Dear Defeated: You can start by eradicating the word shame from your head. A hardworking woman who has bought home for herself and daughter has nothing to be ashamed about. It is your mindset that holds you back, not your spirit. You have lost sight of your achievements. Who in your family has faced the emotional difficulties that you have over the last decade? I will tell you none. One cannot endure such turmoil, and then do what you have done without having a strong spirit and drive. You still have that; you just don't see it. Keep going after new jobs. I guarantee you that if you keep trying a door will open. You have a lot to offer. You're conscientious, intelligent and experienced. On the home front, I suspect you've grown away form your family because you don't open up to them and therefore seem aloof. I that's not the case. I would encourage you to reconnect with them. Spring 2008 will see new work opportunities for you if you just have little faith.