I don’t know if I can love myself just yet, but I can respect myself. And yes, I’m talking about sex.
Without going into the gory details, let’s just say that I learned at an early age what men want. As I grew into adolescence, I also learned how to use that to get what I wanted. I told myself that it was just sex; It was meaningless. If that were really true then I wouldn’t have needed years of therapy. Here is how this works: Get abused and feel powerless, then find a way to exert power and control over someone else. I used my sexuality to control men. While this sounds terrible, I’m sure nearly every married woman has done it. He washes the dishes so you have sex with him. The next time he washes the dishes, you do it again. Pretty soon you have developed a pattern of behavior. It doesn’t take Pavlov to figure that one out.
So how does this affect me? Simple, when you do wrong, it eats away at you. Guilt and disrespect set in. This is disrespect done to yourself. You begin to disrespect yourself. You detest your own actions and thus lose this little thing called self respect.
How do you regain self respect? First, you must forgive yourself for your previous transgressions. God has already forgiven you if you have asked Him. Now it’s your turn. Accept that you are flawed. Accept that you were stupid. But make the decision to change that as you move forward.
I will respect myself. I will not use sex as a tool to get what I want. I will keep myself for that real man. I won’t let anyone use me. I am special. I deserve better. I deserve a relationship where sex isn’t a tool, but a loving expression between two people who don’t need to exercise control.