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I didn’t like the feeling that I was such a disappointment; as long as I was trying harder, the teacher felt like she was in control.

It served her purpose to define me as frustrating and difficult or lazy and exhausting.

As long as I was feeling shamed and trying to please her, she knew she had the power. When I felt bad, I tried harder to please her; when I tried harder, she felt better about herself.

It served her purpose to define me in ways that hurt my self-esteem because I would focus on HER and on pleasing her.

If my teacher had ever validated me (like a confident, healthy, teacher who was secure in her own self-esteem might have done) I could have relaxed and flourished in the warmth of her approval.

Their purpose or motive for the way that they treat you is actually about what serves them much more than it is the way that they see you.

These people have a motive and it isn’t a motive driven by love, it is a motive driven by the desire to have control.

Understanding this made all the difference in the world in my recovery and in overcoming the false definitions of “me” that had been put on me by abusive, uncaring, controllers and manipulators who felt entitled to treat me like I didn’t matter.

The ways that I was treated by these people communicated to me that they were more important than I was.

Part of the way that they convinced me of my lesser value was through the subtle or obvious messages that something was ‘missing’ or ‘wrong’ with me and with my reactions to life.

When I was a child and my teacher yelled at me saying that I wasn’t paying attention because I didn’t have the right answer, and then she rolled her eyes and added that I was such a frustrating child, I reacted by trying harder.

I didn’t like being shamed in front of the entire class.

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