Low Self-Esteem and Lack of Communication Skills
I'm 27 yrs old, single, and have never been in a committed relationship. I feel I have had low self-esteem all my life. Growing up I've always heard that I was quiet and shy, so much that I began to feel myself embody it. I was bullied and teased as a child by other kids. I felt insecure about my weight, my breast developing earlier than other girls, and my birthmark on my face. My issues didn't seem so bad to me after I left my old school and started a new one for 7th grade. I got over my breast and birthmark issues then. All that time I was residing in the Caribbean with others of the same culture. However, things got a different kind of bad for me when I started attending high school in the US. I barely opened my mouth unless I had to, out of fear of people not being able to understand me because of my accent. Plus the diversity and environment was new to me, I felt like I didn't belong. Everyone else seemed older, mature, more experienced. I did make some connections with a handful of students but wasnt able to hold on to them on a deeper level, so I went about the rest of high school with really no friends. I remember a guy told me he was interested in me and asked for my number, I was so scared and nervous that I turned him down quite terribly right in front of our classmates. I felt terrible and wish I had just given him my number or at least apologized for how I responded. Sometimes I think my life would've been so much different had that one moment gone differently. He could've been my first boyfriend and maybe I would've had better relationship experiences in my life by now. Married even. I've been in the military for almost 10 yrs now. About 2yrs after enlisting I had lost a lot of weight and had a flat stomach for the first time in my life. My self-esteem somewhat shot up. I began engaging more with members of my unit, participated more within the unit, started hanging out with people in my dorm building, and made a few friends. Then I somewhat started dating this guy and let myself go for a few short months. I started to feel really insecure again, especially when I saw other girls who looked like those girls I was intimidated by and felt inferior to in high school. I got an assignment to a new location and while there made some really bad choices, I even lost two good friends I had from my previous assignment as a result of my bad choices. My self-esteem is the root cause of it all. Needless to say my self-esteem lowered even more. I got to my third assignment and while there was able to build up my self-esteem a little by once again transforming my body. Though yet again I made some questionable choices and also gained back the weight. Now I'm on my forth assignment location. I've managed not to make any bad decisions since being here a few short yrs now. At work I interact with a lot of higher ranking individuals and I feel I'm not at ease or as comfortable as I should be during those interactions. I don't feel I exude confidence and feel that my communication skills aren't up to par as I still have some difficulty explaining myself. I fee like back in high school, trying to carefully think about what I want to say while I'm saying it so others will understand. Another thing is, I feel I'm not where I would like to be in life. I'm in debt and I barely have any savings. I feel I should've had the car of my dreams by now and have at least purchased a home. I'm also trying to lose 20lbs. I have a friend who has told me numerous times that he is madly in love with me and wants me to give him a chance. I'm going to be honest and say he is a really nice, humble, good looking and short person, but that I do still fantasize about mr tall and other qualities in a partner. At the same time I do feel insecure about giving him a chance because I'm not comfortable in my body, being me and about where I am or not am in life. I feel trapped inside and I have a tendency to talk down to myself about how I feel. I'll say things like I feel stupid, just randomly to myself after interacts with others or thoughts about something I've done. I have been thinking about seeking therapy/counseling.