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To feel like such a failure

(34 Posts)
lemisscared Sat 01-Nov-14 11:45:24

Well no, IANBU because its true.

I am 44 years old, mother to two DD's one is 24 left home and we don't see each other much. DD2 is 9yo.

I work as a cleaner in a place where i started with a different job (higher level) and left for university post grad. The person who took the cleaning job over from me was given the job that i started there doing, even though it was only a part-time job while i was at uni. I am the most highly qualified person in the company and i clean the floors, my boss thinks this is hysterical.

I have had a few jobs but short lived since DD was born, most of them voluntary, specific to my stupidly specialised qualification and the chances of them leading to paid work - zero. Usefulness on CV? Zero

Now have a "role" in the PTA and am enjoying it but still it brings in no money, all the stress of bringing in money falls on my DP. Our mortgage is too expensive but we can't downsize unless we move into a tent really.

DP is (as is often the case) just now working for a woman who has done really well and he often regales me about her unusual, stressful and highly paid job. It makes me feel like shit, he must look at me and thing, wtf have i got stuck with, im overweight, i have one bra that is falling to bits and im blessed in that department so its not comfy, but the money i earn on my cleaning job is to enable DD2s specialist tuition as she has a SEN.

I hate what I have become and i can't see a way out of it.

I tried a "proper" job but it lead to a breakdown and two years later im still on AD's. People tell me it wasn't my fault, lack of training, bla bla bla, but other people manage stressful jobs.

Where did i go wrong?

Coconutty Sat 01-Nov-14 11:50:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coconutty Sat 01-Nov-14 11:51:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lemisscared Sat 01-Nov-14 11:52:35

I actualy have a phd in biochemistry coconutty, where i live is a bit of a drought area for the sciences and my specialism is more academic but have tried to get back into this field and wasn't able to. Its been too long now. My ideal job would be as a lab tech where i was just left to my own devices.

Coconutty Sat 01-Nov-14 11:55:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lemisscared Sat 01-Nov-14 12:55:30

Teaching definitely not for me.

EmberElftree Sat 01-Nov-14 13:14:21

Can you gain some experience working part time at least in the area that you are qualified in?

Is your boss able to put aside their mirth long enough to make any helpful suggestions for you with a view to a full time position in the company?

lemisscared Sat 01-Nov-14 13:33:34

Its a small company and there is nothing. I have let everyone down. My dp used to be proud of me now hes eembarrased

EmberElftree Sat 01-Nov-14 13:37:29

Is there nowhere within a commutable distance for you that you can apply to, Lemis?

Do you have the means to commute by yourself or on public transport in order to gain some experience?

RJnomore Sat 01-Nov-14 13:42:43

Okay stop.

Firstly let's list your achievements.

Youre among the most educated one percent of women in teh country.

You are giving back to your community.

You have successfully raised one child to adult hood and you a providing the best possible support to your younger child who has additional needs.

You are part of what sounds like a successful and communicative relationship.

Now breathe. Let that sink in.

And then think, what one thing could I do - that is in my power - that would make me feel more confident and change my life for the better, even if it is just a tiny step change?

lemisscared Sat 01-Nov-14 13:43:57

There are loads of places but also loads more people looking with experience. I feel like giving up. Well i have given up. I just wonder if ive found my level -cleaning the toilet

twentyten Sat 01-Nov-14 13:44:31

This sounds really tough. Huge sympathy. Sounds like building confidence is key- have you looked at stem organisations? You could do with a mentor to help and support you.
Do you have any previous contacts who could help? Could you do some work shadowing in the area you are interested in? Build your confidence - keep going.

twentyten Sat 01-Nov-14 13:46:15

X posts. Agree with rj. Please don't give up. You have so much to give.

drudgetrudy Sat 01-Nov-14 13:50:09

I'm sorry things have gone a bit off track and it sounds as if you are becoming depressed.
Forty-four is relatively young-you will probably be working until you are 67 and many people have started new careers in their 40s. By all means keep a look out for lab tech jobs.
Also you are clearly very intelligent-what are your strengths and what do you find difficult at work? Be honest with yourself and be honest with yourself about what your interests are to see if you think you can identify a job that matches.
Some people for example dislike being in charge of a team even though they are highly intelligent. It is not obligatory to go for the most challenging option but it sounds like you would like something more fulfilling.

Do you feel that people only love and respect you for achievement?

lemisscared Sat 01-Nov-14 13:53:09

No one sees it though. I look a disgrace and have lost a tooth in the front of my face.

I just want to feel of use to someone. I can't bring myself to look for work as i have done this. Applied for hundreds of jobs and got nowhere. Now I'm scared to even look on job sites.

Just feel useless and like ive let my family down. Feel like people are laughing at me or looking down on me

greenfolder Sat 01-Nov-14 14:22:28

it sounds tough but a lot of what you say is all about self confidence. you need to look after yourself because if you dont you cant look after others. if your dp needed new underwear presumably he would go and buy and it. Go and buy yourself some a decent bra. why did you lose a tooth? if it is in the front, can you get a bridge or similar on the nhs? can you work on that and save up for the treatment? you need to start building yourself up!

drudgetrudy Sat 01-Nov-14 14:29:56

You do sound depressed. I would see your GP and have a look at on-line cbt.
Are there any NHS dentists near you-I know implants are very expensive but have you inquired what can be done? Do you really look a disgrace or are you just down on yourself. What would you like to change-small steps help.
It sounds like you have just wondered off track and gone down a dead end-things can change!

Triliteral Sat 01-Nov-14 14:44:16

You are doing what you can to provide for your DD2. Sounds like the job situation is difficult, which is something which is beyond your control. I don't know if it will make you feel any better, but I'm a qualified veterinary surgeon, currently working as a lay assistant and part of my job is also cleaning the toilets. I enjoy my job because of the people I work with, and personally I feel no shame whatsoever that I am 'working below my potential' as some people would see it. I've been depressed too and I like the lack of stress and see nothing wrong with it.

I agree with the posters who've said it sounds like you are depressed and may need more help than just the anti-depressants. Maybe try to work on the little things. Get yourself a new bra if you need one. Get your tooth fixed. It's very easy to get into a rut where you beat yourself up, but it sounds like you are putting your child first, which is a wonderful thing to do, but maybe try to remember you are important as well.

My friend is in a similar situation - PhD in BioMedical Sciences (don't quote me on that!) and now just getting back into work. She's started doing invigilating at the local Uni ... is that something you could look into? Maybe send your CV in to the department; it's a foot in the door AND once on the books you could apply for any internal only (lab tech) positions?

forago Sat 01-Nov-14 15:09:20

What about trying local vets? I am sure they could use people with lab skills.

cheerupandhaveaglassofwine Sat 01-Nov-14 16:37:07

Definitely unreasonable to feel like a failure

Reason is you are not a failure, you have a degree, that's more than I have

Just because you have lost direction doesn't make you a failure

fabricfreeshiner Sat 01-Nov-14 17:33:53

A fake tooth starts at just £250!
How about retraining for a nice easy job with a little degree of difficulty. There are lots and lots of courses which are either free or £20.
You do sound very down on yourself.

Its the age! I am about this age it's terrible! Mid life is hitting me with a vengance!

There are lots of things you can do around your subject area, such as selling/research/technical writing/ why not internet search what other career paths people with similar qualifications have taken?

Pancakeflipper Sat 01-Nov-14 17:45:00

I think you are brilliant. I think you have a lot on and your life hasn't gone the way you dreamed of. And yes you are capable of many things in life.

Firstly cleaning ain't what you dreamed of but it's a decent job and it needs decent people to do it. We have an office and I adore our cleaner and dread when she is on hols and the agency send a temp.. She is respected by our staff.

And you can begin to rethink your career and begin to put the building blocks into place. Loads of great suggestions to get you underway on here.

But I think you have been realistic in doing what has been what fits for your family and you aren't putting yourself first. The rest of the family are coming first. Now it is time for an adjustment. Check out the dentist, check out the bras. Bit by bit it will come together for you.

You must feel so low but you have done so much, it's just been for everyone else.

Iwasinamandbunit Sat 01-Nov-14 18:13:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

retrorobot Sat 01-Nov-14 18:30:35

You are not a failure. You have believed the lies that society/media tells about education, employment, earnings and the connection between the three of them.

First, get in shape and get some decent clothes. Of course, this is easier said than done. But it is possible to get in shape without paying for a gym membership or a personal trainer. You will feel much better and believe me, even for me, career success is linked to appearance, even more so for women. Once you're in shape, get some decent work clothes that you feel comfortable in. Try on lots - work out what suits you, what your style is.

Secondly, work out what entry level jobs you can get. Don't pay any heed to the posters here saying to do a PGCE and teach. Sometimes on this site I think posters only see careers in schools and hospitals as a possibility. You should NOT be doing a cleaning job.

Most of all, you need a big hug.

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