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How to build confidence after abuse?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by neha78, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. neha78

    neha78 New IL'ite

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    Hello Everybody,
    This is my first post here. I have been hesitating for a while if i should bring my issues here. To start at the begining i had a very difficult childhood with a very abusive mother. I never disclosed any of it to any friend or extended family out of fear and guilt( i was thinking i deserve it as something was wrong with me for a long time). My father was a great comfort but unfortunatly he had a touring job and passed away suddenly. When my marriage was finalised i was very happy at the thought of a new begining but soon understood i was getting into even more trouble when i realised my MIL was a severe mania patient who took out all her anger and depressions out on me, she made my life one big hell:bonk (still does!!) but i took comfort in the thought that i atleast lived far away physically from inlaws.
    My husband has terrible temper issues ,one year after our marriage he first beat me up, i was hiding inside a closet for a whole night, but he felt terrible about it the next day and apologised. I just comforted myself saying it was a one time thing and will never happen again. But after 10 years of marriage i have realised there is no 'one time beating'. My husband is a otherwise good man, he has lot of good qualities and we have had lots of good times together. I have now started to think maybe it is me who brings out something in people to behave likethis towards me especially the two very important and close people whom i love dearly. I generally try to keep to myself as i do not want to irritate anybody.
    I have never held a job before and now i am seriously thinking of taking up one, but i have such bad confidence and esteem issues i just don't know how to start. I get anxious just to even type a resume i feel like i have nothing to show.
    I was wondering if any body else were in my position and were able to be sucessful inspite of such heavy low confidence issues, if so can you please guide me with some directions. I would appreciate any advice that would help me. I must already sound silly to complain after 10 years of marriage, but i really
    thank you for having such a patient ear.
    neha.
     
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  2. SriVidya75

    SriVidya75 Platinum IL'ite

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    Neha Dear

    Hugs to you!!

    One thing I liked about your post is ..your approach. You have already realised that abuse is not a one time thing. Yes thats true. Also you have realised that after being abused you lost the confidence and esteem in your own self. Yes it happens. One more good thing is you want to build up on the confidence.

    Sweetheart, always remember that a person is abusive because they choose that not because you do something to tick it off. Unless the abuser realises his own behaviour and comes to terms to fix it, you cant do anything except for trying to keep yourself safe from tehir hands and divert your attention to build your self esteem and confidence as these two will be hit after the abuse episodes. You haev been taking it for such a long time, you might have felt totally powerless or clueless on how to tackle this .

    Is your husband still behaving the same i.e after 10 yrs of married life? Do you have any kids? Did you ever talk to him about taking some anger management classes etc?

    Coming to you working on resume and searching for a job, its a very very good move:idea yes it would keep you occupied and also it would give you a new view of life, on how to tackle these issues as the moment you divert your attention to something else, you would be able to come back to all these old problems later on and get a fresh perspective on how to deal with these issues at home. Do not give up on resume building/job search. We all are tehre to help you. Come to the education / working woman section of this forum, talk about your qualifications, on which job you can apply for? how to build up your resume etc...we all will help you.

    Remember taking the first step of realising and planning to do something is most important. You haev already taken that first step. Be at it. and am sure you will steer through it and would secure a good job.

    Building confidence and self esteem is in our own hands as we have to make ourselves strong and start looking at life from a diff. angle where you have to start thinking about what were your dreams, what you want to do in future, where do you want to see yourself, and how do you want to be etc. Take one step at a time and you sure would be successful in gaining your self confidence back. good luck dear
     
  3. Foundlove

    Foundlove Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Neha,

    My love and hugs to you. First of all ITS NOT YOUR FAULT. Your husband is not a good person..he is an abuser. He is the usual abuser who will hit one day,apologize the next day and again hit .

    You need to get a job and get out of that marriage ASAP. What kind of education do you have? Do you have any other skills like stitching? If nothing else I know ladies who supply tiffins to families.

    Get to a good women's NGO and hopefully they can help you.
    Tell us a little bit more about your background and maybe ILs can come up with some suggestions.

    Be Strong.
    FL
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. sabarimathi

    sabarimathi Gold IL'ite

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    hi neha,

    Count me in. Was sailing in the same boat. Fine now, atleast for 4.5 years. Hey, i was suffering for 4.5 years till then.A good move to think of taking up a job.

    Since, u said y'r dh is good too, try to teach him a lesson in his own way. These ppl sh'd not be let gone just like that. If u had been moving in his friends' circle, try to call their spouses and let them know what really is happening. I'm sure they must have guessed it right now. Make y'r problem public. At the same time, face him right away.

    Do not succumb to any of his threats. Seek the help of y'r parents.Threaten him to call 911, what else and what not ? Tell him u would walk out of the house even if it is midnight, call y'r friends, his friends too & disturb everybody. Do everything , but not leave him and go. Stay with him, give him left and right. Let him start treating u as y'r equal. If u've successfully established y'rself uptil this point, then he'll be fine . Hoping that u've no other major issues thant just stated. Above all, think of God, if u believe. Courage will flow out spontaneously. U're born to live, not just survive.
     
  5. sita2223

    sita2223 Bronze IL'ite

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    Neha,

    Firstly, like others said, you are not at fault. Secondly, during job interviews, being confident is a must.

    When looking for jobs, even the most eligible people get rejections all the time. If your self-confidence is low, the rejections could be another blow. So before you start your job search, it is important you build your confidence. Try reading self-help books, they really boost up one's confidence levels.

    I would like to give you my own example here... last year, I was in a terrible stress. I was feeling so low. I was like, WHY me??? WHY God, WHY me all the time??? I read some self help books, they all talked about facing problems bravely, accepting change, blah blah blah... didn't do much for me. Then in one book, I saw a simple little story, that gave me a brand new perspective on things, and I was ready to face the problem. I was a brand new person. I stopped questioning WHY and started to look for solutions. You see, sometimes, even a simple story can change a person and boost up confidence. I will share with you the little story that gave me strength... although there is a chance you might know this story already.

    "A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved.....A new one arose.

    Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water, and placed them on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last pot she placed some tea leaves. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

    In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the tea out and placed it in a bowl.

    Turning to her daughter, she asked "Tell me, what do you see? “Carrots, eggs, and tea” she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

    Finally, she asked her to sip the tea. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked “What does it mean, mother?” Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity-boiling water-but each reacted differently.

    The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting, however, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior but after sitting in the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The tea leaves were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they changed the water.

    “Which are you” she asked her daughter … when adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a tea leaf?” … Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat, becoming hardened and stiff. Or... are you like the tea leaf? The leaf actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and the flavor. If you are like the leaf, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

    And so...when the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to
    another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a tea leaf?

    Count your blessings......... not your problems."


    This was the little story that changed my outlook towards problems.

    Neha, find your story that will boost up your confidence. :thumbsup
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
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  6. OOPALL

    OOPALL Silver IL'ite

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    Neha Dear,
    Hugs and love to you!! There are many of us that have at one point or another, felt that what ever bad stuff was happening to us, was our fault. The fact is that is not true. We have all been in your shoes at one time or another. Bad things happen to good people. What others do, thier actions, inactions are not within our control. Only thing we can control is our selves, what we do, how we react.

    Building self esteem is very important. Whether you have your husbands support or not, you can do it!! It takes time and effort and it needs support. Just so you know, WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU!!! It may be through IL but we will give you the encouragement you need.
    If you have an internal dialogue going like most people do, write down your thoughts on paper. At least you can get it off your chest. Each day tell yourself, you are a good person. You life will change. Keep positive thoughts in your mind. It may seems hard but one day you will see the difference.
    As far as the physical abuse, there is no reason to put up with that. Get some outside help.

    God bless you!! May he bring peace in your life.
    Hugs & Love,
    OOPALL
     
  7. Tridev

    Tridev Silver IL'ite

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    The text book definition of abuse is that, the person who abuses is responsible but at the same time, the person who is causing things to happen a way it will tick someone off , has to bear that in mind too, for eg one cannot keep pushing other spouse to the wall with words, verbal abuse , put down, walk outs, and expect other spouse to behave sane. that is how relationships are , complex. A typical abuser will be one who picks small reasons to abuse, this is really complex subject, it is not as easy as we think that a abuser is totally responsible, so I reiterate what I read in one of the books on abuse by renowned author and this is very right and also proves the complexity

    " The events that lead to abuse are responsibility of both or all the parties involved, the actual abuse is the responsibility of the person who does it"

    So we cannot make a sweeping statement that the abusive person can give up all the pattern by himself or herself without getting the help from the enviornment, this is not w.r.t OP but in general

     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  8. Tridev

    Tridev Silver IL'ite

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    Neha, you are already strong woman in your own way, you realise that, what you have endured only a strong person can, you had a bad childhood with abusive mother, believe me people who abuse, whether parents, because child is helpless or spouse (husband or wife), they pick certain personality traits in other person, they see how a person reacts, your reaction will send signals, like your hiding in the closet, shows you are timid, that you cannot fight, that you are scared, these signals are not healthy , how are they going to change others? what others do definitely is their responsibility, but how we react and assert ourself is our responsibility, if you never resisted the abuse from mother or husband, if you never gave ultimatum, if you just took it lying down, then the abuse will increase, with mother it is understandable, that you were child, no much power, but now gather strenght, job is not very important in life, self esteem if lost it can cause ruins, it is not easy. try to do something to build that, you can take work when you get chance, you have to be assertive, show a face which no one else has seen

    I have read enough on verbal abuse/other abuse, one way to stop is to plan your response next time, the response should be such which the abuser has never seen or expected, it should be very tough and needs to be meant. only such unusual responses will stop abuse.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  9. Gooseberry

    Gooseberry Senior IL'ite

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    Sita, Indeed a thought provoking story. Thanks for sharing.
    Neha, what the other posters said is right. Start building up confidence and none other than YOU can stop this abuse. Plan your strategy and work on it to build your life.

    Good luck!!
     
  10. Peperoncino

    Peperoncino New IL'ite

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    To build up the confidence, first of all shouldn’t the person who is being abused get away from the abuser? What is the one thing that an abuser is good at doing? Breaking down the confidence of the person he or she is abusing. And how can someone who has been abused all her life suddenly build up her confidence? Or suddenly be assertive or put her foot down or take control of her life or confront her abuser? And does she have the luxury of time to slowly build these up, especially in an environment of abuse? And really what blessings are there in this relationship? That she is not dead or maimed, or that he provides her "good" times now and then?

    Neha, you say that your husband has been physically abusing you for the past ten years, and therefore I assume he is still abusing you. Your first priority then is to be safe and be as far away from him as possible.

    It is good (and an important first step) that you realise you need to work on your self-confidence and self-esteem. But I feel you cannot build or work on these qualities up while still living with him and while you're still around him, because if he is physically abusing you, I’m sure he is mentally breaking you down too. And no, he is not a good person.

    Foundlove is correct; you need to contact a local women’s shelter (and I understand there could be even ones catering especially to South Asian women, if that's what you prefer; maybe someone can provide the details), and get their help in re-building your life, and to decide on the next steps. And leave this abusive relationship. And call the police too – your husband deserves to feel the full force of the law.

    Neha, please also realize that there is no excuse for abuse, and no one deserves or asks for it. Don’t blame yourself. And there is no shame in reaching out to strangers for help. Only in a safe environment can you focus on re-building your confidence and self-esteem, and re-building your life and start learning to be assertive, a quality you would need in your work life too. Only then can you turn your attention to your relationship, and what you want out of it, or how you want to fix it (if you’re even inclined to do so) or help your husband (again, if you are inclined to do so).

    Tell yourself that enough is enough, and please contact the women's shelter as soon as possible before it is too late! And call the police when he strikes you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010

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