Friday, April 9, 2010


So the Wednesday group at LDSFS is the expectant parent group. And this week's group was about self-esteem. Let's just say I had a few people try to knock down my self-esteem in the past week. ESPECIALLY people who clearly don't even know me AT ALL. And of course, on my formspring I get those anonymous comments like, "You're a beezy." "You're selfish." "You're immature." Blah blah blah. I'm like really? Call me immature one more time before you comment because you ANONYMOUSLY calling me that really means you can't say it to my face. Andee asked me why I get so many people who attack me on my Formspring.
Maybe because my outspoken sarcasm hurts peoples feelings. Please tell your therapist, your mom, your non-existent boyfriend or write on your blog how mean of a person I am. And that I'm just a big bully. Puh-Leez. I don't lie awake at night thinking about anything that you guys have said to me. But clearly, when you pick at a person, and you get told that, it does sort of make you think that you maybe ARE that kind of person. Maybe I am a beezy. Maybe I am selfish. Maybe I am immature.

Wednesday group: I wasn't there for the whole thing just because I had to work that night. But the group was posted on the birthmom blog for the agency. I walked into the room and saw plastered on the wall all of these words:






Stretch Marks



Alone Forever

Not enough










Just sort of a reminder of how much you hate yourself and how you look right?

One of the case workers had us list 10 "negative statements you tell yourself."

How about you take the time and do it yourself. :) It might help you if you're having issues with this situation.

This is my list--
I need to work out/tan

I'm a terrible fiance

My make up/hair sucks

I'm a slut

I'm immature/selfish

I'm rude and inappropriate

I'm stupid/unintelligent

I'm hopeless

I am just one big mistake and I make lots of them

I can never be enough

At this point, (as I'm sure you are too if you are doing this with me) I was feeling very down on myself. I am the scum of the earth. Look how awful I am.

The case worker then had us read some "Thinking Distortions." These are things that we do to make ourselves feel down on ourselves. (ps, i do most of you?)

1. All-or-Nothing Thinking.
You see things in black and white categories.
If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

2. Overgeneralization.
You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

3. Mental Filter.
You pick a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.

4. Disqualifying the Positive.
You reject positive experiences by insisting that they don't count for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

5. Jumping to conclusions.
You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.

A. Mind reading.
You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don't bother to check it out.

B. The Fortune Telling Error.
You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you will feel convinced that your prediction is an already established fact.

6. Magnification, Catastrophizing, or Minimization.
You exaggerate the importance of things (such as failure, falling short of the mark, or someone else's achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny ( your good and desirable qualities or someone else's limitations).

--(Feeling pretty down yet? Oh yeah, Me too. It gets worse...)--

7. Emotional Reasoning.
You asume that your negative emotions necissarily reflect the way things really are, "I feel it, so it must be true. "

8. Should Statements.
You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn'ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could accomplish anything. "Musts" and "oughts" also fall into this faulty-thinking category. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.

9. Labeling and Mislabeling.
This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself, "I'm a loser." When someone else's behavior rubs you the wrong way you attach a negative label to him, "He's a jerk." Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

10. Personalization
You see yourself as the cause of some problem, or take on someone's opinion as having more value than it does.

Ok, what categories do you fit into? I fit into most of them, if not all of them. They are called "thinking distortions" for a reason.

What does "Self Esteem" mean exactly? How do I get this?

Self Esteem--A way of thinking, feeling, and acting that implies that youaccept, respect, trust, andbelieve in yourself.

To accept means that you can live comfortably with your strengths AND weaknesses without self criticism. How often do we put ourselves down for what we CAN'T do?

respect means that you acknowledge your own dignity and value as an unique human being. You are different. From EVERYONE. Thank goodness, eh?

Self trust- your behaviors and feelings are consistent despite changes.

Believe- You feel you deserve to have the good things in life. You can fulfill all your goals with confidence. And trust me, you DO deserve it.

Ok, now that we know what it means, what do you do when you feel "down"? What do you do that replaces self esteem? You feel down, so you must fill up the space with...what? Write at least five down. They can be positive or negative "addictions". When we start using these things for make up for our lack of self esteem, we become addicted. These are my addictions.

*Getting my hair done
*Eating Fast Food :)
*Taking Pictures

Shopping could be a negative or a postive. I feel ugly, so I go buy a new pair of shoes. Or, I feel that my hair makes me look nasty so I'm going to go get my hair done and get a pedicure and spend at least $200 and a therapy situation with my hair dresser (who happens to be my BFF from high school). Blogging could also be both. I blog to feel better emotionally. But sometimes, I blog to get comments to seek approval. Look at your list. Does your list go both ways?

Ok. Look back at that horrible list of negative statements I made you write. I now want you to write ON A SEPARATE sheet of paper the OPPOSITE of everything that you put on that list. Make sure they are "I am.." statements, not "I am not.." statements. This is mine.

I am skinny/have flawless skin and beautiful

I am an AWESOME fiance

I have beautiful hair and makeup always :)

I am a great person, I respect myself

I am mature and selfless.

I am a very kind person

I am intellegent

I am going to accomplish a lot

I make great decisions

I am good enough and do enough

Now, I want you to read YOUR list out loud to yourself. How does it make you feel? Everyone in the room assured me that is how they view me. That is the person that I am. You are the "positive affirmations" you just listed. The person that I strive to be has those qualities I just listed...and I am already there. I just need to remember that I am that person. You need to remember that you are that person you just described on your sheet of paper. That is how God sees you, that is how your family, friends, and loved ones see you. You are an amazing Daughter (or Son) of God.

Last step. Goals. List the goals that you
deserve and are worthy of.
This is my list:
*An Awesome Husband (Kind, Worthy Priesthood Holder, Loving, Caring, Selfless, etc.)
* Find a job that will provide for me and my husband
*Graduate from Dental Assisting school
* Look and feel my best
*Temple Marriage :)
*Be Happy
*Be Trustworthy

I deserve and am worthy of all those things. I may not feel like it all the time, but I do. Those goals you deserve and are worthy of them too.

Let Your Light So Shine
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
You're playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not justs in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
--Marianne Williamson

I just want you all to know some accomplishments that have been happening in my life. The things that I have worked hard for are FINALLY paying off. I have been working two jobs. It's stressful and I'm just ready to have one job and make money, save money for the wedding and all of that. I'm ALMOST done with my extern hours at the dental office. Which means, I can get a job soon. And I talked with my teacher and I'll be graduating May 19 :) I'll hopefully done with my hours before the end of the month. It's awesome to finally be done with school and know that I can go through whatever I put my mind to it.
Some of you may have heard. The wedding day is being pushed a little bit. Hopefully not too much. We're looking at something in the fall. Tayler's work is really being... ahem... anal and won't let him transfer until after 6 months. And he transfered from Boise to Burley end of March beginning of April. So he might not be able to transfer until October. But maybe we'll have a September wedding. :) We'll see.

I just want you all to know that I'm grateful for adoption and where I'm at in my life today. Yes, I've been across some bumpy roads. But overall, I'm at an awesome place in my life. And I know a lot of the things that I have accomplished, probably wouldn't have happened unless adoption was apart of my life. I'm extremely happy. I thought you know, I was going to be stuck. Living the same life I used to. I'm working hard for a temple recommend and a temple marriage. I can't wait for the day. I want to make others proud, but I also want to make myself proud with everything that I've put my mind to. I've gotten there by motivating myself. :) Shoot, my negative self-esteem won't knock me down. Look, where I'm at. Yep. I'm bragging. Don't hate.


  1. I think that this is an awesome post Stef. We all have our problems, we have our down moments and our up moments. But i agree with the whole calling someone crude names when you dont even know the person. Or you base your judement on what people have told you about the person. And not letting things like that get to your head or lower your self-esteem makes you a better person.

  2. This is an amazing post! You're absolutely right about it all and I think I will be using this in my own life :) Thanks, even though you never come on BG anymore I adore your blog and I keep up with it :D (Mama Mallo from BG)

  3. I can't believe that she would call you that. And you really should stop your formspring if people are leaving you messages like that. You don't need that. I don't think I could take it if I got messages like that.

    And I'm glad you did the exercise where you turned your negative statements into positive ones. Because the positive ones are the true ones. I love you and wouldn't want you thinking those negative things about yourself. I can't fault you because I do the same things and I shouldn't.

    I am really proud of you for getting done with school. :) Way to go for working 2 jobs. I did that for a while and it sucked. You are awesome, keep it up!

    And stop responding to the haters. That's just what they want.

  4. I needed to read this post, especially today! It made me feel a lot better about myself. Thanks for sharing:]

  5. I just want you to know I think your AMAZING! And those people who judge you... have low self esteem if they have to pick on someone to make themselves feel better. PRETTY SAD, when you think about it that way, who has the issue!!
    Your Christ-like! Beautiful! You have done something that took STRENGTH AND COURAGE~! I am sure you have many talents and I can tell from your posts your heart is so good! :)
    IGNORE THE IGNORANT! STAND TALL AND PROUD AND KNOW THEY ARE NOTHING AND NO ONE! The only one opinion that really should matters is YOURS! :)
    Just remember GOD DON'T MAKE JUNK! :) I love that saying!
    well thanks for reminding us to all be kind to ourselves. We can be our best friends or our worst enemies :)

  6. I may be redundant, but this is an AWESOME post. It IS hard to have people berating you--no matter how strong and resilient you are. Those thinking distortions can be really powerful so it's great to recognize them for what they are and shoo them away.

    We're so sorry that the wedding date is being delayed! We were really hoping that his work would be flexible so it could still be in August. :(

    You have and are working so hard an achieving all the things you want. It's very admirable. We love ya!

  7. I don't usually comment on blogs, especially someone's blog that I don't know! I have a love for adoption/birthparents blogs and found yours a little bit ago while blog hopping. I'm not a birthmother or adoptive mother, just someone that believes and is passionate about adoption. One of the first post I read of yours, you mentioned you work at JCW's. I worked there a short time too. Of course it was 10 years ago when I was 16! So when I heard you where from the same area I'm from (my husbands from AF, I'm from Highland) it caught my attention and so I like to check up on you now and again. Tonight I read your resent post about your friend (so sorry), your engagement (congratulations!) and your harsh comments others are leaving you. I have things in my life I'm pretty open about and others I'm not, people are different when it comes to this. Keep your head held high. Anything you say in life may offend people OR it can help someone. Continue being you for those you are helping. Cope with your loss (both Olivia and Jessica) the best way for YOU. Others might say you are self-fish... being a birth mother is the LEAST self thing you can do. I admire every birth mother, including you! Keep that pretty smile on your face : )

  8. the haters obviously have never been in the single parenting/placing boat. I don't get how they can not understand what a heart wrenching decision it is no matter what you do. you feel scared to death and helpless. I believe that you did what you, and God, decided was best for both you and the baby.
    don't listen to 'em.