Mangry™ (adj): motivating men to become more self-aware of their anger in pursuit of having a healthier relationship with themselves and others.
Is it even possible? How does one regain their self-esteem lost from childhood abuse and trauma?
What I’ve learned over the years is that low self-esteem in social situations can be common for childhood abuse and trauma survivors.
I feel judged and begin analyzing what others might be thinking of me. I feel a discomfort in my breathing and suddenly my mind no longer pays attention to the social interactions going on, but rather on what my exit strategy is going to be. Perhaps it’s a mild case of agoraphobia, the fear of feeling unsafe and trapped. Or maybe it’s a trigger from my past.
We get thoughts that pop up in our head based on a memory. If your childhood was plagued by bad experiences of abuse, trauma, arguments and family violence, your brain became programmed to those negative experiences. The repetition and patterns of negative behaviors in a negative environment hard wired your brain to have recurring thoughts even as you get older. And since you get thousands of thoughts every day based on your experiences, you’ll sometimes get these negative memories creep into your headspace, reminding you of those bad times. These reminders can make way for unhealthy behaviors. This is partly the reason behind depression and anxiety because we create these unhealthy thoughts from our past which creates the depression, and we respond with fear and anxiety.
The feeling of having a healthy supply of self-worth is something I can only imagine might have been more readily available, natural and automatic if I was able to see that in myself as a child. As an adult survivor of childhood abuse, self-worth was not supplied in healthy doses while growing up.
It’s never easy to look ourselves in the mirror and see where we struggle with our behaviors. Yet, when we ask the question whether there’s room for self-improvement, the answer is often times a yes. How do we make those changes in ourselves? How do we take those difficult steps? I learned the hard way through my own struggles and losses how to make those self-improvements happen. A life plagued by anger, abuse and mental health struggles, I discovered ways to get out of those unhealthy patterns and into a life that’s focused and clear.