Increasing Self-Esteem/Confusion


I feel a person I don't like myself and honestly never have. I was abused in a way by my grandfather and Dad between the age of 11-14 nothing was ever done about this and my own mother didn't take note, at the age of 14 I started a relationship which was physically and mentally abusive, went through an abortion on my own at the age of 17 with no support whatsoever (refused to bring a child into the world in that type of relationship). At 19 I met an amazing man, 16 years down the line we are still together, married and have two amazing children, but the problems come down to me... I do not feel that I am good enough for him, I don't see myself the way him and other people see me. 7 years ago he made us move to Canada which was the worse move ever, we lasted a year over there before I needed to come back, we lost everything and I lost myself completely. I have had 2 knee operations and melanoma since moving back. I have never truly thought that he wants me and never though myself good enough.I have now cheated on him twice (due to feeling noticed and wanted) and he is willing to forgive me, I want my marriage to work but I know I need to sort out the skeletons from my past, I don't know how to do this, have no idea if this is where the problems stem from, have no idea how to think myself even worthy, don't know how I am to like myself, confused is an understatement

Hi Dawn,

I understand how you feel and I hope we can do something about it. First of all, you need to realise that your problems do not lie in the past, however rough this was. Your problems lie in the here and now and we can do something about it. There may be nothing wrong with your mind, but with your body unable to manufacture feel-good chemicals, that makes you feel lousy.  You said you have always had a low self-esteem. No doubt the way you have been treated may have contributed to this.  But as a result or perhaps because of a pre-existing condition, It could well be that you have had a metabolic disorder that you may have inherited from you parents. This may explain why your parents were not happy themselves, and were not able to be so good parents. Probably they too suffered from excess production of stress hormones.   Looking at a low self-esteem please read:

Treatment of a Low Self Esteem

If you want to test yourself for hypoglycemia go to:

Testing for Hypoglycemia by Questionnaires
  Nutrition-Behavior Inventory (NBI)

If you score high it may be an indication that you could be  hypoglycemic (  This is a silent disease that is responsible for excess production of stress hormones - like adrenaline and cortisol - and which may trigger depression, anxiety or a low self-esteem.

You need to understand that we have to FIRST treat any biological abnormality - that cannot be treated by talk-therapy - BEFORE we look at the psychological angles of your problems.  Once you start to feel better on the hypoglycemic diet I suggest you and your husband study the self-help psychotherapy course as explained at;

Nine weeks chapters of the course, index of psychotherapy course
Psychotherapy Course

This enables you and your husband to understand you better.

If for any reason this approach does not help you - but please give it time - I suggest you get a referral to a nutritional doctor, because there are many reasons for a biological disorder to interfere with neurotransmitters production apart from hypoglycemia.

You might also want join: for more information.
If you want to you can discuss this with your doctor or nutritional doctor.

I hope I have been of some help.

Jurriaan Plesman BA (Psych) Post Grad Dip Clin Nutrition
Editor of the Hypoglycemic Association of Australia
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Increasing Self-Esteem

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Jurriaan Plesman, Nutritional Psychotherapist


I have a degree in Psychology from the Sydney University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition. I am also the author of “GETTING OFF THE HOOK” which deals with the nutritional and psychological treatment of personality disorders. It is freely available on the internet at Google Book Search. I am interested in the relationship between nutrition and behaviour, and as a Probation ans Parole Officer facilitated groups for offenders, many of whom were alcoholics and drug addicts, sex offenders or compulsive gamblers, as well as the whole gamut of “personality disorders”. I am also the ex-editor of the Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia Newsletter, a quarterly publication dealing with hypoglycemia and related health problems. Its web site, together with a shortened course of PSYCHOTHERAPY can be visited at:


Depression, Anxiety Attacks and Self-Esteem Problems, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism, Gambling, as well as the whole gamut of personality disorders.

Author of the book "Getting off the Hook". It is freely available on the internet at Google Book Search. My articles can be found at:

BA (Psych) (University of Sydney), Post Grad Dip Clin Nutr (International Academy of Nutrition)

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