Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me…
How true is this? The fact is it does hurt and sticks with you for a long time, perhaps until you leave this life.
I recently shared one of the humiliating things my abuser used to say and so I wanted to give you 5 things you can do to hide away those memories, to replace a negative with a positive, to move away from the pain it can cause, to obliterate them.
Why do we focus on the memories that haunt us when we start to think positive of ourselves? When I come close to being confident I have this voice interrupt me at the back of my head saying ‘just remember your smile’. For those of you who don’t know I was in an abusive relationship and one of the tactics my abuser would use was humiliation, one of the items he fixated on was my smile which I never had a problem with before then. He used to point, laugh, he would even cry laughable tears at me and tell me to stop smiling because it made him laugh so much. What he used to call me made an impact on others because it made the reader think instantly of what they were once called.
5 ways I overcame those memories:
Listen to those who love and care for you. They will have their true opinion of you. If it’s negative then they are not the person you are looking for with this. It has to be someone who gives you those nice remarks or motivates you to keep going, they are perfect.
Write 5 other positives for the 1 negative someone focussed on. What do you love about yourself? What do you like? And if you are struggling what 5 things do other people say they like about you?
Tell someone you can trust, doing this will help it feel less like a burden. I went to the extreme lengths to sharing it on a blog post but the amount of response I received for sharing was incredibly helpful, reassuring and made me think the problem was never me. Seems obvious but it really helps not keeping it to yourself when it flashes up one day in your mind.
If you don’t have someone to tell, tell me! I am happy to listen, we can get through these 5 steps. Or perhaps theres someone you can share it with thats completely not linked to your life, someone you see in passing each day? perhaps you have a life coach or a therapist? a support worker? family worker?
Go out and make that niggle shine! For me it was all about my smile and how it looked, I wear bright lipstick now, I show my smile off! Show it off because what that person didn’t ‘like’ another with love!
Still not feeling positive? Give it time, write about it in a diary or a letter to yourself to open in a year. Read over it in a years time and does it still feel this way? Your body and your feelings and thoughts are yours, you can take ownership but it may take a little longer than others so don’t worry if it takes a little more time.
These were just a few ways I have helped myself, they may not help you. Please feel free to share what helps you.
The biggest change in my life was finding the ability to love myself, it’s taken years and I’m still working on it. It’s hard to love yourself especially when there’s a voice in the back of your mind.
This is my husband Rob and I, a photo I used for my original blog post and the idea of this post has been created from. I look at my smile and think that theres nothing there to make fun of, I receive complements on my smile which is the opposite of what was once said.
We are all different and unique and we should embrace it, otherwise we would find each other boring.
You have got this!
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