Perceptions and Confidence

Last week my sister graduated from university, with a 2:1 in Business Studies and Human Resources. As an older sibling, it felt somewhat weird to see this young woman, who I remember visiting in hospital hours after she was born, wearing a gown and mortar board. I felt a huge sense of pride seeing her hard work and commitment being rewarded with a degree certificate.

Graduation 1

It was yet another occasion where someone was missed. I felt a sadness that our mum wasn't there to witness how this once tiny bundle has positively flourished in to a strong, clever, bright young woman.

It would of course be easy to suggest that our mum's death scarred us. That we went off the rails because of it and to wallow in self-pity and anger at the unfairness of it all. And for many years, I did, without realising it.

For a short time it gave me a sense of determination. It was, after all, her death which became the trigger for me to get a job, to move out of the hostel and then meet my husband. However, it also gave me an excuse to be irresponsible. To do things which I never thought I would do, to largely wear a mask, making myself vulnerable only to those I trusted.

For a number of years I was plagued my fear and insecurity. I was paranoid that every little disagreement would see the husband leave me, call our relationship off. He deserved someone who knew, always, that they were loved and adored. Getting engaged, then married and then having a child all briefly helped but ultimately that voice would win, the one that tells me I am not good enough. Except now it changed.  Not only was the husband going to leave me, he would take Harry, I'd never see him again. Harry would grow to hate me, never know how much I love him. Maybe those naysayers were right and I haven't done my best to create a secure and loving environment for me. The mask of confidence and self-assurance is off in private.

More recently I have become insecure about my appearance. I have put on weight and whilst I am not overweight I am bigger than I would like to be. I took this picture of me at my sister's house last week.

Skirt from Joules, top from Warehouse
Skirt from Joules, top from Warehouse

Whilst people told me I looked nice, I didn't, still don't I suppose, believe them. I have found myself analysing this one over and over, pointing out the bits I am unhappy with. It's a strange place for me to be in as I have never really felt that I want to lose weight and I find myself working out ways to do so. I found myself comparing myself to my sisters, which is just silly because I am now in my early thirties and have a child (as well as having my mobility issues) whereas they are late teens and early twenties. I know before I had Harry my figure was very similar.

I am working on changing my perception of myself. A bit at a time I hope to have confidence that I have never had. To accept that I won't have the body I want but I can make the best of the one that I have. To realise that my husband does love me and works pretty darn hard to reassure me of that despite any difficulties we may have had. To prepare myself to be able to grab opportunities that come my way and not think I am not good enough or convince myself that I will fail. Most of all, to become the person I want to be.

My sister, that once small bundle wrapped in a blanket in our mother's arm, has proven that your past doesn't have to haunt you. Maybe I can finally do the same.

Disclosure: I was sent the skirt by Joules (which I love by the way!). The content in this post is my own thoughts and ramblings.

10 thoughts on “Perceptions and Confidence

  1. Congratulations to your sister, you must have been so proud. I imagine you are very close, losing your mum at such a crucial time. I completely understand your feelings around what you look like, I do wonder if that will every leave me! I'm not overweight either but always look in the mirror and spot the things I don't like. Is this just a trait of women? I so don't want my girls to grow up feeling like this. You looked lovely by the way, really like your hair a bit lighter 🙂
    suzanne3childrenandit recently posted..The Final CurtainMy Profile

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    1. Thank you. I worry about passing my insecurities down, to Harry, to my sister's partner's children. I worry that these insecurities aren't healthy and they probably are not. Somehow I need to stop them, sometimes they control me in an unhealthy way.

      Thank you for commenting. Xx
      Mummy Glitzer recently posted..Perceptions and ConfidenceMy Profile

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  2. Gosh, your sister looks like you! I think we all have moments of insecurity and we all look in the mirror and only see the things we want to change. My father died when I was 19 and although I thought I coped well at the time, I look back at my early twenties and the self destructive behaviour and realise now that I really didn't. Meeting my husband was a turning point for me too. I really believe that self awareness is the biggest step towards making the changes that we want xx #ShareWithMe
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  3. What a moving and honest post. Nobody could go through the loss of a parent without some scarring. Now my son is 13, we've been reflecting on the difference between his life and my husband's - my husband lost his dad at 13.
    Congratulations to your sister! (I can't believe how alike you look.)
    It's hard not to beat yourself up about things - and looks are an easy target. You really don't look overweight at all and it's good that you are trying to change the way you see yourself.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..SleepoverMy Profile

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    1. Post author

      That's interesting, that you are now comparing your husband's life with your son's; I guess in a way I am doing that with my sister, as she goes through stages of life that I did without mum around. Thank you xx

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  4. Congrats to your sister for the graduation. I loved my graduation day.

    I'm sorry to hear about your struggles and especially about the loss of your mother.

    Don't be so hard on yourself, which is hard to do because I think humans can be very self-critical creatures.

    Corinne x
    Corinne recently posted..What I Ate WednesdayMy Profile

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  5. What an honest and greatly written post. Must be hard without your parent. And wow you look absolutely amazing in that photo at your sisters house and you both look so much alike. I love the outfit you put together too. We all have insecurities at times and get into ruts its just what we do about it that differs. I hope you feel better about yourself all dressed up because you truly looks great. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. Sorry for the delay in commenting we had no power for two days. #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted..Share With Me ~ wk 25My Profile

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