Emotional Abuse & Low Self Esteem

I have issues with self esteem, it’s been something I’ve struggled with for most of my life. Thinking back, I think it initially began with my ballet teacher. She taught the R.A.D (Royal Academy of Dance) classical ballet – and was known for being strict and disciplined. In terms of classical ballet – her school was one of the best around, because of the high standards associated with the R.A.D.

However she was a horrible person. If I were more spiritual I’d venture to say she had a very dark and nasty soul. Logically though I think she was mentally disturbed.

She treated people either with general indifference, or sheer nastiness. I was one of the people she singled out to mistreat. Nothing I ever did was good enough – right from the beginning she picked on me. I was only 6 years old – and preparing for my primary ballet exams. All grades were gathered and taking turns to rehearse their solo dance for the examination. Others made mistakes, big mistakes, and she’d get them to start again. If I did something minor – like not look up at the introduction, or not smile, I was sent to the back of the line, no second chance. This went on all night, it got late, well and truly beyond my bed time – and I’d not even been given the chance to do a full run through of my dance. Each time I was sent to the back of the line for a minor infraction.

It got worse as I got older. When I started a growth spurt at about 10, one leg grew faster than the other. So I had 1 leg a little longer than the other. As a result, my hips didn’t sit straight. My teacher would yell at me for not standing straight and hit my hip. Sometimes she’d grab me round the neck and pull me upwards.

One time, one of the girls in my class asked me what I got for my exams and I’d received honours, and told her so – and I never ever boasted, just quietly stated my grading. My teacher yelled at me and told me I had no right to brag about my grading, and never to talk about how I did in the exams. She never told anyone else off for talking about their results, only me. I wasn’t allowed to be happy that I got high marks.

Because of her devaluing me at every chance, I learned to believe that I was worthless. I tried so hard to gain her approval, but never could. And I suffered emotionally & physically at her hands. And yet, year after year I kept going back. Like a sick little puppet on a string I tried to bend to her every whim. It wasn’t until I was 12 that my mother finally had enough of her behaviour towards me and pulled me out of the school, 2 weeks before the end of year concert.

But by then the damage had been done. I hated myself, and in my eyes I couldn’t measure up to anyones expectations. I was a loser. And I was lost, without my tormentor. Without her poison to drag me down I turned to poisoning myself. I started the emotional abuse, perpetuating all the things about myself she made me believe. It’s sick, I know. But I was young, impressionable and because I couldn’t gain her acceptance I believed that something was wrong with me.

She planted the seeds of abuse, but I’m the one who took a steel pipe and bashed the living hell out of my self esteem.  She was just a bully, but because of her I learned exactly how to torment myself.

Everybody Know’s It But Me.

I’ve spoken about my thoughts that I’m an empath – in that I absorb the feelings and moods of other people. I am also naturally compassionate and understanding towards others – to the point where I have always been the one to whom people come for advice (especially on relationships which is funny considering what I’m going to write next!).

And yet I have a certain amount of obliviousness when it comes to a guy being attracted to me. It’s happened ever since I was young – and I’ve got many hilariously sad stories about it. Hopefully this story (about one of my many cock-ups in love) is something that you’ll get a laugh out of.

When I was in grade five or six, I was hanging out with a guy friend at a baseball park – my little brother had baseball practice and my friends dad was the coach. Some little 4 year old kid was following us about and copying things we said and did. And for some fun we decided to run away and hide from the little tyke. We ended up hiding down a small embankment.

We’re waiting there to see if the little tyke can find us, making jokes and giggling away like the silly kids we were. Then my friend turns to me, looking me dead in the eyes and says in all seriousness “I’ve always wanted to kiss you.” There is a pause as I process the words that just came from his mouth. Apparently I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do with that information because all I said was “oh really?” and shrugged in a really nonchalant way. Honestly, I probably would have conjured up a more emotive response if he’d revealed that he always wanted to learn Spanish.

So we’re sitting there in silence and, bless his heart, the poor boy tries to make another subtle move. He asks “Have you ever thought about kissing me?” Here is me still embarrassingly unaware that he is actually trying to find a way to kiss me right here, right now. What is my stupid answer? “Uh not really…” with another shrug. All he could muster was a tiny “oh…” and if I’d looked closely enough I probably would have seen the exact moment his heart shattered.

So, what was going through my head at this time? I’m not kidding when I say I was thinking “This is a really strange conversation to be having when we are supposed to be hiding from that little kid.” (Yeah cause that was his intention when he led me to that private and hidden area). I seriously, honestly thought that he was just making conversation while we waited for that little kid to find us (or get bored with looking – whichever came first).

I wish I had a time machine so I could go back in time, slap myself upside the head, and apologise to that poor boy for unintentionally rejecting what I didn’t know were his romantic advances. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him, I actually had a more than just friends interest in him. It was that I was so (and still am) so bloody dense when it comes to romance. If he’d just kissed me instead of hinting – I probably would have kissed him back. But unless he’d said “I want to kiss you right now. Can I kiss you right now?” I wouldn’t have understood that was what he meant all along.

So Glenn K. I’m really really sorry that I didn’t understand what you were trying to tell me. You should have just kissed me – that would have got the message through to my brilliantly dense mind!