It is difficult to look at this radiant 55-year-old woman and believe that she was ever lacking in self-esteem. A survivor of an abusive marriage, Peggy was gracious enough to share the story of how she rebuilt her confidence and identity as a single mom in her 40s.
I am 55 years old. I have two beautiful boys, ages 16 and 20. I have been divorced for twelve long years from a very verbally abusive relationship. I had lost all my self-esteem and it took almost nine years to get it back. This last three years has been time finding out who I am and what I love to do. I am one lucky woman to have so many friends who love me and were there through my tough years, but most of all are with me today.
I was married for eleven years to a narcissistic man and subjected to constant, daily criticism of how my body needed improvement. When we were on a trip to Cozumel, he told me to “suck in your gut.” When he walked away, a friend who overheard him said, “Did I just hear him to tell you to suck in your gut?” She was shocked.
When we were filing for divorce he told me: “You’re 43 years old with two kids, who’s going to want you?” I said, “Me! I want me back!” Those words burned in my brain and got me going.
Since then I read a few self-help books, a light daily reading. Zen And The Art Of Happiness, by Chris Prentiss, and You Can Be Happy No Matter What by Richard Carlson, PhD. I changed my thoughts about myself. I know I’m placed on this earth just as equal as anyone else.
Today, I am positive, happy, confident, and surrounded by good friends. I help people of all ages every day by choice. I enjoy putting a smile on someone’s face without even trying. There are so many people who walk around with such a gloom. Then I stop and give them a simple compliment. It is so brilliant to see a genuine smile in return.