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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5822
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am recently divorced from a verbally abusive, functioning

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I am recently divorced from a verbally abusive, functioning alcoholic - we were together 22 years. I am dating a wonderful guy who loves me. I however, am feeling a tremendous amount of insecurity all at once. Weight, beauty, sexually, ability to dance, cooking, whether or not i can be loved, it doesn't matter what it is - everything for me is just an issue at this point. I don't understand what is wrong with me. I believe whatever has happened in my life has just exposed my lack of confidence and esteem, that I really need to have How do I get back on track?

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Self esteem and insecurity are both issues that originate in childhood. Though you can experience issues later in life as an adult that make you question yourself, the basis for how you feel about you comes from childhood.

When you grow up in a family where who you are not treated as you should be, you begin to believe that you are not worthy. You may not even be aware of this as a problem since most children who are treated poorly do not know any other way. And often, these issues do not show up until the child becomes an adult and starts having relationships.

The fact that you ended up in an abusive and alcoholic marriage may be key. When someone is in such a relationship, they often feel attracted to their partner because they feel comfortable with being treated poorly. They may not like what is going on and they understand it is not healthy, but it is what they know. When they leave, just as you have, they may feel like a fish out of water.

Being cared about in your current relationship may make you question your self esteem and make you feel insecure because being loved without abuse brings out those feelings you had from childhood. You may have always felt bad about yourself, but it was hidden behind the marriage you were in. Now that you are out, you are seeing these feelings more clearly.

What may help is to work on increasing your self esteem. You need to replace what you should have gotten as a child. Therapy can help a lot. Talking to someone who can help you see what you missed and how to build yourself up can make a big difference. Also, you can use self help to learn more about self esteem and ways you can feel better. Here are some resources to help you:

Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning

The Self-Esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi

How to Raise Your Self-Esteem: The Proven Action-Oriented Approach to Greater Self-Respect and Self-Confidence by Nathaniel Branden

I hope this has helped,

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TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think I am good. But my access was denied in rating you, but I will keep trying until I get it. I am scheduling a dancing date.....just going to do it. Why not, right? I think I will sign up for a cooking class too, just for fun...and to build my confidence in it.

I did receive the rating- thank you very much! I appreciate it.

Building your confidence in ways like taking classes is a great idea! Any way you can think of that lets you take a little risk and put yourself out there is going to help build up your confidence.

My best to you,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. I will definitely ask for you again if I need help. I read both links already, I needed the help today and I made myself a note to keep in front of me to do something esteemable every day. I appreciate the course correction, it was much needed.

You're welcome! And I would be happy to talk with you again. If you do request me, just put "Kate" in front of your question and I will respond.

Take care,