Excluding myself, hiding my thoughts and feelings
My dad and brothers made me feel stupid growing up. My dad was a lawyer (he passed away 5 years ago - he was an alcoholic), and my brothers are also extremely bright. We used to play games such as Trivial Pursuit etc and I was pretty bad at it, because I had no confidence. So I would sit out and watch.... in fear of being ridiculed.
I wasn't dumb, I just didn't have the knowledge of world events, history, geography and politics that my brothers did.... but I did like music, art, writing and expression - but of course, this to them wasn't really worthy of conversation.
Dad never really asked me what I liked or never really showed any interest in me and my life. I found that hard, but the fact was, he wasn't really interested in any of our lives. My dad was a lost soul, and I don't want to be like him.. he became a recluse and shut people out of his life. To escape his problems, he would drink. Such a waste.
Now, I find it really hard to be open to people around me.... I run away from problems in my life, I don't take criticism well, and I find it hard being assertive. I shrink into nothingness when I encounter a confident person.
When I went to uni and was able to be myself and be outspoken, I excelled. In fact, I graduated with distinction. Dad didn't get to see this. My confidence was high after uni, but it has since diminished again. I have realised that I need ongoing assertiveness training and also need to keep challenging myself and growing as a person to remember I am capable! I need to learn to control negative thoughts and remember that I am just as worthy to an opinion as anyone else, and that not everything I say will be stupid!
I have a hard time sharing my achievements and dreams with people close to me, as I think they'll laugh at me, so I keep it to myself, which alienates me from everyone, and they feel left out of my life!
I'm slowly starting to open and let people in, and I want to be open and honest and assertive (in a good way). I am on my way to re-building my confidence..... I have done some reporting on TV, and when I feel like I am losing confidence, I throw this on and remember how well I handled it and how successful it was.
Family and friends mean everything to me, and I pushed them away - but I'm slowly starting to re-build these relationships and it all starts with me building my own confidence and worthiness.
Hope that helps someone, or if someone has some advice that might help me to deal with the situation, that would be great.