Growing up part and maybe a large part, of my self worth came from my desirability as a boy and young man. I wasn't good at sports and I wasn't a rough and tumble kind of guy. I was interested in sports but not to the degree my peers were. If my team won that was great but I wasn't all "end of the world" if we did badly. It was a game, period and that's how I saw it. I went to school to learn stuff I felt I needed to know. Anything else going on was incidental.
I was teased a lot, pushed around some too. I got into very few fights because I was pretty vicious when it came to fighting. I always felt if I hurt someone badly enough they would leave me alone and that's pretty much what happened. I always felt I was an outsider in grade school and especially in the jr and high schools.
Where I felt really desired, appreciated and special was during the abusive moments, even the unpleasant ones. I found out early how to open doors as the song goes with just a smile. And that eventually just made things worse.
I had trouble with jobs as I got older because I craved the level of attention and acceptance that I seemed only able to get with those certain situations that seemed to harken back to my early abuse days. Maybe it would have been better if they all had been really scary and awful but most were not bad and the ones that involved my dad led me to conclude that was what I was really good for.
I have spoken to others who were abused and ended up feeling similar. Their self-worth seemed only positive when they were in some form of reenactment of their abuse.
Learning to find value and self-esteem from healthier activities has been a life long process bu;t has definitely been worth it. I look forward now not back to find myself and it has freed me from a lot of depression and self-harm.