Self-esteem is a reflection of a person's overall subjective and emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward them self. This can either be encouraged or brought down by people, by strangers or people who you are close with. It is something that can ruin a person’s progress in life or hinder it. People should be encouraged in all things they do that is done in a positive manner, this builds self-esteem and will create a better canvas for them to create their future. Self-esteem is fragile and can quickly be shattered and destroyed, sometimes by mere words.
Growing up I had self-esteem, I was spunky, outgoing, talkative, had no worry about anything, just like any other child. Having all these things, I had a childhood name which was punky bruster, which was a show back some time ago and I reminded a teacher of her. But like I stated before, there was nothing that was hindering me from pursuing things that interested me, that was until I entered middle school. Now, although I was an outgoing person and talkative, I became shy and not super talkative in middle school. I was talkative to teachers but for some reason there were only a few friends I had. I did not talk to most kids and I felt like I did not belong, that I was weird and no one liked me. So therefore, while I was in school I would not talk a lot, but this meant that I seemed even more unapproachable, which was not true.
Since I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere, I hopped from one “click” to another, trying to find my place, find people I could relate to, people who had the same interests as me. However, this did NOT work in my favor, I was trying to be someone that I was not, trying to change my ways to conform to how the people in the groups were and in doing this, I lost sight of who I was. This went on all through middle school, and after graduating middle school I had but a few friends who I still talked to in high school.
High school, how can I describe it, tough, very tough for me. We all know how high school can be, it can either be really fun and smooth or it can be brutal and not very enjoyable. My experience in high school wasn’t the worst, but it could have been a lot better, whether this was due to my own doing or if that’s just how the other students were. Entering high school is scary and unknown for many people, entering without any friends to support you is even worse. Like I stated previously, I did have some friends from middle school, who for the first couple years of high school I did talk to. But like many people, we fell apart. I was always jealous of the “popular” group, whatever that now means, it was a large group of friends that others wish they were part of, and I was one of them.
I was always jealous of the fact that they had so many friends, seeing pictures of them at parties and doing things together on Facebook, I would wish I was part of it all, since I didn’t have this with friends of my own, and this confused me. Since I was never invited, I felt like I was weird and that there was something wrong with me, I asked myself, was it something I said? Was I not wearing the right clothes? Did I not do the right things to gain “access” to the groups and “privileges” of being part of the group? These were all things that ran through my head, and let’s not even talk about my concern in why guys in high school didn’t seem to like me. There were a few guys who for some god forsaken reason, called me a lesbian in class in front of other people, this one guy in particular made this a habit.
Makes sense right? To call me a lesbian just because I was not dating anyone IN our school. To this day I still don’t know why he chose to do this, what was the point? But now being older, it was just him being a dumb jock that loved making himself feel better by attempting to bring down someone else, and unfortunately it did bring me down in high school. I was weak, vulnerable, and too dang sensitive for my own good. Growing up I was always the one who would talk without thinking, say things that were apparently “weird,” so perhaps that turned people away and I wasn’t even aware of it.
Family played a part in this as well, for the longest time I felt like the odd person out, the one no one liked, the one who always got pushed aside and wasn’t as important, and this took a toll on my self-esteem as well. One sister got all A’s without even trying, she’s a good athlete, got the scholarships and seemed to be the favorite of the family. Then there is the family member who got a good paying job with no degree, got married, bought a house, and now is having a baby boy. This makes me insanely jealous to this day and makes me feel unaccomplished, but I love her, I just wish I could be as successful. But on the bright side, at least I am going somewhere. Then there is the other family member who had the first grandchild. So where does this leave me? I didn’t get scholarships, I wasn’t good in school, I wasn’t an athlete after my sophomore year of high school, due to not being able to handle my panic attack disorder.
I sometimes feel like I am always in someone’s shadow, like my life is somehow is less important than others and that my opinions are not sought out. I just feel worthless a lot of the time, and I always feel like I try too hard because I don’t feel like I mean as much to people, and which I then to get them to involve me more. I just feel like I am judged all the time and I know I shouldn’t feel that way and I may or may not have justifiable reasons to feel this way, but this shouldn’t matter, all that matters is I DO feel this way. To many this may be taken as a pity call or that I am ridiculous for feeling this way, but this is not by ANY means a pity cry, this has really hurt my self-esteem a lot.
Half the time I feel like I am just there and people talk to me because they either have to or they need my help, even to this day I don’t have many friends and I am really not sure why. Like I mentioned before, I am not sure if it’s how I say things, or my personality and how I act. But I don’t want to feel like I have to change how I am to gain friends; this is not a very good feeling. I have learned that the right people will find me, the ones who like my personality and the way I am, not everyone is going to like me, and that is OK. But I have years of my self-esteem being stepped on, whether intentional or unintentional, or self-inflicted or not. Not many people truly know how I feel, and how long I have felt this way. Not the friends I have and definitely not my family, because like I said, I feel like it wouldn’t be taken seriously, and they will brush it off and say I am ridiculous for feeling this way. I love my family don’t get me wrong, I just feel like the odd ball out. So it will be a progress to gain my confidence again, but I am on my way and I just have to start thinking more positive.