Survivors of relational trauma and complex PTSD (my areas of specialization) often find it difficult to feel good about themselves. Everyone’s self-image grows, at least in part, out of our relationships with other people. Good relationships help cultivate a sense of trust in others and promote healthy emotional development. Abusive or neglectful relationships lead to inner turmoil, negative self-dialogue, and low self-esteem. When someone we love and expect to nurture and protect us is critical, demeaning, or shaming, we come to believe and internalize these messages. Words that abusers deliver, such as "you are worthless," and "you can't do anything right" become ingrained in our internal dialogue and we repeat them to ourselves without even noticing. Rebuilding self-esteem is a gradual process. With the right support, you can make healing changes and move on with your life.
— Smadar Salzman, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA