According to Webster’s Dictionary, self-esteem (n) is: a confidence and satisfaction in ones self.

I have no self-esteem. I have no self-worth. We are having a few marital problems lately. Any attempts at conversation to resolve our issues are turning into arguments. Today I looked at J- and said as evenly as I could, “I have no self-esteem. I feel worthless.”

He had no immediate response. Finally, “You think I have self-esteem?”

I honestly don’t know. I do not think about it. You have a marketable skill and a career. You have friends and family. I have been disowned by my most of my family. I do not respond well to failure or rejection. I feel worthless. No marketable skills, no patients for other people, no sense of pride, and I have nothing in my life that I feel proud of. –me

He has no idea who to respond to that. I was not trying to hurt his feelings or make him feel sad. I am trying to be honest. I used to have a great job at a bank. I thought it was going to be my career. I loved going to work each day, most of the people I worked with are terrific. Just like any position out there, it had its low points, but they did not really seem to matter all that much. Then I took a promotion and got a new boss. Everything went south from there and I lost my job. He wants me to reapply with the company for a different department. Some former co-workers have been encouraging me to do the same for over a year. I am too scared. That former boss still works for the company. I have no idea what she put in my personnel file. I do not know if I am even eligible for rehire. I am nervous and scared.

The hours were pretty good, the benefits were the best I have ever had in my work life. The daily tasks had my attention and could make me smile easily. I felt good about myself. I thought of my self as a moderately intelligent person, meeting my job position goals, with room for improvement. In my department, everyone had to do continued training throughout the year. I was the first to ask when my next training was and how soon could I start on it. I just felt like there was more I could learn, somehow I could be better in a small way. If they gave me 3 stars on a review, I wanted to earn 4 stars the next time. That is just how my mind works.

Now, I am being encouraged to go back. But I am sooooo scared!!! I am nervous. Rejection takes an emotional toll on me. I feel as if I failed. The angry voice in my head wants to blame my former boss. Logically, part of the problem was her. This is a fact. My first day working for her, she informed me she was going to find a way to fire me. I had no clue why or what I had done wrong. At the end of the day, bottom line is, I screwed up. I let it get to me. The stress at home because he was not working, the stress of this new position and the stress from my boss. I let it all get to me when I should have fought harder and tried to be better. I failed.

No matter where I have worked, I have never been good enough. Co-workers and managers have always come down on me. The biggest complaint, I am not friendly enough. I take my job to seriously. Why is this a bad thing? I am not at work to party. I am there to learn, to do my job and work hard. So, I do not want to go drinking after work. No, I do not want to talk about every aspect of my home life. No, I do not want to be best friends with every person on the time clock. Life is NOT one big party. Give me a deadline and I will meet it. This means less time to socialize. Why is that so wrong?

As a college student, I earned solid grades; even Dean’s List. My professors always wanted more. Please give me some direction as to what that ‘more’ is! Only one professor ever took the time to explain what he meant by ‘more’. The result was I earned the top grade in his class and no one was able to top it for over four years after I had moved on. I know I have disappointed him. We have stayed in touch over the years via email. He is disappointed and thinks I have settled for less. He is correct.

There is nothing to feel confident about. My house is always a mess, laundry is always piled up, the girls are never happy with anything. J- is miserable. He wants more time to go fishing and camping. He wants more time to be outdoors. He works long hours each week and wants more time for himself, away from all of us, away from responsibility. The girls want the world served up to them on a silver platter. Our oldest is accusing us of being abusive because we took her phone away for a month because she was lying to us and refusing to do her homework. She even told her teachers’ and her friend’s parents that we are abusive.

I just want to feel good about myself. I want to know that I accomplished something and I have earned the right to feel proud. I want to feel worthwhile.