It's something every person in the world struggles with whether they will admit it or not.
"You're too stupid to do (insert action here)."
"You'll never amount to anything."
Words like that are so VERY damaging to a person's psyche.
And if you have a disability, it's even harder to love yourself, since you feel 'broken.'
Growing up, I never had to worry about hearing these words. My Mommy taught me from a very early age that I wasn't broken, or defective, or useless. She taught me I was anything but.
Her mantra to me was 'You can do anything you set your mind to.'
Her teaching me that mantra is a LARGE part of why I've come as far as I have in life. She wouldn't let me just sit back and 'Oh, I'm disabled... I can't do that.' She pushed me to do my best in everything I did. If I failed... Well, okay; so be it. But I least I could say I TRIED.
I loved myself when she was alive, because she wouldn't LET me hate myself.
But after she died and I moved in with Mama Melissa's parents, things changed.
When I finished my Web Design degree, instead of congratulating me, like Mommy would have done, Her parents acted like it was no big deal. Mama Melissa and my friends acted like it was a bigger deal than they did.
Over the next 9 to 10 years, I slipped into a period of self-loathing. I hated EVERYTHING about me... and a large part of that was in thanks to Mama Melissa's father. Everyday, I heard negative comments about me... (and these are EXACT quotes, folks, just censored for the web)
"You're a f***ing ret*rd."
"You're so f***ing fat, Nobody except Aaron would want you. Not even a ******* would want you." (Aaron is our neighbor with Downs Syndrome)
"You're so f***ing ugly. It's no wonder you dated the guys you f***ing did... That's all you could f***ing get."
And it doesn't help that Mama Melissa's mom would 'encourage' him while in his presence, but she would be like Mama Melissa and supportive of me when he wasn't in earshot. There were days I honestly didn't know if SHE felt the same as he did, or if she was just going along with him to 'keep the peace.'
After hearing this stuff day in and day out for 9 to 10 years, I began to believe it myself. 'Maybe Mommy raised me wrong. Maybe she shouldn't have praised me so much.'
Then in about 2012, a light switch flicked. I had a talk with Mama Melissa, who basically told me NOT to listen to him; He's always been this way, and he will never change. I started dating Pookie, my fiance... and he shows me every day that he loves me for me. My CP doesn't bother him. He's fine with the fact I need to use mobility aids. He's fine with the fact that I walk and talk 'funny.' He's fine with my weight, whether I'm at my HS weight of 142, or if I'm at my current weight of 180. (And yes, I'm ABSOLUTELY FINE with admitting that)
And in turn, my self-esteem is going up by the day... I'm regaining my self-confidence and my self-worth. I'm so thankful for that.
He's showing me what it's like to 'Love yourself.' And I love him even more for that.
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