Dreamspeed Photography

Don't Let Self-Hate Come for your daughters

"Don't let self-hatred come for your daughters." - Sue Bryce

I don't have children. But I saw how my mom acted.

My mom despite all her intelligence and creativity, hated herself. I believe this initially stemmed from body image. She battled weight her whole life, dieted but never lost pounds. She cooked for us all the time, but I never saw her eat much. When friends or family came to visit, she played the waitress who was always too busy to sit down. When we went anywhere, she would rarely go. It's like she wanted to stay in the house, hidden. If we were watching TV, she frequently said, in a bitter voice from hell, "I don't understand it because I'm too stupid!" Conversely, in the same horrible bitter voice, she would say to me, "You're just so smart, aren't ya?" Life dealt her some bad hands, but she seemed to internalize events and become more bitter and cynical. I really didn't want to be like this. But it's exactly what I became: struggling with weight, never feeling good enough, and getting more and more bitter. This is how I learned to deal with life, watching her. The funny thing is, these were her issues, not mine. They became my issues, but they never had to be. All of this is self-imposed; I am the poison. But I'm also the antidote.

It is hard to break the cycle that plays over and over in your head. You keep reliving it. Your brain is a skipping record, stuck on the same hurtful, spiteful things someone did to you 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago. It's not easy to take the needle off the record, but it can be done. You have to consciously stop the hurtful loop of nonsense that isn't happening anymore. It is a process that takes time. I will be working on stopping the skipping record for the rest of my life.

What you do to yourself, you do to your kids. How your kids see you treating yourself is how your kids are learning self-love or self-hate. What are you really teaching your daughters when you hide away and won't take a bite out of life? What are you teaching them when you always put yourself last? What are you teaching them when you call yourself "fat" or say "I hate the way I look?" Treat yourself well to keep balance, to stay in alignment, to move forward and take what you want out of life. Putting self-care and self-love first isn't SELFISH, it's the best thing you can do for your children.