Fri 13 Feb, 2015 12:58 am
I was seeing a lady for a few months and liked her a lot. Because we were friends before hand I knew she had some self esteem issues (particularly relating to her body and relationships). I find low self esteem (of this kind, anyway- read on!) difficult to understand and so I would very much appreciate the advice of people who have experience in this area.
We slept together a few times and it seemed great to me. Every so often she would make comments that showed her low self esteem, for example about her weight, or once she said 'I don't know why you are with me when you could be with anyone'. I think I did everything I could to show her that I liked her and thought her body was perfect, but her behavior was contradictory: she would be all over me one night, and then would ignore me or not answer my calls or messages for a week or so, but then be all over me again another night (most often when she had been drinking).
I've heard that some people with low self esteem can 'need' to feel like they are loved, but I felt like she was the opposite- that the more affection I showed the less comfortable she was. She's clearly been avoiding me for a couple of weeks or so now so I've given up pursuing any kind of romantic relationship. However, I would still very much like to be friends with her, but am not sure how to navigate the situation. Whenever I've tried to have honest conversations with her about feelings I feel like she recoils and avoids it. Any advice on how to deal with someone who has this kind of personality, or any insights at all, would be very appreciated!
She needs a professional. This is above your pay grade. That degree of low self-esteem can be a manifestation of clinical depression.
Yep she definately needs professional help. I use to date a woman like that, she would sabotage things that were good in her life and made it difficult for us to take our relationship to higher levels because deep down she didn't feel as though she was good enough. Always reassured her, gave her breathing space you name it but still didn't work out in the end. She later told me her father use to abuse (sexually&physically) her and her older sister when they were younger. You feel sorry for people like that and want to help them as much as possible but there's only so much you can do, they need someone who specialises in these matters. Their deep unresolved issues stem back to their child hood and this could be the same in your case??
She did once tell me that she has no memories before the age of about 12, which she thought was weird given that to her knowledge nothing traumatic ever happened to her. But her dad did die around that age, which I would expect is fairly traumatic.
Oh ok. Around the age of 12 and into puberty is one of the most impressionistic periods in a humans life. Having a child loose their father at that age would have been a very traumatic experience and she would have been sensitive to her environment at that stage. Especially if she was close to him? Her not having any memories before the age of 12 could be that she either has repressed or supressed memory. Repressed meaning that her mind has pushed the traumatic experience of her fathers death into some inaccessible corner of her unconsciousness but later in life could emerge into consciousness. It's a phsychological defense against trauma. Or she may have supressed memory meaning she has deliberately pushed the experience out of awareness to avoid having any responsibility.
I do not know this woman so don't know her background or whether she was close to her father or not? It is clear that there is unresolved issues here and seeking professional help is advisable. A phsychologist may use hynotherapy to go back into her lost memory and hopefully resolve the issues that she is facing.