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To think that I am a huge failure?

(38 Posts)
MarthaMaths Sat 15-Oct-16 06:46:55

I am a failure. I had a childhood where I was pretty much ignored and lived on the sidelines of my family. I didn't feel important and hence I have very low self esteem. My dad was very hot tempered and would scream and yell over the smallest of things. I lived in fear of doing or saying anything wrong. Apart from this things were ok.

Fast forward to adult life and I have basically done nothing with my life. I have ended up with low self esteem and social anxiety (most likely as a result of my childhood) which has effected every area of my life. I can't move forward ever as this always holds me back.

I don't have a career and have only been good enough for minimum wage admin jobs. The sad thing was that I was a bright kid at school ( As and Bs) and I even went onto uni to study a course that would have led me to qualify as a healthcare professional. I was petrified with fear about doing the training year and felt I would never be able to do the job. I struggled to secure a placement too. I gave up and did admin jobs instead. It was a relief but people laughed at me for giving up.

I'm not good at anything. I.have no skill that I excel at. Nothing. I've not achieved anything. Ive not done anything with my life.

AIBU to think that I am one huge failure?

DollyBarton Sat 15-Oct-16 06:50:05

You are not a failure! You're alive and healthy (I assume) and intelligent and kind to others. That makes you very valuable as a person. Your career hasn't gone well but that's not the definition of you.

Can you look at getting back into training for the job you originally planned?

rewardformissingmojo Sat 15-Oct-16 06:51:16

You are not a failure, I am sorry that you see yourself that way. You absolutely will have skills that you are not recognising.
It is very hard to move past a difficult childhood.

It sounds that you might benefit from some counselling,but I don't know much about that. Someone who knows more will post soon; I didn't want to read and run.

Have you anyone in RL you could talk to?

NorthStarAtMyFeet Sat 15-Oct-16 07:09:29

Definitely not a failure. You are a survivor & as Dolly said, you are not defined by your career.

What is your definition of success? I know several people I class as enormously successful & when I was pondering why I saw them as successful, I realised what they all had in common was that they were doing something they loved. In a couple of cases it's hobbies they excel at, although it wouldn't matter if they weren't good at the hobbies, it's the enjoyment that brings success. Hmmm a bit rambly!

What do you do for yourself? (Don't have to answer here!)

The odds of us being here are minuscule, yet here we are! Our planet, our species, us. You and I are incredible by just existing.

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Sat 15-Oct-16 07:10:02

If you continue to tell yourself and the world you are a failure it will remain a self fulfilling prophecy. You are clearly bright (no one gets As and Bs without being bright) and a survivor (you survived an abusive childhood), start from there and reimagine yourself as someone different, someone bright and strong. And, it's ok to feel scared, even the most successful people get scared. Take baby steps, get the support you need and start telling yourself a different story about who you are.

MarthaMaths Sat 15-Oct-16 08:03:32

I have been to counselling very recently through the NHS. It didn't help me, unfortunately. It was cbt based and it wasn't working for me. She would say things like list all the positive attributes of yourself and I would struggle to list more than a few and then it would be ok, so now do you like yourself a little bit more. No, not really.

To me success is to be happy, confident, fearless, live life to your own drumbeat and like you say, northstarto do something you love.

My.parents see success as having a good career and I would say that is true for the rest of my family too and some of them have gone on to be very successful. My parents are really proud of them and clearly told me at the time I gave my degree up that they will never be satisfied with me till I get a well paid job. At the time I was working in retail and after a long days work if I dared complain of aching legs I would get a barrage of comments like "good if your legs ache, hope they ache more so then you'll understand what you've given up". They really weren't supportive. My sister even told me that is she ran a business then she wouldn't hire me as I'm too quiet and no one wants someone like that no matter how competent they are. That has really stuck with me. Even though know i coukd do a job , I alwas feel that I can't because that's not what people are looking for. They want chatty, confident people . That's not me.

It really upset me and I felt like I had failed my parents massively.

thecatsarecrazy Sat 15-Oct-16 08:05:40

Your probably focusing on just the parts that you feel negative towards. Try and think about the good things.
I sometimes have a wobble and think I'm a failure. Did crap at school, left at 15 with poor exam results, only ever worked p.t in retail, can't pass my driving test. All these things my dad is hugely disappointed with. But on the flip side I have 2 beautiful boys I look at and think I've not done bad there. My dh was working in McDonalds for 3 years, min wage now at the age of 39 he's gone back to college to do a degree. He has lots of knowledge is much more intelligent than me but has nothing on paper so not been able to get a job in the field of work he's always wanted.

KarmaNoMore Sat 15-Oct-16 08:06:37

I found this some days ago, it is really helping me to see my life from a diifferent point of view:

Allthebubbles Sat 15-Oct-16 08:11:44

I think you are right that CBT would not work if you struggle with self esteem as it is about completing tasks and you can feel like you are failing them as you said. Your counsellor also sounds a bit rubbish.
If you could ditch your family and their horrible expectations ( mentally I mean) what would you really like to do. What would make you feel happy? Even just a tiny thing, could you add it into your life?

pipsqueak25 Sat 15-Oct-16 08:11:53

i would speak to your gp and look at the possiblity of counselling, sadly it didn't work for martha but everyone is different, i've had a lot of counselling for similar stuff to you and it has been through the nhs, it was hard and i didn't always feel that i was making progress but it takes time.
please give it a go, it really is one small step at a time but it can be done. flowers.

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Sat 15-Oct-16 08:15:42

There's nothing wrong with being quiet - not everyone is outgoing and many jobs are suited to the more quiet and reflective among us (librarian/ researcher/ lab technician) Like you I was in retail and hated it. Can you retrain - ignore what your parents and sister think, they've been pretty unhelpful so far in offering advice or support and I only seem to criticise you so why take any notice of their view. What do you want to do? What job would make you happy?

wtffgs Sat 15-Oct-16 08:22:43

You're a survivor of emotional abuse. You get up and go to work for low pay in an unrewarding environment. That takes grit and you've got it even though your bored.

I'm not sure what to suggest - I'm early 50s and my family bullied me last weekend for not having a well-paid job. I find it hard to be outgoing too if I feel anxious.

This world places such a premium on extroversion along with confident bullshitting. CBT was useless for me. It's very hard to unpick the childhood-acquired message "I'm not good enough". brewcake

NorthStarAtMyFeet Sat 15-Oct-16 10:11:17

IMO It sounds as if your parents have failed you not the other way round. They are supposed to build you up.

MarthaMaths Sat 15-Oct-16 10:16:11

karma that is a lovely weekend video. Thank you.

Allthebubbles if i think about it , I think I would like to do some volunteering somewhere but don't know what, and everything I see I just can't see myself being able to do it. sad

Although, there isn't actually anything wrong with being quiet, as a child I have been given a message that it is. My mum would literally introduce me as this is martha, shes really quiet. I would get asked in frustration by extended family, "why are you so quiet?" "It's so irritating" "I don't like people that are quiet" "You don't know what they're thinking. It creeps me out" etc. It's no wonder I have low self esteem and dislike myself. Ive literally been told as a child that the qualities I have are disliked by others. If they dislike me, how as a child could I have liked myself.

Also, society does not value quietness. This doesn't help either.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 15-Oct-16 10:18:04

Can I ask why you are giving so much weight to their comments?

They sound like arseholes of the highest order and you seriously need to dig deep inside yourself and start taking a stand.

You can go back to study if you want or you can decide you like admin. If you like admin tell your so called family to STFU and that its your life and you are doing what makes you happy.

When your family makes a bad remark about you - ask them "do you feel better now you have made that nasty remark'


'Are you so insecure that you have to put me down so you feel better about yourself'

Stand up for yourself because if you don't then these people will keep on at you.

You have a choice in life, just because these people are saying things about you it does not mean it's true. Stop being their prisoner.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 15-Oct-16 10:19:26

I like quietness!!! It was just another reason for them to target you

MarthaMaths Sat 15-Oct-16 10:21:24

On a positive note, I have just done the first session of c25k which I found really good. Made me feel a bit better mentally, which I wasn't expecting. Hoping to keep it up. I literally thought, sod it, I'm gonna do something and went for a run.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Sat 15-Oct-16 10:28:57

Cbt is touted as a panacea for all ills because it's cheap and can be administered by cheap, barely trained staff. It works ok for some but it's nowhere near as universally effective as the NHS would hope.
Dont give up on therapies though. A good talking therapy can work wonders. Running is fantastic therapy in itself - pre spd-wrecked hips I'd run miles to feel better. Have you tried an antidepressant? That's worth a try as well.

It sounds like you've got a very unpleasant family and have had a tough start in life. Being quiet isn't a character flaw (go read the book 'quiet.' )

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 15-Oct-16 10:34:21

The only thing that really helped me get over an abusive childhood and constantly feeling that I was letting them down and below expectations was to cut them off entirely. the police told me if I didn't disappear, the next bout of violence would probably end it anyway, and I went no contact. It was hard and there were some awful years running away from them but it's been about six years now I think and not only do I rarely think about them, but I don't hear their voices in my head 90% of the time anymore.

I still struggle to take compliments and praise but I'm doing okay.

Wdigin2this Sat 15-Oct-16 10:42:58

The only way to get passed the way you feel, is to go out there and do it....whatever you're it is!
You'd amazed at the number of people ho are living life on the edge, but keep going anyway! I wish you all the luck in the world, but basically you have to feel the fear, but do it anyway !

OrpheuswiththeUnderpants Sat 15-Oct-16 10:43:50

I'm well impressed that you did a 25k - I could never do that! Intruigued by the 2nd half of your name, Martha

kohl Sat 15-Oct-16 10:48:12

First session of c25k is fantastic!
CBT is not the only type of therapy there is-as a pp has said, it tends to be used as a catch all because it's cheap, but outside some phobias and a small number of anxiety disorders it's deeply unhelpful. I would urge you to look at the UKCP website to find a therapist near you & shop around, I went through 3 therapists before I found someone I could work with.
Tbh-It is perfectly understandable you feel this way, NOT because you are a failure, but because everything in your childhood-the dominant voices of your family-has conspired to tell you that you are, and that's become the voice in your head.
You are articulate, thoughtful, intelligent and interested in the world around you. These are precious qualities. What kind of volunteering would you like to do? (Put aside what you think you could at the mo.) There are so many roles in so many organisations-I am certain you could find something that would be a great fit.

OrlandaFuriosa Sat 15-Oct-16 10:58:35

People who are quiet are often brilliant at volunteering with eg the elderly or teens, because they are good listeners. Or with animals because they don't make unexpected movements or noises.

And hang on, I bet you are organised, efficient etc. think about those things. And you've clearly got get up and go, the c25k shows that!

there is a crying need fir the really top class Pa still in this world, again usually quiet, efficient and very very powerful.

bikerlou Sat 15-Oct-16 11:04:35

Nope not a failure. I was once like you. Later in life I decided to get my shit together, went to evening classes, got qualifications and GCSEs, went to university and now have a really good NHS career.
You can do it. You owe it to yourself not to let the people who made you like this 'win'. You can do it and it doesn't matter at what time of life you do it.

MotherFuckingChainsaw Sat 15-Oct-16 11:08:05

Your family are a bunch of twats. Quiet isn't a bad thing it's just different to loud. Sometimes one is better for a certain situation than the other.

I'm loud and brash. I talk incessantly and always have done. I hear myself talking and think 'just shut up will you' in the world of work I'm great if you need a communicator to talk to (or at) people. I'm great at getting networking going. But I wouldn't hire me if I wanted someone to quietly and calmly get on with stuff.

I admit I'm secretly intimidated by quiet types. I have a compulsion to broadcast almost every thought and idea and it seems strange and rather wonderful that quiet people don't. Coincidentally my very best friends have always been quiet types. We have mutual respect, they are amused how I will wade into any situation with my gob in overdrive and I love how they can just quietly keep themselves to themselves.

And I'd definitely hire you. The most valuable people at our work are the quiet ones who just slip in of a morning and Get Stuff Done.

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