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My journey to self love: dealing with self hate (part 1)

Some days ago, I saw a post where a blogger wrote about her "flaws" that she has learned to love. That inspired me to want to do a similar post from a different angle. Today, I will be talking about how society taught me to hate myself.

This post is something I have been wanting to write for a long time but never had the strength to do. This subject will definitely have two parts because almost 10 years of self hate cannot be squeezed into one post. This post is about why I hated myself.

I grew up a happy child. My mum told me that I was a popular child in Wukari where I grew up. I have memories of having lots of friends, most of which were older than me. I was watching my 5th birthday party video some months ago and I noticed that I was also bossy lol.

Things started to change when I turned 6 I believe, we had a big move and I started living with my grandparents and extended family members (my mum was doing her masters and my dad was on a new career path). What exactly caused the change? I grew fat. I literally blew up. I had always had chubby cheeks so I guess the weight was bound to come eventually. Also, as a growing child, I ate everything put before me. My cousins and I ate the same meals but somehow I seemed to be the only one who grew fatter.

8/9 year old me

I kept growing over the years and then the name calling started. When I walked back home from school, the boys who played football in the area will stop playing and sing mean songs or point and laugh at me. At first, I brushed it off and went along with child like glee. But after some time, I started dreading the walk home and the humiliation I had to face. Adults didn't help either, almost everyone called me "fatty bum bum" and kept saying I was eating all the food in the house. I know they were teasing but these words were buried in my subconscious and replayed to me over the years.

Ever wonder why some girls can't go out without makeup? Read my post about loving your bareface here

Things definitely got worse when I got to boarding school. I was short, fat and yellow lol. I was definitely an easy target. Seniors picked on me, bullied me, poked jokes. My peers did the same. I remember one day some ss3 boys called me and just started laughing at me. I just wanted the world to open up and swallow me.

As puberty hit, acne set in and things got even worse. I was now a short fat yellow paw paw with pimples all over her face and some parts of her body.

I think I was 12/13 here

As my body started to fill out, I became even more self conscious of my image. People prescribed all sorts of remedies for my acne and weight. No one ever told me I was beautiful. The ages of 11-14 were probably my worst and darkest years. I contemplated bulimia (eating and then forcing myself to vomit the food after so I could still eat but not add weight). I hated seeing my body in the mirror. I remember a boy in my class once told me that I have the potential to be a figure 8 but at the rate I was going, I will only be a figure 0 (just round and shapeless basically). Also, a boy in my class decided it will be fun to call me "snake bite" which is apparently a popular football move. He said my walking step resembled the football move. Other classmates joined in and mimicked the walking step/football move when I came around or walked by. Most times I laughed it off but it hurt so deep inside.

Sometimes you just feel discontent with life. Read about how I deal with discontentment here

This was when I began loud, extra friendly and a people pleaser. I just wanted to be liked by both girls and boys. I hoped it will fill a void and a need for validation but it never did.

15 year old me

At the ages of 15-18, I wore American size 14-18. I was mostly a size 16 though. I tried dieting, starving, nothing worked. I didn't eat more than normal people but somehow, I just kept adding weight.

So I decided to set up a defence mechanism. I acted like I didn't care what people said about how I look. At first it was an act, but then I really started to not care. But the truth is, I still didn't love myself, I was just indifferent.

I was 16 here

I let myself be vulnerable in this post and I hope someone relates to it somehow. Did you ever struggle with your image and self esteem when you were younger? Leave a comment for me. 

My next post will be how I overcame self hatred. See you in my next post, xoxo.
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
PSALM 139:14 AMP

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  1. I can so relate to all this. All the self hate I had to go through. Pretending to be fine and happy on the outside but dying deep down on the inside. I felt ugly, unpleasant and disgusting. I started to hid and stay indoors at some point. But thanks be to God for helping me.

    Thanks Sike for sharing this. Many people don't know how much of a bold step this is. Bless you baby.

  2. Hey there! I totally feel you on this. My mom from growing up days till now always complains about my big butt. She judges whatever I wear saying it's too tight and it's showing my shape, especially my butt. She still does it till now. Telling me that I'm growing too fat because I have hips and butt. That fact made me so self conscious for a very significant part of my life. People also always abused my stomach. I've never had a flat stomach since I was a child. However, I chose to love myself especially the parts people seems to hate. And also to work on looking the way I hope for my body to look, not the way anyone thinks it should look. Like the Bible says in the verse you quoted, I am wonderfully and fearfully made.

  3. See as you fine like foreign winch��. Wow, thickumssss (drooling). The number of women these days that go for surgery just to have your hips! Mehnnn... Babe you're beautiful. And I love your skin color ��

    Im glad you finally did this post. Let every women out there know that body positivity is a journey and despite all our imperfections, WE ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL. Because beauty is not just about the way we look but in the way we feel, in the way we carry ourselves and in the way we treat other people.

    Thank you for sharing, Sike. Our world could use more of this inspiration.

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  5. I love this so much, it is really relatable. A lot of us have and have had things we were and have been made to feel insecure about. I'm happy you're sharing your truth, I think its brave.

  6. This is a beautiful piece, Sike. Really, it is. It makes one look within himself and reflect upon long gone days and emotions. That 13yr old you is one hell of a 13yr old o. So it's that fine girl that boys were making fun of? Idiots! And that boy in your class (the fig. 8:0) was really something. Initially, the post seemed long but when I got to the end, I was wishing it'd continue. Please, do write more often, OK? Your audience awaits! You guys are doing a great job, you and Lady Mokungah.

  7. Oh goodness! The vulnerability in this post enh... Thanks for sharing and you are gorgeous! I'm not even whining, I didn't know about your journey but the first time I saw your picture up here, I was like, this hanty is fine sha.
    Well done Sike! :-)

  8. Proud of you baby girl. This is amazing stuff.

  9. Wow, thanks for sharing. For me it was acne and growing up in an SU home. I just felt inadequate and too different(in a bad way), plus the teasing didn't help matters. Even till recently, when people compliment me, I just accept and say thanks without actually believing deep inside. It's better now though it's still a work in progress. But you are a very fine sister sha o. Since tey-tey sef.

  10. This is lovely... Somehow, most smiling faces have a thing to share... Glad you overcame this...

  11. OMG ! !!!! It was as though I was reading my life history when I was reading through ��.....i can so relate to you. I myself am still trying to love myself each passing day. I can't wait for your next post. God bless you real good hun.

  12. Nkasike Bride Gbana Istifanus, you're perfectly besutigul just the way you are and the way you were. I've had a crush on since highschool you know 😍😜

  13. Gunkat Blessing Humat6 June 2018 at 13:24

    I love you sweetie, so proud

  14. I can relate to this.. There was a time my family sat me down and said I'm getting too fat and I need to start working out(because I'm on the busty side) ..I didn't even know what to do cos I tried starving.. Waking up early despite my busy schedule to exercise but things didn't work out.
    Worst of all when I entered the university.. People started saying things like "aren't you a med student.. You're meant to be reducing but you're growing fatter"(it's not like I'm very fat like that sef����).. I didn't know what to do sef ..but this post has helped me mehn!
    I know now that I'm not alone in the struggle.
    Thanks.this is good stuff��

  15. Sike you are beautiful in and out. I remember when people used to call me ugly compared to my older sister when we were much younger, because I had craw craw, scars, rabbit teeth etc Now they swear we look alike, some even say I now look better... it’s crazy... the heart of man is insatiable. Adetoun

  16. This is amazing dear and totally relatable. Am really glad you did this.
    P.S; you are sooooooooo amazing!!!!

  17. I do hope you feel a sort of relief from sharing. My growing up years had a lot of distasteful moments so I understand your plight, even just a little bit.

    You really are beautiful. I’m sure you know that already

  18. Your post is truly inspiring. I suffered from the same pain as you did. I was skinny really skinny and small. People called me names and i pretended to not care. It affected my self image and bouts with depression made it even worse. It would take years for me to finally accept and love my self. Only if everyone around me then could understand that it was the genes 😂😂😂.

  19. Wow.. Sike this is really amazing. I can totally relate to your story.In my family I have always been the biggest among my siblings. They are all slim and tall and model like and I was called different nicknames like Orobo, fatty bum bum. In fact I was practically the weakest child because I was asthmatic and I had a big navel that burst and I had to do surgery for and I had bow legs not the normal bow legs you would probably see me have now, because I actually had to do surgery to reduce the bow leg abit. So I was the only one with so many flaws and I hated it. I hated myself. At one point in my life I felt I should just die and save my family the stress of having to deal with me. My family loves me, and I know teasing me about my flaws meant no harm but it did and because of that I became reserved. As a child in primary school I couldn't behave like every other child. I couldn't play sports because of asthma.I couldn't fit in. when I went to the boarding house, My seniors yabbed me because of my bad bow legs. I was discriminated and called bow-legged human being. I didn't really have friends in my junior year because I couldn't fit in. In my jss3 my dad finally decided to do surgery for me to correct my legs and when i went back wit crutches in ss1, people started tring to relate with me lol the irony right? . My dad was the one that saw what I was going through and he never let me feel left oUT or unloved. I didn't love myself for a long time in my life. I am still kinda struggling with trying to hide myself but God has been my strength and He said that I am wonderfully and fearfully made in his image. He filled me with love and now I have enough love to share. I am so proud of you dear for doing this.
    You are beautiful in every way

  20. Sike are beautiful and courageous. I love you!

  21. This must have taken you so deeo to write. Well done girl. You are beautiful and nothing can undermine that. Your weight does not define you xx

  22. And see how you v turned out to be. An inspiration to others. This is inspiring and I am sure a lot of us will and have benefited from your story. #braveSoul.

  23. The stuff in this post is very relatable. People make such damaging jokes sometimes without realising how it might affect the person being jokes about. We need to try to be more sensitive even with what we joke about, your joke may be leaving long term scars.

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  25. Thanks for posting thiS. This experience has led to some ladies being insecure and basking in low self esteem. Thank God for God.
    My most concern are for those that started taking drugs to aid their 'weight loss'and ended up being addicted and dependent on those drugs.
    The truth is when people go through this, they try to find solace in different unbelievable things.
    I pray the Holy Spirit intervene, encourage and open their eyes to see the beauty that people's comment and reactions have locked away.

  26. Ah Sike! You are so beautiful and always will no matter how society tries to tell you otherwise. I had a low self-esteem as a child due to the neighbours I had as a child,they called me all sorts of names until I started to see myself that way. My parents showered me with love,care,attention and providence but I felt like that wasn't enough, I felt ugly. Fast forward to my teenage years,I had guys flocking around me asking me out for relationships; the reason I thought they came was because I was ugly... Sike,the story is long but today I've learnt to accept my beautiful self for who God has created me to be. You are beautiful