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Feeling useless, can't seem to shake it.

Princess Lamb Chop

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I have a physical disability as well as psychiatric issues, with the end result that I haven't had a paying job in over 10 years. I hate that about myself.

In my mid-40's, I am just now learning to drive a car. Most people my age have been driving for over half their lives, but I was too stupid and retarded to be able to learn. I can learn now only because my fiancé has been so patiently teaching me, but even he has given up. He can't afford for me to make a mistake, for insurance purposes, and you know, I just can't learn without making at least one.

I consider being a homemaker a legitimate job, and thank God I'm engaged to a man who feels the same way. In my lifetime I've encountered too many men who scoff at what a SAHM does. Mine doesn't. I feel really bad about myself, though, when he has to come home from work and cook a meal or run a load of laundry because I wasn't up to it that day. I feel that I didn't do my job properly, and he had to pick up my slack. My first husband would have made sure to encourage me in those feelings, but this one doesn't do that. He is so understanding, far more than I am of myself.

I do have some saleable job skills. I type 65 words a minute. I am very organized. I know I would make an excellent file clerk, even with a disability. However, not having worked in so long, I am afraid to go job hunting now. I don't know how to explain the huge gap in my work history, or how it is I went to college and have these skills, but my work history doesn't match it.

I've looked for work in the more recent past, and at least in the part of the country where I was raised, if you walk in with a cane even the temp agencies will tell you they don't have anything. They don't openly discriminate--only one person was dumb enough to come right out and say, "I'd need someone who can get around better than you can." But they will say they're "not hiring," and then the following day hire someone who is younger, slimmer, more physically attractive, and not disabled. :)

So I thought I might volunteer at church. But I was told I wasn't really needed. Which comes as no surprise. It's one of those churches where all of the work is done by the same handful of people. It's not as bad as some, where that handful of people are all relatives of the pastor, but it's still a tight-knit clique I just can't break into.

I am not at this moment suicidal, but if I continue feeling worthless and purposeless long enough, I may become so.

I don't know what I'm seeking. Has anybody been where I am now, and been able to pull out of it?

Thank you.

Edited by Princess Lamb Chop
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I've had feelings of worthlessness too. But that's just wrong thinking and we need to start thinking positively about ourselves. Sure we have our share of problems and we make mistakes but that doesn't make us any less of a person. You have worth and value and it's not tied up in how much you can do every day. To me, homemakers have their hands full. It's not easy to clean and cook and make sure everything is in order. When you add depression to that it can really feel like a mountain to climb. I admire you. At least you are able to juggle homemaking and a romantic relationship at the same time. I can barely keep the house clean.

I'm sorry your church couldn't use your help. Don't give up though there is still plenty for you to do. Lots of places like to have volunteers especially those places like nursing homes that are so busy. Just visiting with someone who is lonely can make a world of difference.

How about joining a support group and making new friends there? It's always helpful for people who are struggling with illness to have another person who can understand what they are going through. Just your presence in a support group is a big help to people.

I've lived most of my life in a box with just my immediate family to talk to. I was feeling really useless and lonely. I don't work either and I'm on disability. But these forums have given me new purpose and hope. I can try to help others. If nothing else I can lend an ear and be there for others who are struggling. You can do the same.

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Guest ASchwartz

Dear Princess Lamb Chop and Kittenhugs,

First, let me comment that I just love the names you each chose for your selves on this site. They are terrific.

Princess Lamb Chop, please play close attention to what Kittenhugs has written to you: that you have worth and that you could join a support group and get support. Kittenhugs, you are right on target. ;):)

Princess Lamb Chop, we can give you some support and we like having you here. In addition to this, a live group would be excellent for you if it is run by a psychologist or licensed clinical social worker in your community.

You are very hard on your self, calling your self stupid and all of that. Stop putting yourself down.

Many, many people have long, even huge gaps in their employment history. Most people compuse some type of story to explain the gap. I have an idea that, when you interview, you are sending non verbal messages that tell people, "don't hire me, I'm too dumb." You know, we communicate not only with words but with body language, facial expressions and tones of voice. That is why I think Kittenhugs is right about a support group that could really help you.

What are some of the physical problems you mention? Can you please tell us more about yourself??

Allan :):)

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