A friend and I were talking about self-esteem and it made me think when was the last time I loved myself in its entirety- quirks and all? It caused me to drift back years ago to a time when; I was hopeful, felt loved, embraced my quirks and thought even if my 17 year relationship ended that there was someone out there who would still find everything that made me Chelsie (good and bad) attractive and loving. I didn’t own a scale until I got high cholesterol at 24 and had to make a lifestyle change; I never criticized myself, was never self-conscious and always felt comfortable in my own skin. I’ve always been very low maintenance and never felt like I needed a lot of makeup or extra stuff to feel pretty- so I always did my own thing and had my own style.
Well unbeknownst to me, there is this personality disorder called Narcissism which makes up about 6.2% of the U.S. population, and if you are unfortunate enough to encounter even one of these blood sucking individuals it could completely derail your life. Sadly for me, I’ve come across many (the very first one/most brutal was my alcoholic mother) and while I’ve cleansed my life of all of them, the aftermath of the many years of abuse has turned me into a woman I don’t recognize.
I used to be such a free-spirit and I’ve always danced to the beat of my own drum but after years of being put down and mentally/emotionally abused by the narcs in my life in addition to the shallow people I’ve met while trying to date, I now find myself on high alert of all the things I once loved about myself. While I don’t need anyone to validate me, I’ve had men judge me for the most minor things to the point where I feel nothing about me is safe from criticism. I’m pretty thick-skinned and can usually take positive criticism, but where do we draw the line and ask to just be loved for who we are?
I feel like I have so many strikes against me; I don’t camp, hike or ski, I hate bugs and extreme weather and I don’t really care to do a lot of outdoor activities which makes living in Colorado a little rough for me on the dating spectrum, as EVERYONE loves all of those activities. There are other things about me that were heavily scrutinized over the years; my hairstyle, my taste in food/music, etc. but they are a huge part of who I am and I’m not willing to budge on many of them. I am in a place now that I’ve been single for 2 years and I’m growing more and more comfortable being by myself and I’m starting to think there aren’t many people out there who will accept me JUST THE WAY I AM- with no alterations.
I’m most comfortable when I’m with people who I can be myself around and I yearn for an authentic connection with the next person I get in a relationship with. I have so many great friends who tell me how awesome of a person I am and I can only hope to find a man that thinks I’m as great as my friend’s do.