Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Barbara on the Self-Esteem File

Beyond Blue reader Barbara (formerly Babs) nailed the purpose of the self-esteem file in her letter to Margaret on the combox of my post “Margaret on Releasing Fears.” Articulated so beautiful, Barbara says this to Margaret:

Dear Margaret,
You mentioned that a lot of your problems centered around your dad. So have mine. But this is what has helped me the most through difficult times: I remind myself all the ways I have experienced God’s love and provision, in nature, and through other people (you, for one).
When I first started, I couldn’t think of anything — not because there were no experiences, but because I’d made myself rather insensitive to them. But just like Therese’s self-esteem file, I’ve been piling up my experiences of God’s provision, and when I get scared, I pull out a few recent examples to calm myself.
While our dads were not trustworthy, God is. And we have to remind ourselves of that. At first, it seems like merely an intellectual exercise, but the more we practice it, the more our emotions are bathed in it, and it is the emotions that need healing.

  • Annie Turner

    I can relate to this post too, Barbara. When I was growing up my Dad was & still is the most untrustworthy person I know. We haven’t had that much contact in the last 30 yrs. When we do have contact; he acts like I’m a complete stranger that he has never met. I try to bring us together & bury the past. The more he ignores my jesters & that makes me feel like I’m worthless. People say he ain’t worth the effort to worry about but being ignored as you weren’t even born; it’s had to set it aside. Because I wonder what I did wrong to him when I was growing up. This is definity part of the cause for my depression & low self-esteem.

  • Julie

    Dear Margaret and Barbara,
    Hello, my name is Julie. I would like for both of you to consider joining a grief support group and doing the work to resolve the issues you have in dealing with your dads. I went to a support group after my husband passed away and realized that before I could grieve for my deceased husband I had to grieve for the relationship my living father and I did not have. If someone would have suggested I join a support group before my husband passed away I would have wondered why. After doing the exercises recommended by the leader you may be able to actually have a relationship with your father, if it is truly what you want and will not interfere with your own well-being, which is what we have to be careful not to jeopardize.
    Best Wishes –

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