What great courage you have shown to come and post to our forum! I was painfully shy with a speech impediment and even though we did not call it bullying in those days, that is what it was . . .
So, now we know how strong you are and how insightful to know that you want to change but you don't know how . . . well, we can offer suggestions but every person is unique which is the great thing about people . . . . . we all have great things to offer but, perhaps you are like how I was, and I just did not know how . . .my parents always encouraged me to pay attention to me and not to those who would bully me because, as I came to realize, the bullies are the one with the problem . . .
Now, I don't know enough about you (and you only need to share what you are comfortable in sharing) but one of my suggestions may be to contact, if you have not already done so, a counselor . . . it does not have to be a psychiatrist, just someone who is very experienced in working with folks with anxiety and, in your case adhd and asperger's to help guide you to create strategies to start unraveling your particular variety of issues . . . . now, it is a process to do this and not a quick fix one time event . . .at least it wasn't and still isn't for me . . .
Often, with low self-esteem, it is dealing with the past but not allowing it to control our present or future . . . for me, I started doing very small things personally and out in the world . . . I revamped my lifestyle --- got rid of caffeine, fried foods, etc. although I still have a love affair with frozen chocolate yogurt at times . . . then I started to do little things that were accomplishments . . . because of my speech impediment I knew the struggles that people have with learning to read out loud . . . so I volunteered with kids . . . and not all of them had speech impediments but I wanted those without to see and understand what a speech impediment was so they would know that, like any other health issue, some issues take a long time and that we need to be with people who accept us and support us . . . not all kids could or would understand but I found out that they often had bigger issues than I had (one was being abused at home; one had been adopted and the so-called "real" kids in his family made him feel left out, etc.) . . . so in helping them, not only with their reading, but with listening to them, they learned how to listen to others.
Are there any online or community support groups tht you might join?
Now, how about some untapped or unrecognized skills? You may not think of them as skills with value but folks with low self esteem usually overlook small and big skills? What do you like to do? What would you like to learn to do?
Now, the big question, Harley, do you have a support system? You have one right now in all the folks who are on this forum, but what about in-person support system?
You don't have to take giant leaps and change your whole life all at once . . . but you have the strength so you may as well mobilize it to achieve what * you * want . . . those other bullies in your life, they have the problem . . .you are dealing with the fallout, no doubt, but you are stronger than they are because you know that you need to deal with it . . .
So, you have now achieved one actual big leap by coming here and sharing with us . . . that takes guts . . . think about the stuff above . . .it may or may not be right for you as only you can decide but know that you are welcome here for long or short postings, just to check in and say hi, or ask or answer a question . . . we'll do the best we can for you as we know you will do the best you can for us and in that way, well, we all become stronger than we were the day before . . .take care, kc