Finding yourself through losing yourself

Hi my name is Rasia. I am witches_brew_ on IG. I am a 38 year old mom of 5 from an indigenous background. I changed the focus of my IG page around January or march of 2016 when I decided to leave my abusive marriage of 9 and a half years. Before I allowed myself to leave I had to ask myself or more like figure out why I would allow someone to treat me so disrespectfully . What was it about me that attracted a man like this . The answer i came up with was self love, self acceptance, and self worth or the lack thereof. I didn't value myself as a woman. I accepted the bare minimum while giving him 210% because I didn't feel I was lovable or worthy of love. When I examined this belief closely, I realized it stemmed from being raised by my father and not having much to do with my mother until later in life(we're very close and resolved most of our issues now) my child's mind interpreted this as rejection; not being worth of my mothers love. This mindset effected much of my decisions in life. I didn't trust myself, I was insecure, my self worth relied upon outside forces. Later in life I felt a lot of shame and guilt for things I'd gone through which further effected my self acceptance. In my marriage I did everything expected of a "good wife" yet never felt loved accepted or validated by my husband , i didn't get it! So I kept doing more, giving more, pushing my boundaries further and further until I had none. I'd been broken down. Then I realized that no one could
Give me the love I was seeking but me. No one could love me the way I needed to be loved but me. The things I'd been doing for others I needed to do for myself. I began hearing things like self care and me time. Not that I hadn't heard of these things before but I didn't think they were necessary. I was into sacrifice , self sacrifice at that! And martyrdom ..big time! At first I didn't know what to do with myself, my "me" time was filled with me doing things for others, only realizing this midway through them having to try again the next day.  It wasn't that I didn't have interests -hobbies , I just wasn't used to setting aside time for myself intentionally , which feels very different . I struggled with being worth of this as well. I struggled with the silence, with hearing my own thoughts , with doing things alone. But I kept practicing. Sunny days were spent sunbathing nude in my backyard, rainy days were spent hiking or in a warm bath filled with flowers and crystals. I began reading again. I found that saying no became easier and accepting my self was no longer a chore. I worked through the trauma of my past that plagued me with guilt which only insulated the lack of self acceptance(this is on going) I worked through accepting my body, reclaiming my voice . The more I did this the more my marriage deteriorated . There was no room in that space for the healthy me who loves and accepts herself. As I accepted me, i began to accept him, not what we'd gone through and subjected each other to, but as a flawed human with his own trauma and mental Heath struggles that went unchecked. The resentment melted away, the need to be accepted by him left me, forgiveness came quickly and then and only then was I able to walk away, self acceptance in tact. Self acceptance is a life time work. Checking myself is a daily occurrence. Today Iam selfish in an effort to preserve self. I am thankful for the experience although it was very painful at the time. I enjoy nurturing myself , whether that's going on a yoga retreat, taking a long soak, reading a book all day on bed, sunbathing nude on my patio, or being with myself and my thoughts and not being afraid of the silence. Currently I am writing a book and taking nude photos of myself as a creative project and act of self acceptance. And this is my story,my process or part of it at least.