix myself if I don’t know exactly why it’s happening?