Surviving Emotional Abuse: Why Self-Esteem is So Important to Me

Domestic Abuse is not always physical — I know this because I was emotionally abused. And if I am going to be perfectly honest, if I had stayed any longer I believe it would have become physical. Emotional abuse consists of repeated verbal offense, threats, bullying, and continuous criticism, as well as muted behaviors like intimidating, shaming and manipulating.

Earlier this week I was conversing with a friend and somehow we arrived on the topic of abuse. Now that I think about it, I know how we got there. The conversation started when she asked me about my recent plus-size blog post, “Not Even the “V” is Safe From Ridicule?!?”

She was surprised to learn about Labiaplasty, and quite frankly — so was I. We discussed how some women are subjected to ridicule by their significant other and how this can cause them to alter themselves in order to be accepted by their abuser. My friend asked a question that I was not prepared for, “Why do you think some women are abused? Is it because they have low self-esteem?”

I wasn’t ready for that question mainly because I am a survivor of emotional abuse and I considered myself to be a person with a healthy level of self-esteem prior to the aforementioned relationship. Having said that, it wasn’t always like that. During my adolescent years I struggled with my self-worth, but I overcame it. So, why did I succumb to emotional abuse?

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