When my self esteem was low, my relationships were abusive. Yet I always assumed that when my self-esteem was higher that my relationships would be healthy.
But it wasn’t about love, it was about power. About how far I would be willing to go. About how much abuse I might be prepared to accept.
We respond with compassion to each others’ emotions. So when we open as emotionally vulnerable, we unlock the ability to communicate compassionately.
I have a son and a daughter (with a man who is as far removed from being an asshole as it is possible to be). If either of them were ever caught up in a situation where they were the perpetrator or the victim of such a situation, I don’t know how I would contain my vitriol …or my guilt. Because in both positions, my children would be operating out of a place of low self-esteem. One who needed to feed their ego by taking power to control and manipulate. One who felt they were worth very little and that this was the only relationship they deserved.
The guilt of who I am, what I have done is so shameful that I cannot face the pain. There is no point in holding someone who is shattered and worthless.
I don’t know whether the roaring was in my head or from his throat, but it felt like I had gone mad.