Self-esteem: Zero


10 Years
Apr 15, 2011
Purely a vent.

Even though I know I've come a whole heck of a long way in assertiveness and not allowing others to dictate my life and feelings, there are times like today when I feel like I've slipped back at least a mile or two. I hate this old feeling...feeling like I'm a little kid, irresponsible, and weird when I know I'm none of the above (except weird...but usually it doesn't feel like a terrible thing!). I hate having every tiny minutia of every teeny speck of my life...whether it actually happened or not...critiqued and picked apart. I hate feeling like I can not say anything back for a myriad of reasons, can not say, "well...actually you have a diagnosable disorder, and I'd be happy to set you up with some people so we have a snowball's chance of having a real and open relationship". I hate how not having the same goals as I did when I was six or a year ago means that I am dangerously unorganized and set for sure disaster that only this person or persons can save me from. I hate never being able to have a simple, casual conversation...only what feels like the most intense job interview that never ends. I hate getting a zillion calls and warnings not to do something (as simple as buying a goldfish) when I had no intention of doing so...and that if i did, it would mean THE END OF THE WORLD!

I hate having responsibly lived and paid my own way for decades...and still being treated like I'm five to the point others around me comment on it. I hate having to hide who I am or even what I ate for breakfast in a desperate attempt to keep something, anything, from being drug through the mud and torn down. I hate how trying to keep personal details to myself is in itself critiqued and heaped with guilt trips about how I never tell them anything. I hate how trying to keep the attention and discussion purely on them and making enthusiastic and encouraging comments about them has not stopped the waves of critique. I hate that an older friend's passing comment of, "wow, neat herb garden" is the kind of phrase I'd love to hear just once, and that I know I shouldn't long for, but still do. I hate that I can still be made to feel this way.

I *know* that I have an amazing husband who is the main reason I have been able to improve myself and heal so well, have wonderful friends, am responsible to the point others lovingly tease me about it, and have absolutely workable plans for the future. I *know* most have it much, much worse...which is the reason I'm typing on an anonymous forum instead of sharing with friends who have serious problems of their own. But even knowing this, somedays I still just feel like this, and somedays I just mourn over both the lack of any kind of solid connection, and not being able to help someone...just be happy, no...just be. I can't believe I've let my anxiety shoot way back up when I thought I was completely over letting it get this high or my spirits and motivation sink so low. Another person's irrational crisis is not my own. Another person's irrational hurt or drive, fears or obsessing is not on me. Just have to get rid of my own irrational level of anxiety so that can sink in!
Last edited:
hm. I don't know your back story, but it sounds like you need better friends, and a long talk with yourself about not letting other people dictate your moods.

Try lining up your friends and relatives in your mind. For each one, find one or two things in their lives that you would absolutely hate. Then, the next time one of them says something that gets to you, say to yourself, "well, ok, but at least I don't have to deal with XX". It'll help remind you that it's easy to criticize others, and their comments are made from that easy perspective. Shrug, and walk away. Or reply with "Dude! Seriously? Do you think harping on me will help?"

I used to be where you are at now. On rare occasions I slip back into a sorry state, but I've surrounded myself with positive and upbeat people who help remind me that those negativities running through my head have no validity.

As difficult as it is, especially when it's family, you have to cut out negative people from your life. I've had to do that and I have never been happier.

Hang in there! You ARE the Head Hen!!!!! Or the Rockin Rooster!!!! Hehe
Last edited:
The most freeing thing I ever did was cut complete ties with the person who made me feel as you are this morn. You can't change them!!! Tell them exactly why you are distancing yourself (self preservation) and don't answer calls and if they visit unannounced...Tell them that you are not ready for contact. Say it and mean it!!! If they get the message , let them in, in small doses. If they don't GET IT, keep them far away. Guard your heart, you are worth so much more!!! This includes parents. God sees your heart and intentions and countless attempts to conform to impossible goals that others have set for themselves.
Right back at all of you. You guys have been so very helpful. Thank you!

I am feeling so much more even-keeled today. I was both sick and exhausted yesterday, which for me makes things much harder to deal with. The last visit they made also went so swimmingly well, that I had let myself think this time might be the same against my better judgment.

Sumi: You have been through so much with family, and your strength has been an inspiration!

Mama: Excellent advice. Unfortunately, while my friends are all people I've been able to hand pick for geniuness and sweetness, this is a matter of family. They are very insecure and unhappy (it comes part and parcel with the disorder), which has actually been a hurtle for me properly addressing it. Like you said, I need to correct their overstepping boundaries, privacy, and shooting me down. I need to actually call attention to it. I haven't been doing that lately, in part because things got better for a while, and I thought that might continue. I am so torn whether I should sit down with them and try to address the deeper issues. Coming to the point where I was last night made me realize that whether to try for a real discussion of the heart of the issue or not has just been a huge weight. I am on good terms with my brother, and I think a call to him is in order as this would effect the whole family.

Vanna: I am so sorry you have been through this! I absolutely agree that there is nothing more freeing or healthier than cutting out negative influences and surrounding with positive ones. For all the negative things a situation like this can manifest, I really do feel like it leads to maybe a better sense of understanding about the self and others, and maybe helps forge very genuine and open relationships. For a while, I did cut them off, but then I tried letting them back in and things went really well for a stretch. I think an honest attempt to really address the issues rather than ending up dancing around them may be something I need to try.

Turney: I'm so sorry you have been through this too, but so glad you have felt the freeing power of cutting off negative ties! In this case, I have not been vocalizing my thoughts, and last night made me realize that has to be done. They may cut me off or I them after that, but I think I need to sit down with them and try to actually discuss what I've been avoiding as I loathe conflict and hurting other people's feelings. Your steps for limiting contact are very reasonable and very helpful, and definitely are borne from experience. <3
The cutting out of people from my life has actually been a recent activity. It's only recently that I finally mustered up the courage to do so. The first step was divorcing my husband of 10 years. As much as I love him, over our time together, the relationship had become very unhealthy. It was too easy for him to threaten to divorce me whenever we had a disagreement. The final straw for me was one evening when we had an argument (I don't even remember over what) and he packed up his things (again....) and left me on the floor crying saying he was going to divorce me. Our then, 3 year old daughter came down the stairs after being woken up by the commotion, finding me sitting on the floor distraught and in tears. She put her little arms around me and held me ever so tightly saying 'Don't worry mommy, everything will be ok....' So young, yet so smart. I decided at that moment that what she had seen was not what a little girl should grow up believing was normal for a relationship. Despite my pleas with my ex for family counseling, he consistently refused and when he finally pulled his whole, "I'm divorcing you!", act yet again, that was the ultimate final straw and I ended it.

My mother, being a devout Catholic and very traditional, wasn't entirely happy with my decision. She even attempted to suggest that I put up with my ex for the sake of the children (I have a little boy too), but it was for the sake of the children that I decided to make a change. My brother is having a hard time dealing with the loss of a 'brother' that he's decided to completely cease communicating with me which caused me a lot of heartache up until I realized that if he's going to abandon me during a time when I need my friends and family, then he doesn't know the true meaning of family. My father has just been a plain old cranky fart for a while now and I finally got fed up with his venom when he insulted me and my children, so I rarely speak to him.

In short, on occassion I slip back, but thanks to my wonderful friends, it's never for very long.

Vanna, I'm so glad you have great friends in your life to help you through this. That's a heck of a lot to be thrown all at once! Takes great strength to start out on a new and uncertain path, but I have personally found it to be worth the walk. For what it is worth, it sounds to me like you are creating a much healthier environment, not just for you, but for your daughter too.
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom