Television presenter and actress, Laura Monyeazo Abebe, popularly known as Moet Abebe, sits with the host of #WithChude, Chude Jideonwo to discuss leaving an abusive partner, her struggle with low self-esteem, and dealing with an absent father.

I was politely asked to leave my secondary school because I was a bully. Now I am anti-bullying. I think for you to beagainst something, you have to experience it. I wasn’tnecessarily on the receiving end. And I will have to say, I had my reasons as to why I was a bully. I have always been a fighter;I have always been fighter; I have always been misunderstood and I have always had to get my point across. And I wouldn’tsay I didn’t grow up with love, because I did but I didn’tnecessarily get much paternal love, so I have always had to fight to protect what is mine and what I feel and what my views were.At that moment of my life, I sort of interpreted that as to become a bully as opposed to actually not being a bully. She also saidthat she was happy that she went through things like that because she is the kind of person who gets comfortable, and something has to shake her and it is when she is disappointed,and she gets to pick herself.

My parents were not together, they never got married. I am what you call ‘a love child’. I believe that I was created out of love, but I have only known maternal love because I grew up with my mum. My mum was my mum and dad did what he needed to do but he wasn’t there physically. Now that she is grown, Moet shared that she is much closer to her dad but not as close as it should be because it will then be pretentious if they start to make up for lost time.

People are quick to put in a box, and not believe that I could have self-esteem issues. So, I always must remind myself to be myself because I am so unique and special. On what she thinks caused her lack of self-esteem, she said, “I feel it came from being raised from a single parenthood. I usually say that if I had that male presence in my life, you can’t tell me anything. She shared about how she builds her esteem, “I’m one of those people that literally have to keep reminding myself that, you’rebeautiful, you’re hardworking, you can do this. I keep reminding myself to keep loving and appreciating my mistakes, my past, my present, my future.

On her past relationships and surviving abuse, she said, “I could have been married by now, but it didn’t work out. I have also been in a few violent relationships and realised that wasn’t what I wanted for myself. So, I will rather just love me and just deal with me and if anyone else wants to handle me that is cool. I believe that women are the price. I was in a violent relationship for about two and half years. If you don’t love yourself, you will find yourself in situations like that constantly. Even in your family, if you don’t love yourself, your family can do you anyhow. If you don’t love yourself, the other person can’t give you back that love. Abusive people can smell that you are vulnerable, and you have low self-esteem from a mile away. On how she came out of it, she said, I am the type of person that doesn’t like people telling me what to do. I like to experience it and then leave the situation. It wasn’t even something that someone had to tell me, I needed to sort of realise that, ‘No, Mo this cannot be you loving yourself, you are being here means that you don’t want the best for yourself. After that, we just had a little fight, and I never picked up his phone call again.

Watch the excerpt here:

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