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Childhood abuse and self esteem

#1
I am a survivor of childhood sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse. For a long time I have thought that my low self esteem was a natural product of my own failures, but I've come to realize that my self image was influenced by what happened to me and now I see that I'm in this self destructive cycle that I can't seem to escape from. I don't want to blame everything wrong that I've done on what happened to me, but it's a really easy trap to fall into. I think about it a lot, maybe even too much. I sometimes feel like I obsess over it. I want to forget about it but I also feel like it's holding me back. I have tried a therapist already using mostly CBT and it didn't go well, however I read this book and I'm fascinated with the IFS approach.
 

Gonz

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#2
I am a survivor of childhood sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse. For a long time I have thought that my low self esteem was a natural product of my own failures, but I've come to realize that my self image was influenced by what happened to me and now I see that I'm in this self destructive cycle that I can't seem to escape from. I don't want to blame everything wrong that I've done on what happened to me, but it's a really easy trap to fall into.
It's good that you see that now, at the very least. It's very easy to hold on to that warped view of what's normal or natural and go on blaming yourself for everything that's gone on in your life.

You're right, that is an easy trap to fall into, but you've probably done the opposite your whole life so far. The best that can be done, I think, is to take responsibility for and try to make up for anything that might have affected others, and cut yourself some fucking slack for any wrong choices that only affected yourself.

I think about it a lot, maybe even too much. I sometimes feel like I obsess over it. I want to forget about it but I also feel like it's holding me back. I have tried a therapist already using mostly CBT and it didn't go well, however I read this book and I'm fascinated with the IFS approach.
That's another easy trap, ruminating on it for excessive amounts of time, because it accomplishes nothing other than to make you feel like shit. But you're unlikely to ever forget either. From what I understand, it's a matter of thinking about it in a way that integrates it into your life story. Acknowledge it, don't minimize it. But also don't let it be the defining feature of your life. And for the love of god, don't start asking yourself "why?" You'll never have a satisfactory answer, that belongs to your abusers, and you don't want a peek into their heads.
 

Anonymous ID

Well-Known Member
#3
I am a survivor of childhood sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse. For a long time I have thought that my low self esteem was a natural product of my own failures, but I've come to realize that my self image was influenced by what happened to me and now I see that I'm in this self destructive cycle that I can't seem to escape from. I don't want to blame everything wrong that I've done on what happened to me, but it's a really easy trap to fall into. I think about it a lot, maybe even too much. I sometimes feel like I obsess over it. I want to forget about it but I also feel like it's holding me back. I have tried a therapist already using mostly CBT and it didn't go well, however I read this book and I'm fascinated with the IFS approach.
I had some sexual abuse happen to me when I was a kid as well. I suppressed it for so long but it now affects every aspect of my life. I remembered how Another kid saw and called me disgusting for what had happened and now I live with that voice in the back of my head every time I do something. Childhood trauma can have such a big impact on your life and I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that.
 

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