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Procrastination and low self esteem

(4 Posts)
AlwaysManana Fri 01-Jul-11 10:55:00

I'm in my mid thirties and still struggling with the legacy of a subjugating, authoritarian parenting style leading to my procrastination, and school bullying which has left me feeling inferior, fundamentally flawed and socially anxious. I was bullied by the cool/ popular girls, who I aspired to be like. I saw myself as really plain, unconfident, shy, socially inept and uncool, which deeply reinforced my own sense of inferiority. Plus my mum wouldn't allow me fashionable clothes... by that I mean things like not being allowed to wear normal everyday kids clothes like jeans, she thought denim was very infra dig, even though it's practical for kids out playing/cycling. Basically, homework avoidance was the only way I could rebel as an unhappy adolescent against my strict old fashioned parents, but it's still a maladaptive behaviour affecting me now and has swallowed up two decades of my life. See link below.

www.education.com/magazine/article/Why_Kids_Procrastinate/

Also, my GCSE English teacher was particularly sarcastic and vindictive to me. One time I was petrified she'd pick me to read out in class and she did. When I'd finished she humiliated me by saying, "you have the most flat, boring, monotone voice I've ever heard". Well, that was because I was flippin terrified! She also told me I was the worst student she'd ever had. Yet I was a quiet, timid student, not outwardly naughty or disruptive in any way, just didn't do the work due to my issues. I still break down in tears when I think of it today, it has wounded me so deep.

The effects have been cataclysmic in my educational and employment life. I have badly underperformed on all of my exams, from GCSE's to university. I was always behind with essays & coursework. I have also dropped out of several college courses, my first lot of A levels in the early 90's, a repeated year at uni, a masters degree and several design college courses since graduation, all due to very low self esteem and procrastination. I just can't make myself do the work, it's like I don't have enough 'escape velocity' to overcome my deep seated psychological issues.

Since graduating I have only had a few short office temping assignments at just above minimum wage, which I hated, and found soul and confidence destroying. I'd get depressed after a few weeks, affecting my performance and attendence, then let go of. I also have issues with initiative and authority. It's like I have no gumption to get to grips with the role and self direct my work... I have to always check it's the right thing I should be doing, or asking for tasks to do rather than being a self starter. Socially I'm very shy which makes normal work interaction a lot harder. Even though reception is an easy job, I just freeze/panic sometimes eg being put on the spot by an irate customer on the phone. I have not done any paid work at all in the past five years, and now feel completely unemployable what with the huge gap on my cv, patchy history before then, erosion of self esteem and the recession. I just don't feel I'm worthy of a wage, I don't have any particular talents or skills or initiative. I'm just on the internet for a lot of the time and potter around at home. My brain is rotting :-(

Now I'm married (no kids yet), and moved to a different region of the UK. Employment prospects are even worse here. I have no income of my own, bar a couple of thousand in savings which I use for personal spends and the food budget... I have frugal cooking down to a fine art, and can cook a healthyish fresh meal for under a pound, for 2 - 3 portions. (sorry for the stealth boast there).

Basically, I want to be able to support myself in this marriage and pay my way for my fair share of the other household expenses.

I've now found my dream masters course, but it's unique, and in the same uni department I took my undergrad degree, I'm worried my past record of underachievement there will count against my potential application. Basically, it's an interdisciplinary subject between my undergrad subject and a science subject. I'm intending to take an OU diploma/degree in science to refresh my study skills and to prove to myself/others I can be capable of high educational attainment. But I can only afford about one year of fees. And then there's the huge procrastination and self esteem issue which I need to tackle before risking flunking another college course.

I love my husband to bits, who is lovely, but I feel so economically and psychologically trapped. I can't claim benefits, not entitled to support with course fees, I can't drive, I don't want him to give me any money, train fares are expensive to the main city here which puts a dampener on volunteering, and I'm in such a vicious cycle with regards to my cv/work history and my self esteem. Also, I turned down NHS CBT due to it being in an awkward to get to county town from here, there's one bus a day I think. They said it wouldn't be reoffered to me in future :-(

I'm feeling a bit down at the moment, but generally I'm not really depressed, just feel my mood is grey, overcast and lethargic most of the time, rather than stormy iyswim. Not on any medication, and don't want to be, due to TTC & disliking the pharma industry.

What's brought this on is that I've had a task to do for the past year, which should be one of the happiest things to do in a person's life. The deadline was last night, literally at one minute to midnight I sent the email, and even then it was incomplete and asking for more time to review and complete the task. After, in bed, I googled procrastination, and all the characteristics, low self esteem and parental background stuff fitted me perfectly like a huge jigsaw piece. Where to go from here?

Any one offer me any practical advice, emotional support, recommended readings or course of action? Thanks for reading, sorry it's long.

Prolesworth Fri 01-Jul-11 11:10:30

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Prolesworth Fri 01-Jul-11 11:13:06

Message withdrawn

AlwaysManana Fri 01-Jul-11 11:59:20

Thanks for your reply Prolesworth... I'll have a wander over to the procrastination thread in the student area... I have more questions too about studying and being a (potential) parent.

Will book myself a double appt with my GP, been meaning to go for ages about the TTC thing... No surprises, comes back to procrastination again grin

Best of luck with getting your degree result

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