Abuse tears apart self-esteem. The objective of the abuser is to dominate and control--smashing the victim's picture of themselves as a normal human being is a primary strategy. It is almost as if all abusers read the same handbook: How to Annihilate Self-Esteem.
Recovering a proper sense of self takes time and patience. But it can be done. God has never lost sight of who you really are. He has never stopped loving you. Your abuser may have convinced you that you are worthless, unattractive, unlovable, displeasing, incompetent, etc. But God can help you to see that you have great value (enough to die for), that you are wonderfully made, that you are deeply loved (beyond your ability to even comprehend), that you are delightful to the creator of the universe, and that you are able to do all things in Christ Jesus. God can expose the folly of every lie that the Enemy of our souls has planted in our minds through the assaults of abuse.
To see yourself honestly, try these steps that have worked and continue working for me:
- Admit to God how you really see yourself
- Ask God to help you understand how He sees you
- Post on a mirror all Bible verses that reveal how God thinks of you
- Acknowledge & forgive yourself when you behave out of lies about yourself
- Ask God to heal your self-image
- Celebrate victories in trying out new beliefs and more positive self-talk
- Consider seeking help with the process--a good counselor or close friend can be a help
- Journal about your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis
- Spend time with God in prayer daily
- Spend time reading from the Bible daily (specifically asking that the Holy Spirit help you to get to know God more and more. As you grow closer to God, you will accept and love yourself more).