Feeling better about myself when boys (and later on, men) noticed me and paid attention to me.
I couldn't (and still have great difficulty) mustering self-esteem but I can feel esteem when I receive forms of external validation from men.
Being complimented or flirted with or even spoken to as an equal makes me feel good about myself. But why is that?
It's nice when women behave that way with me as well but it doesn't have the same effect on me. Nor does it generate the same internal feelings.
Typing it out:
- As a child I liked having "boyfriends" in grade school because it made me feel normal
- MOH suggested it might have been an early manifestation of my need to always have people around me
- Being around others also made it more difficult for [the bully] to get at me, as he only did things to me when we were alone
- I was often teased for being ugly so having "boyfriends" counter-acted those hurtful words
- there wasn't a lot of affection in my family growing up, so I got that from my boyfriends as I grew older
- I have never believed that I was or am "pretty" or "beautiful" - I will say I can be "cute" or "interesting looking" and occasionally "sexy" but it takes some effort & being flirted with by ex-lovers or others makes me think that maybe I still have some spark that can attract people <I know MOH loves me no matter how fat I am because he loves me for my soul and my mind>
- Knowing that people are attracted to me but that I am faithful to MOH gives me control of a situation, plus esteem and pride at my own morals
- I see the worth in other people in their personalities and behaviour and how they live their lives but I find it impossible to view myself in that manner and I have not figured out how to re-frame myself in the same way