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    • #15398
      Serenity
      Participant

      Our abusers, as a rule, put us down about everything, and this includes our physical appearance.

      He would point out every single imperfection.

      Of course, we are left feeling unattractive.

      Have any of you ladies had any dates since your relationship, which have given you back your confidence in your looks?

      It would be nice to hear how our abusers’ views aren’t the objective truth.

    • #15411

      Dear Serenity,

      With me the results of abuse work in another way, I feel I have wasted my life. I gave decades to this one particular man hoping to achieve so much in life in terms of well being, compassion, trust etc.

      I woke up one day and it was like having a panic attack. I realised how old I was and it scared me, in terms of what my body (and soul) had become, the age I had reached knowing I was facing what had been a life of lies.

      I don’t trust men now, I see them as prowlers. I don’t want to be complimented by men about my looks, my smile or anything else. I am always on my guard. And if I manage to have the courage to leave for good, I doubt I would want to start dating, I would hate it. I would hate the idea in particular of being physical with another man. I absolutely hate the idea of even holding hands, or being held by a man. I just would not go out to meet other guys. I would be too scared of finding out the next relationship is as bad as this one. I prefer my own company and it is already what I practice, as you know, for now.

      Charming with my physical appearance? I gave that up a long time ago. I want to feel attractive only for myself, telling myself how slim I am, how well I do with my sport, how well I look after myself because I don’t want to do it for someone else other than me and my children so I can live a long life still and be with them for a long time to come.

      I don’t get from him any positive comments about my personality, my character, my achievements, my parenting, my hobbies, my skills in general let alone my looks. I get no perspective about life other than the one I build for myself, it is like living with a total zombie. It has been like that for so many years. I also fee like I have been used if you see what I mean. So my looks and appearance are not really what concern me in the building of an objective truth in my husband nor in any man, I am still facing my own ”death”, the fight I experienced with trying to ”stay alive” and build a meaningful life despite it all. Ignorance and neglect are total killers. And I hate the idea of charming someone with my smile, my looks, my body shape and my femininity.

      I once tried to get him to buy me dresses when I lost weight. In the changing rooms, I felt like a wh.re. I felt like each time I tried a dress on, and he looked at me, he was waiting for his morsel of fun coming that evening. It was humiliating. Yet when the shop assistants helped me, I felt valued as a customer and also as a woman. May I pride myself by saying each dress fitted like a glove, but wearing them reminds me of that time in the changing rooms…

      Body image? I hate compliments to do with my looks. I find them insulting, cheapening, humiliating. I am not a body, I am a person. The only thing I enjoy is when I hear people say how good I look despite having had that many kids. I did it! I took care of myself and no man is going to use me because he likes the leftover goods…

      But to answer your question in a more specific way, yes I get comments from men, and from women too who tell me there are men out there who would do anything to be with someone like me. I deal with lots of people in my job and I recognise the signs when a man finds you attractive. It’s that little glow it gives you when you feel proud of yourself, when someone can make you believe you are beautiful. It does build confidence in your looks, whether you are slim or voluptuous. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

      I have heard such horrific things from my husband I wish I could start my life all over again and decide to have a different path than the one I took. I just didn’t read the signs. But I am glad I have always fought for my life to stay mine, despite anything, I kept that little distance that lets me remain whole. It’s all been in my own head, I never totally gave myself to my husband, and maybe that’s why I am still here. My resilience is to still be able to love myself, despite the way he treated me and still does.

      Each day I look in the mirror, I welcome the love and care I have the sheer determination to give to myself.

      John Legend :

      ‘Cause all of me
      Loves all of you
      Love your curves and all your edges
      All your perfect imperfections
      Give your all to me
      I’ll give my all to you
      You’re my end and my beginning
      Even when I lose I’m winning
      ‘Cause I give you all of me
      And you give me all of you, oh oh

    • #15412
      katielove
      Participant

      I recently spent a few days away with my child in a group of men. They were polite, considerate, sensitive, it restored my belief in men. I liked receiving pleasant comments and it gave me hope for the future. I do not want a relationship for a long time but enjoyed making new acquaintances.
      X X

    • #15413
      KIP.
      Participant

      Hi Serenity, I had a couple of dates which were fun and good for the ego. I think you have to be in the right place mentally. If you’re thinking you still want a man or anybody to compliment you and make you feel good about yourself, I think you have some healing to do. I waited almost 18 months and I would recommend it as a good way to meet new people if you are careful. Don’t fall into the trap of needing validation from someone else ever again. You are a stunning, wonderful, giving woman and once your confidence returns you will see that. If anything I found both men needy and lacking confidence. I was in a good place and went on a second date with one of them and had the confidence to end it there. Now I’m not bothered about another relationship. Which I think is a great place to be. If it happens, it happens but I’m loving my life and freedom❤️
      PS abusers are liars. Do not believe a word they say, it’s all aimed at keeping you down❤️

    • #15414
      Serenity
      Participant

      Hi Bridget,

      I am a bit like that. I have realised how the abuser ravaged my health and my looks.

      To me, my values and interests and spirituality is most important, but you need your health.

      He made out I was grey and old and worn out.
      No am trying to rebuild my strength and health, so my mind will work as it did, full of interesting ideas.

      Women aren’t clothes horses. What makes a person is a mix of things- and their mind is important. I hope he hasn’t slowed my mind down for good.

      But with mental health comes physical health. I need to get back to that.

      I too hate the thought of lecherous hands all
      Over me. What I meant really was, abusers make you feel
      Washed up and past it: do
      Others see a liveliness and spark in you?

      I am not making much sense. I think I want to believe that he hasn’t made me worn out forever. I want to find my energy and passion again.

      I feel nothing for him, but I have been left exhausted.

    • #15417
      Serenity
      Participant

      Hi KiP,

      Thanks. Nice to hear from you.

      Yes, I went out on a ‘date’ a while back, and found him too forward and needy. I couldn’t get home fast enough.

      I don’t want a relationship. I am not nearly at that place yet. If anything, I see friendships as the most important thing.

      What I was trying to say was, even though academic stuff and learning has always been my interest, one still wants to feel that their physical appearance isn’t repulsive.

      I suppose I mean to say, an abuser makes you feel physically hideous and repulsive. Believing this about yourself can affect your confidence even at work, in non-romantic situations. I wondered if women here had received compliments on their looks – from friends, co-workers, dates- that had made them realise that their ex was exaggerating about their physical imperfection and ugliness.

      I am a bit emotional this week and rambling a bit, because it’s coming up to that horrible time of year. Funny how dates of things affect you x

    • #15423
      White Rose
      Participant

      Hi serenity
      I’ve not been in dates as I still mistrust men. I’ve been flirted with which was lovely then it totally freaked me out and I went into blind panic mode. Fortunately it was some one I know pretty well and he understood and has kept friendly but knows my boundaries – I’m not saying never as I do quite like him and almost wish he’d start again.
      I hope I’ll know when I’m ready to date but won’t be using dating websites tried that before and look where it got me – here!!!! I know my ex is on them again as a friend of mine (met since we split) was attracted to his profile and contacted him, it was only when she was chatting about him I recognised some of his hobbies and joked saying watch out he sounds just like *****. She showed me and b**w me it was him. I went cold, it shook her up too and she gently but politely withdrew her interest.
      I think you’ll know she the times right – you’re boy’s will vet anyone you meet I’m sure and look out for you xx

    • #15424
      Serenity
      Participant

      Hi Healthy Archive,

      It’s good to know that there’s a chance my abuser’s view might not be completely objective!

    • #15452
      Confused123
      Participant

      Hi

      So annoying i just gave u a nice reply and it got deleted. Yes join a few dating sites it will boost your confidence, i too find it hard to accept compliments from guys as ex broke and stole my confidence, i just accept compliment then think later what did they see that i cant see, its good opportunity to boost your confidence in chatting with guys, i think this is what i enjoyed the most, some guys just made me laugh so much, some chatted just as friends and u always get he ones after sex. For me it was a positive experience, i spotted red flags straight away and knew who to keep away from and kept myself safe. Im actually in process of starting confidence class and hopefully it will come bk to me, i just see the whole realtionship with ex as traumatic and painful to recover. I think we get to age and we think F*** i wasted so much time with u. Pamper yourself and love yoursself, I say i want a realtionsship again in 1-2 years time, at moment i am trying to settle my family life so think now would be wrong time to date, i dread the time i have to get intimate , mye x really messed my head up,but everyday i try to heal. You are a beautiful lady to, when i see u i can see a strong confident lady, thats what they saw inn us and destroyed , i beleive its still there we just have to have faith in ourselves. Try the dating sites for a laugh, u dont have to meet up if u dont want to

    • #15464
      Ayanna
      Participant

      I do not need any f****** man to give me compliments. I can see that I improve when I look in the mirror. I looked very old when I lived in hell. A few months out and my face looks already better. I used to look much younger than my age. I am getting there again. The only thing I need to overcome now is the binge eating so that I lose the weight that I piled on. Then I will be such a model again and men will crave me. But I will just show them the middle finger. Hahaha!

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