How much am I worth? How do you measure the value of a person? If I auctioned myself off on eBay, what would I get?
I measure my value by feedback I receive from other people. Most of the time, I discount any praise but take any criticism at 100 %. I don't know how to measure myself just for me based on my own opinion. I see myself as a reflection of how I think others see me. I measure my competence against other peoples accomplishments.
I have a huge connection between my physical appearance and my self-worth. I have rarely thought that I was beautiful. There have been many times in my life when people have told me that they thought I was attractive and I didn't believe them. When my father tells me I am beautiful, I think "he has to say that, that is what fathers tell their daughters". When men in bars told me I am beautiful, I would think "he just wants to get laid". It took quite a while before I believed exhusband thought I was beautiful, but I often thought he was crazy. I did believe him, our marriage was one of the only times in my life where I felt consistently o.k. about my looks, I saw a reflection of myself that was beautiful when I saw him looking at me. Right now I am having trouble looking in a real mirror and seeing that beautiful person.
Most of the time, I know that I am intelligent. This is probably one of the characteristics that I value the least, even though it is one of the positive ones for me. When I was young, in primary school, intelligence was not valued by my schoolmates. The children that received good grades or who knew the answers were picked on. I very quickly picked up on this and stopped raising my hand and did not publicize my grades. I often refer to myself as stupid, although that is generally because I have done something stupid, which most often happens when I react without thinking. I have done more stupid things over the past few months then is normal. I was reacting on emotions instead of thinking things through.
I often compare myself negatively to other women who appear to accomplish so much compared to me. I have a friend who went through law school while married to a very busy man and with 4 children. I was in awe of how she could juggle everything. There are so many women at my company who have successful careers while raising children, having hobbies and volunteering at charities and I always think "wow, I am barely keeping my head above water with the little that I have". My mother raised my brother and I while working, volunteering, having an active social life, and helping her elderly parents. I found it a struggle to be at home with one baby, a struggle to be working with one baby, and a struggle to be home with two babies. How will I manage working with two little guys?
I struggle with being a mother, a good mother. I've read tons of books about raising children, spent tons of time looking for parenting advice on the net. I try to apply that information with the boys, I try to be the mom that I think my boys deserve. Very often though, I am chastising myself for not being good enough, for making mistakes.
If I think about it and try to be honest with myself, I know that I am not as pathetic as I often feel I am. I know that I am not ugly or fat, I know that I am doing a decent job raising my two boys, I know that I am good at my job. But it is so hard to remember this, it is so hard to remember that I bring lots of good things to the table. It is hard to remember that I am worth a lot more than I feel I am worth.