When I was younger, I remember telling my father that I felt hurt by something my grandmother had said and that I wanted to talk to her about it. He responded by telling me that I was drama and that I shouldn’t talk to my grandma about feeling hurt – he said that she doesn’t need my stress right now. After so many times of being told to suppress my feelings, I eventually felt worthless and that I had no voice. As I grew up, I constantly sought reassurance from my family and partners and if they weren’t happy with me, neither was I. I always felt the need to do whatever pleased everyone else, and I hated that.
The woman that I am with now is helping build back up my self-esteem. We work on cognitive behavioral techniques often, and I am starting to get an idea of who I am now. I have my own hobbies, needs, wants, desires, and more that I never considered before. It’s a freeing feeling. I am learning to be happy with who I am, even if I am not doing what someone else wants me to do. I’m so grateful for that.