She doesn’t believe any of the compliments that she hears, but whenever someone makes a nasty comment about her, it stays in her mind for weeks, months, years. Those words eat her alive, because it’s easy for her to believe the negative things about her and impossible for her to believe the positive.
She wants to love herself. She wants to believe that she has worth, that she’s beautiful inside and out. But whenever she glances at the mirror, she finds a flaw. Whenever she sees a photograph of herself, it makes her want to cringe.
She has trouble loving herself, because she knows herself too well. Whenever someone lists off the good things about her, she can balance it out by listing just as many bad things: She’s selfish. She’s obsessive. She’s vain. She’s not as nice as everyone thinks she is.
Even her closest friends don’t know the real her — there are dark parts that she keeps to herself — so when they tell her they love her, that she’s a good person, they’re complimenting the person she pretends to be. Not the real her.
The real her is awkward, embarrassing. The real her is someone she tries to hide. Someone that she wishes were different.
Of course, she acts like she loves herself. She puts on a show by smiling wide and posting selfies with inspirational captions about how beautiful she is, about how beautiful all women are.
And she does believe all women are beautiful — except for herself.
She can see the worth in others, but it’s so hard for her to see it in herself. It’s hard for her to wake up without dreading the day, for her to stand tall in a room full of girls she wished she looked more like.
She has trouble loving herself, because no one ever taught her how. Exes have taught her to hate how loud and emotional and clingy she is. Social media has taught her to hate how heavy or hairy or pimply she is.
But no one has taught her how to love herself, how to deal with the nasty thoughts that enter her mind whenever she doesn’t get a text back or tells a joke that no one laughed at.
No one has ever taught her that it’s okay to feel like a failure. That even the most successful, talented, beautiful people have days when they hate themselves, when they wish they were in a new body with a new personality.
She has trouble loving herself, because she doesn’t know how. But she’s trying her best to figure it out.