A woman in an emotionally abusive relationship asks what self-esteem CDs she can listen to, in order to drown out the insulting voice of her significant other, who is significantly making her miserable.. Dear Belleruth,

I am in a relationship with a man.....he says horrible things to me about my weight.... when it gets bad, I kinda leave....but I’m too scared not to have any male friend.... I suffer from loneliness, really, and feeling unattractive.... It took so long to have someone interested in me, I’m afraid to give him up. But at the same time, I feel a little uncomfy in his presence. Then I feel bad that I am looking at him and not at me....then I think I am just too tense .....and it’s affecting my health.....I smile less.....I am not working yet.....so I just wondered if I could practice a visualization... I’m looking for some help. I know I am sabotaging myself. Any suggestions?? Is there a CD to help?

Anna P.

Dear Anna,
We do have some guided imagery that speaks to this self-esteem issue: David Illig’s Self Esteem , Shirley McNeal’s Core Inner Strength , Martha Howard’s Keys to Your Highest Potential and my Self-Confidence & Peak Performance . But I fear that if you don’t get rid of this miserable loser, who tries to feel better about himself by putting you down, listening to these CDs will scarcely make a dent. They can’t compete with the steady onslaught of insults coming from this turkey. And, trust me, the net effect of this relationship on your already shaky self-esteem is far more debilitating than anything a little loneliness would do.

Now, that’s not to say that he is solely responsible for your poor self-image. You would have had to have been suffering from this to begin with, or you would never have put up with his very bad manners in the first place. But he’s making it worse. The fact that it makes you ‘a little uncomfy’ is a GOOD thing! It should!

You’ll have a much better shot at working on the self-esteem without the regular barrage of insulting feedback from Mr. Wonderful. You know it, too - that’s clear from your email. So, my suggestion: (1) dump the guy, (2) see a therapist or counselor or join a support group, and (3) try one of these CDs ... not necessarily in that order - any order will do!

Good luck and take care,