Monday, December 29, 2008

Losing Self-Respect

“Self respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself”

—Abraham J. Michael

That’s where she failed. In saying “no” to herelf. It’s not that she hadn’t tried. But the resolve faded out soon enough.

It wasn’t like this always. She valued her self-respect. And never compromised it for anyone. Her parents were proud of the way she carried herself. People were careful about saying anything wrong or offensive to her. And she never gave anyone the opportunity of treating her badly. She was happy that despite any adversities she faced she’d managed to maintain her self-respect and dignity. She was proud that she was in full control of her emotions.

And then the worst happened. She fell in love. That was 5 yrs ago. She was 20 at that time. She loved, trusted and respected the person completely. And it delighted her when her feelings were reciprocated.  Gradually emotional dependence increased and her vulnerability lay exposed in front of the person. That was the worst mistake of her life. Her first regret in life. Letting the one she loved know that he had the ability to hurt her. Slowly the “occasional differences in opinion” became “full-fledged quarrels”. But she always apologized and made up if it was her fault. What was unsettling that it was her again who had to soothe his wounded ego even if it was his fault. She wasn't looking to settle scores. She was in love, and convinced herself there shouldn’t be any ego hassles between partners. Apart from it slowly becoming a regular occurrence, another trend started. Blame game. She was always at the receiving end. If he verbally abused her, she should be the one apologizing because she provoked the outburst and brought it on herself. That was his twisted logic. Why did she give him a chance? He never ever apologized to her. She still didn’t feel something was amiss in their relationship. A slow but sure stab on her self-respect had occurred, but once again she was too much in 'love' to notice that. There were moments when she saw reason, when she detested this downfall; but the fear of losing him was too overshadowed everything. She had invested a lot of love in the relationship, and she was determined not to let it go unrequited. The denial to see the extent to which she’d become emotionally dependent on him brought out a whole new side of her. An ugly side that she wasn’t aware of earlier. She became a clinging, emotionally insecure person who was ready to bear anything to save the relationship, even at the cost of losing her self-respect. Every time he used to hurl abuses at her and not talk to her for some time, she started reminiscing the good memories, often glorifying the past. She used to call him up later, trying hard to hear the love in his voice, which had long ceased to exist. 'One day he would realize how much I love him, and he would be back to his old self', the thought she slept on every night. It was no surprise that he never did.

He broke up with her saying that his family won’t agree to their relationship.She accepted his decision, and was too naive to understand why he got into the relationship in the first place if he didn’t had the guts to stand up against his family for the girl he loves. But she still nearly begged him whether they could remain friends. He was reluctant. But eventually agreed. She used to count the minutes ticking by till she heard from him next. As obvious, she was the one who did most of the “keeping in touch” part. Life continued. And all along she nurtured the secret hope that he would one day be back with her.

She came to know later that he was with someone else by the time they had their break-up. It angered her and an ugly confrontation followed. He admitted to this 'lapse' but adopted the policy of offense being the best defense. He once again hurled abuses at her. She stopped all contact with him.

Her inability to say “no” to herself when it came to matters of the heart got better of her. She couldn’t bear the thought of losing him from her life completely. The very fear that made her lose her self respect in the first place. She managed to curb her desire to keep him as a part of her life and contact him, even though it took her an year and half. To let go of someone you love and accept that they no longer want to be with you can be a very difficult to cope with. But her heart healed; it just took a little longer than others.


She hated this particular aspect of her life. The whiny, clingy girl ready to go to any extent to save her “love”. When the love faded away, and sense prevailed in her life,  she couldn't fathom why she was ready to settle for a guy that abused her trust and love, and in all certainty would repeat it. Her friends and family too were shocked at the person she’d become. They always knew her to be a very balanced, emotionally strong person. And then they saw her when she was in love. The damage was done. She’d failed them too. But she tried hard to re-build her self-esteem, she resolved never to compromise her dignity for anyone. Ever. She had seen herself during her worst and was scared of ever being in that place again.

Life was good. And then..

She has fallen in love again.. She considered the risks involved, but love had slowly begun its hypnotic effect on her.  She told him  He didn't find her worthy of any response. She is trying her best not to repeat her earlier mistake of putting her self-respect at stake again. She tries not to ring him or text him. She'd failed again. She started doing the opposite, and called him up when she knew she shouldn’t have. She'd tried various ways to distract herself, and her failure popped up on his inbox. But she can't get him out of her head. She is scared she would lose her self-respect again. Friends and family point that out to her too. But she still nurses that damn 'hope'!


How does one walk away from the person one loves? She doesn’t want to let him go. Her mind knows that she must. But her heart longs to stay. The logical and the best advice would be to let go. Let time fade him away.

The indecisiveness continues.


They say “no one can make you feel inferior and hurt you without your consent”. She had given the consent to someone. And she is hurt. And she does feel inferior as a person. It just took 5yrs. And she can’t look in the mirror without feeling ashamed of the person she has become. If only she had the sense to stop herself from giving the right to hurt her that first time. She is scared now. It’s a sort of addiction. She has paid a heavy price for it. The one thing she valued the most A sense of dignity.

2 comments:

...loufoque citrouille said...

there is such a thin line between giving in to love and losing your self esteem...you would never know how thin the line is until you've gone through it...loved your post, thanks for your honesty...

Dr.Mayurakshi said...

Thanks for your appreciation :)
The thin line you mention gets very blurred when in love and you value other's happiness before your own. That's not a good thing. I need to practice the virtue of selfishness.