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Appearance issues since childhood

hey all. to preface, I’m new here-- I learned about this organization earlier today from Twitch. additionally, the purpose of this post is basically just to get everything off my chest. I honestly just want to vent a little bit.

my issues with my self image began when I was around 11-12. I was in middle school which as you know is a common period of time for these types of anxieties to begin. although I was really young, I had started dating a boy who I’ll call P just because I absolutely hate even remembering his name. only a few days after we began dating, he told me that quite a few personal friends of both of ours’ said I was ugly and weird.

at the time, I wanted to pretend that it didn’t bother me. I was 12 and I was one of those kids that acted like the opinions of others didn’t matter, but they really did. it was really awkward seeing those friends daily knowing what they really thought of me. I became extremely self conscious of almost everything I did and began hating my appearance.

he was a terrible boyfriend and over the course of the relationship, which didn’t last long at all, my mental health deteriorated more. he had no problem telling me mean things that other people said about me. I found it hard to enjoy even simple things-- I was constantly thinking of my appearance and what other people thought about me.

he kept trying to kiss me even though I told him I wasn’t ready. truth was, I was never actually into him and only agreed to date him out of pity. stupid I know, but I was a kid I guess. one day I decided to go over to his house. I’ve repressed most of what happened that day, but I vaguely remember being held down on his mattress which was on the floor for some reason.

I was really traumatized after that and blocked him on all social media. haven’t talked to him since, and I’m glad for that. but all of the times he told me I was ugly still affect me even now. I still have nightmares about him as well.

so much time has passed and yet I still over analyze my appearance, and compare myself to other women. I feel like I’m not pretty, and I’m self conscious of my weight as well. I’m doing better than I was as a teenager though-- I’m definitely not in a perfect mental state, but I’ve made a lot of progress.

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Hey, it’s ok. You are enough. That guy is a douche and I’m sorry about your experience. You didn’t deserve it. I’m glad you are making progress. But, don’t let any slip up deter you. Any amount of progress is still progress. That’s the road to getting better. We all struggle with something that’s why we are here. You are not alone. Especially with self image. Keep strong and know that coming here any time will help build a bit back up or even just some reassurance. Welcome. Honestly. The first post is usually the hardest. And that’s a big first step for a lot of people. Just opening up. Keep up your progress! You’ll do amazing things!

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Hi there and welcome to this excellent community !
First off, I am so sorry for the pain caused by nasty people in your life. When I first started dating my boyfriend (who is now my fiancee) he told me one of this friends called me a “butter face” and laughed out loud about it. He couldn’t understand why I started crying immediately, he was like “but, you clearly aren’t? it’s ridiculous that’s why it’s funny?” But it was not funny to me, I really took it hard and it made me feel so ugly. Words can really hurt people. But as I grew up I realized that people’s comments usually come from dark places within themselves, the guy who called me a “butter face” was very short and had a lot of trouble talking to girls. I concluded he was just majorly jealous of my boyfriend at the time. I assume this may have been the same situation as you; people saying things to bring you down because they want to feel higher themselves. It’s a dumb way to live, and I know it’s easier said than done, but it really is best to just ignore negative people like that.
As far as self-image issues go, we all have them. One thing I try to remember when looking in the mirror is to judge myself with the same eyes that I judge others. I think so many people are beautiful, and I would never think some of the things about them as I do about myself. Try to view yourself with kinder eyes and DO NOT let stupid angry, pre-pubescent, idiots get you down with their comments. It is liberating to finally realize, those people are pathetic and their comments mean nothing at all.
Last thing I will say is, having a traumatic sexual experience can contribute to an increased risk of depression, anxiety and self-esteem issues (I know from personal experience) so please make sure to practice self-care and please please please, if you need to talk to someone about it, I would highly encourage you to. (It was incredibly helpful for me to see a therapist <3 ) stay strong ! :slight_smile: