You asked what assults on your self esteem did you have as a child......... I wont go into it all, as I am just now starting to see alot of what happened, for the first time myself.
But I can say,,,,,, I had too much put on such small shoulders as a child. I had to be as near perfect as possible or face the disappointment from my dad. I dont think I was ever allowed to be a child....... I dont think anyone ever said to me, that kids make mistakes it is ok, we will work it out. Instead I was made to feel ashamed , made to feel responsible for making my parents sad, or for the fights they had.
Just remembering all the things I felt, memories like flashes of pictures that come back to me,,,, I dont know how I have come to be such a good friend to myself as I have. I actually like myself, I give myself plenty of slack where I fall short, I am beginning to trust myself , my feelings.
I really think that my husband's encouragement and constant reassurance has finally made a dent that I am a good person, and that the world is not going to fall apart , even when at times I do. I have learned to let myself be not nearly perfect and I am not in a constant state of pain, worry, anxiety, and stomach ulcers.
I also think by having my own children , who I am raising to be free thinkers, and I am letting them have their childhoods and I never burden them with things that will make them question if they are good enough. I tell them all the time they are perfect just the way they are,,,,,,,,even if they act like monsters, and they know they do,,, I wouldnt want them any other way. At least I can see the free, independant spirit in them , that I think I had deep inside of myself as a child, otherwise I might not have made it thru it all.
I think that I have let myself have the childhood I didnt get back then.......in some ways. Mainly by not being too hard and critical of myself , and learning to love myself now as an adult, All children should love themselves and think they are special, if they dont , they will never love themselves as adults.
It is really sad that so many of us exjws, are just now learning to be our own best friend.
Many of us had parents with so many problems, they only thought of themselves and drug the kids thru the mud with them. Then the WT told our parents how to discipline us, how to give us the tough love that really is not always necessary, and that we shouldnt love ourselves at all. It was engrained in our head to love Jehovah so much that there was little left for anyone or anything eles. The WT always loves to use the word balance. They give that word lip service , they dont know the meaning of it.
I have enjoyed this last year getting away from the JW and my old ways of thinking, and torturing myself as I was taught to do. I dont have to answer for every little thing I dont do anymore, I dont have to answer to men in bethel anymore, and I dont have to listen to elders coming by my house and telling me I am not doing enough..........translated you are letting us down, you are letting Jehovah down etc.
It is a great feeling to see all of that for what it really was, and that it wasnt you afterall who was not worthy of happiness, and that now,,,,,,,,,, you dont have to listen to it anymore. I know I am happier than I have ever been because I can be the real me,,,,,,,,,at least what I know of myself so far.