It is absolutely possible to hold onto grit and still have low self esteem. Grit is a measure of someone’s perseverance. Self-esteem is a reflection of how much you like yourself.
You know that you have every reason to like yourself. You’ve demonstrated over and over again that you succeed where others in a similar position might give up. You also are a good friend to your friends. Sadly, you haven’t yet found a way to be a good friend to yourself in spite of years of therapy. Do give yourself credit for being gritty in therapy as well as in your daily life.
I think you are correct to thank your grade school teachers. Abused kids who survive and thrive often find adults who offer them an alternative view of themselves from what they are experiencing at home. I hope you will hold onto the fact that those teachers saw something in you beyond grit. They liked you!
I can’t answer your question about how many people out there are like you. However, you’ve come to the right place. PsychCentral has many online support groups. People in our community regularly connect with each other and share their stories and their support for one another. Click on the “Find Help” tab. Then go to “Forums.” I’m sure you’ll find a welcoming group who can provide you with good information and help.
I wish you well.