Have you ever felt like you’re constantly worrying about whether or not you’re doing enough and/or worry you’ll upset someone? That’s me. This flaw is called low self esteem.
I have been battling this insecurity for a very, very long time. I have had myself being compared to other people.. be it another person’s child, another colleague, another mother and another wife. You should have this, you should have that, if you this, if you that.. This had always given me (in a bad way) the strive to want to be that other person but then things don’t seem to get better. “Why?” Was always on my mind.
In addition to that, one particular person had triggered it when I was a teenager by saying, in the lines of, “No matter what you wear, you will always look ugly!” ..and from that day on, I spiraled downhill like Jill, from the “Jack and Jill” nursery rhyme, when she tumbled down the hill. My eyes, my mind started seeing, watching everyone being better than me. It was the worst feeling, at the time, that I’ve felt and it made me turn into a person that I wasn’t. I drank profusely every weekend (because that was a ‘cool’, “I want to be her best friend” and “man she’s awesome!” thing) which turned into a “holla at me anytime, any day” ritual, I dressed the way others would (because that was where the attention was towards) All in all, with all honesty, I felt so uncomfortable, kept worrying whether anything’s sticking out (body parts), do I look okay? is there anything on my face? ..and I would go home at the end of the day feeling super exhausted and sick to my stomach! .. and stupidly, this went on for years!
I was never happy with work no matter how brilliant I was at it. I refused to see the achievements and receive the compliments, and focused on the negatives (i.e. “Your hair looks like ‘dawai‘ (wire)”, Superiors and seniors used to give me looks, I was fooled by colleagues, stories were made up about me, I was blamed for mistakes I didn’t commit and they tend to slip in snidy comments when they can etc.) That is my answer as to why I “hotel hopped” a lot. Weak, I know.
Relationships? Ha! I wouldn’t even start with that because I went through so much heartache I could write a book! Anything and everything that could happen in a relationship, maybe not everything, but ranging from a posessive druggie to cheater to rebounder to the best liar in the world to abuser (verbally and physically) and my “to-s” can go on and on and on! ..and all I wanted was someone to be able to talk to and be a backbone in my life. You might be a little confused as to what I’ve just written. I did not date many people. They are attributes that are from those that I’ve dated. For example, BF 1 could’ve been a posessive druggie and a liar combined. Understood? Haha. Back to my story, friendships came and left like they’ve never existed to begin with and financially, I was a wreck!
Not too long ago, that same particular person had more to say to me. Being who I had turned into, I was told that when people asked about me, they then would react disgustedly. In conclusion, nothing good was said about me other than I can drink a lot and still get from point A to B, which was still not a good thing. To add to the conversation, I was told by this person that I am lazy, an embarrassment and all I am doing is waiting for a guy to marry me, have kids, and be a “tai tai.”
Tai tai (太太) is a Chinese colloquial term for an elected leader-wife or head-wife of a multi-wife (polygynous / sister-wife) family; or a wealthy married woman who does not work. It is the same as the Cantonese title for a married woman. -as translated by Wikipedia
After that day, the anger in me was so strong, I decided to just be my “boring” self, wore clothes that were comfortable to me, stopped drinking like as if everyday is a day to celebrate something, got back on my deen and just toned down to a more relaxed person.. me. The problem was still there, don’t get me wrong, and is still there. But back to “Jack and Jill.” The nursery rhyme says, “Jack fell down and broke his crown, and (only then) Jill ( for some reason) came tumbling after..” So, my conslusion to that is, only because other people, being “Jack”, have fallen down the hill and for whatever reason they have said causes me, “Jill”, to want to fall along with them. Too complicated to understand? Hmmm.. “Negative and toxic people will drag you down with their insults, criticisms and put downs. Try not to stoop to their level. It is their own insecurities that drive their behavior and it has nothing to do with you. Move on and get away from that negativity.” Now you get what I mean?
I have learned that it is all in my mind, and that I am not the only one with a problem but those people have issues themselves and nothing will ever satisfy them no matter what you do. Jealous much? Just kidding. May He guide them see the truth and help them resist the pressure of those who try to turn them away from Him. Here’s an Islamic quote that guides me:
“This world (Dunya) is like a shadow: run after it and you will never be able to catch it; turn your back against it and it has no choice but to follow you.”
Now, being me, married with 2 beautiful, life-contentment (did I say it right?) boys, I am somewhat happier than I have ever been. Again, I remind you, I still do have that insecurity lingering in my mind because it’s inevitable that someone will say or do something, but I have my boys to turn to at the end of the day to make me feel like the best person in the world! .. and my husband*.
To conclude this honest, “pour my heart out” post, I think I have written enough..? Anyway, I would like to apologize to those that I have burdened, hearts I’ve broke and those that I have upset throughout my past, and would like to thank those who are still in my life despite blocking you out and whatever else that I have caused. I am still learning and, shall I say, “healing”, but I will eventually, Inshallah, be stronger and less sensitive than I was. I would like to also take this opportunity to thank my parents for being there for me through thick and thin, and also getting me a book a few years ago to help me with my low self esteem.. 😜
“I’ve learned a lot this year.. I learned that things don’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. And I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.”
― Jennifer Weiner