(I couldn't think of an appropriate title for this. But this has been stuck in my head for a couple days now. I knew the only way to get it out was to post it.)
Growing up I had low self-esteem, a need to help people and a desperate desire to be liked. I just wanted to fit in somewhere. I never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings which often led me into situations I didn't want to be in. I ended up into situations that changed my life. They also led to lower self esteem and the cycle continued. I had many unhealthy relationships that I would never want Ellie to have. I dated men who were disrepectful, abusive, and some who (unknown to me) did hard drugs. Men who used me for money, my car, my virtue, my self respect and anything else they could get.
I was constantly looking for "love." There is a quote from a movie that describes how I was perfectly "I would rather be with someone for the wrong reasons than alone for the right." I never wanted to be alone. I always had to have a boyfriend. I don't know why. I knew my family loved me. I can't say I ever lacked for anything. I'm not sure if I was just an easy target once who then became an even easier target.
Now that I have a daughter I worry about her constantly. I don't want her to go through even half of what I went through. How do I raise a daughter who respects herself, who is able to stand her ground, who is sure of herself and willing to what it takes to protect herself? I guess what I'm wondering is how do I raise a daughter who is the complete opposite of me?
Don't get me wrong, I don't want her to be mean or a jerk but I do want her to be a strong woman. I want her to know that she has self worth and that she can stand up for herself. I want her to never be afraid to say no. I don't want her to be a bra-burning feminist but I want her to be comfortable enough in her own skin to be okay being single. How do I teach her these things when I still have low self-esteem and a desperate need to be liked? How is that an example to my daughter?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.