After years of being physically and mentally bullied by people, having my confidence ripped away and shredded by almost everyone I met, I don’t know how or if I’ll ever get it back. Everyone i’ve met irl has called me ugly and made fun of my appearance, even the smallest of things. It was always little comments throughout the day aswell. It was never direct as “you’re ugly” either… though it would’ve probably been easier if it was so that I would’ve known that they weren’t talking shit behind my back instead and just saying it to my face. Sadly, I had to overhear it from other people. I don’t really know what i’m rambling about anymore, i’m just really tired and this popped into my head because i’m in one of my more worsened states of mind right now.
I’m sorry to hear about the bullies. You didn’t deserve any of this, no one does. The fact that it affected your self confidence is absolutely normal. It’s part of the effects that can happen when you’ve been hurt by someone else. You didn’t ask for any of this and it wasn’t your fault, whatever they said and did to you.
Being aware of what happened, the fact that it wasn’t a fair situation and you shouldn’t had to endure this is a first step. You were a victim of their behavior and acknowledging it helps to regain some perspective over how it makes you feel. It helps to rationalize a bit and catch some breaths again. So even if it doesn’t feel like a huge thing: be proud of what you just did by sharing. It’s significant and really positive right now.
I can’t answer precisely on how you’ll regain some confidence over time, as it remains something really intimate. But there are definitely some elements that might be helpful:
- Being away from toxic people and, in the same idea, to surround yourself with people that are loving, caring and makes you feel great. You don’t need other’s negativity or hatred.
- Sharing about what happened to you or, at least, writing your memories down. When you feel like you can’t control difficult memories to pop in your head, then it’s important to tell this story, whether it’s to yourself or to someone else whom you trust and makes you feel safe. The idea behind this is to regain some control over those memories and not having to suffer everytime they appear. It helps to grieve the events that happened and to put those memories where they belong: in your past.
- To challenge every negative thought you can have about yourself. CBT therapy can be of a great help for this. Even if it’s not something you can afford or if you don’t want to give it a try, you can still find tips and concrete advices in books or mental health websites.
- To take care of yourself as much as possible, whether it’s physically or mentally. What can you add in your daily life that makes you feel great? Relaxed? What do you enjoy? Are there hobbies you’ve always been interested by but never allowed yourself to try?
- Track your successes! Cultivate and cherish your victories. Even those that seem insignificant to you at first. They never are. Because it’s your life, it’s your personal journey and what you do matters.
Obviously it’s just some random ideas, things that personally help me to work on the effects of years of abuse. Hopefully this could be helpful, even just a little.
You wondered if your confidence will ever get back. It will, friend. It takes patience, time and energy for sure. But you can do this progressively. Don’t hesitate to reach out anytime you need. It’s important to receive some support in times you need to be reminded that you’re beautiful just as you are and that you’re doing great already.
Sending love your way.
The single most important thing I learned from my 10th grade English teacher was how to take a compliment. Whenever you receive a compliment, smile and say thank you. I know it sounds really stupid, and for awhile it felt stupid, but in pretty short order I started accepting the compliments, and each time I smiled and said “thank you” I felt really good about it. I still do to this day. For all the negative things people may say about you, and people will always have negative things to say about everyone, listen for the compliments and magnify them with this simple step. With a little practice, it really works.