Unhealthy messages like: “Men are no good, so you had better make sure you get a good education” plagued my self-esteem and fueled my fears about men and relationships. I became afraid of intimacy, fearing I would be abandoned. I believed I had to use my body to manipulate men, and use them before they used me. My mother also told me: “Don’t ever depend on a man for anything.” As I entered adulthood, I continually found myself in unhealthy relationships that reinforced those old “tapes” from my mother.

S-Anon has given me new “tapes” from healthy people. I have made tremendous progress in replacing the old negative messages with new messages about the real me the person I was born to be. Now I believe I have the courage and wisdom to make good choices for myself. I am learning to embrace my real self like a cherished friend, and I am able to be in relationships and share my truth with others.

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 35.

 February 22, 2021

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