My Shadow

I have NEVER felt as though I were good enough. I'm sure it's the product of being treated that way - parents who expected perfection, didn't tollerate mistakes - whatever. Regardless of where it comes from it surely has followed me around, and affected every aspect of my life. I think what helped lock it in was all the compensating - the impressing, the embellishing, trying to keep up with the Jones's. And it seemed to work, too, so long as the image was all that was required. What locked in even more strongly my core belief of not being good enough, were the people who bought in to the ruse, convinced I was as good as the act. That was probably the most enabling thing of all. My successes have been, for the most part, cosmetic, especially in anything and everything personal - relationships, expressing feelings, needs. And after all the therapies, all the workshops and self help practices, religion, the roots of the "not-enoughness" still remain. It's a haunting - a legacy which follows me into every attempt at connecting, every meeting, everything, ...everything. I feel as though I need an exorcism.
sophrai sophrai
66-70, M
2 Responses Feb 15, 2011

Such a sad story, I feel for you, with you too.
I wanted to offer some useful suggestion, but you probably would have heard it before.
I wish you peace in you heart.

Thank you for your empathy. I'm always open to useful suggestion, whether I've heard it before or not. And if I have, it's no less valuable. I'm all ears.

Thank you for your response.
You must have heard this before , but, well, ok.
Head messages need to be replaced with another. A truth that you can recognise. It's difficult to do. Even more tricky finding the words that work for you.
An example:
Head message: I'm the worst mother in the world!
Could be replaced by
Truth: I may not be the greatest Mom, but I'm NOT the worst either, I'm doing my best.

I know where you come from.I too never felt that I was "not good enough" because unconditional love simply did not exist in my "family" so called.It was not a question of not being perfect enough to please them,they simply kept telling me that I was "not capable" and would "amount to nothing".They took no notice of my efforts,I taught myself Spanish, to be told by my father,"the day you speak Spanish I will be pope!" he even told me that he had written in his little black book that at the age of twenty I would be a zero! Well,I did leave "home" and made my way,acquired three nursing qualifications including a midwifery certificate,did not get any acknowledgement for it from my family who did not like to mention it, in fact they were saying that I was "just a nursing aid".Even though I achieved so much I still felt "not good enough" And I was a "people pleasers" too at my undoing.But now I must say that I have woken up,looking back I realise that I was the victim and not the perpetrator.I am no longer a people please either,I lost too much because of it.You have to start accepting that you are as good a anyone else.But you must accept it in your heart and not just in your head.

Some people simply are not suited to be parents. The things they told you were quite damaging, and yet, you had the courage to get beyond it. You are truly a renaissance woman - a credit to humanity. Thank you so much for telling your story. This helps me get through the same kind of trials. To survive, I accepted myself in my head, but I still have trouble accepting myself in my heart. My head keeps getting in the way (I'm certain you know exactly what I mean.), but I'm working on it.

I have, at times, had the same feeling, and I well understand how that feeling may have arisen in you, however, a feeling is just what it is. And to me, my saying some people are not suited to be people, is an indicator of something unresolved in MY life, something that feels right to my ego/identity in its need to be accommodated, soothed and sustained. But in practice this simply perpetuates the feelings, and is IN the way of my awakening, not OF the way. I've been lately reminded of the quote by the 8th century Indian Buddhist monk, Shantideva, who said, "We who are like senseless children, shrink from suffering but live it's causes." In other words, I don't like to suffer, but the methods I use to eliminate the suffering actually cause more suffering, like pouring kerosene on the fire to put it out, as he put it. I don't want to carry around with me feelings of hatred and resentment about those who (I feel) are not suited to be people. It simply promotes more of the same. Although, as a result of the brainwashing to which we're all subjected in this world, pouring kerosene on the fire certainly seems the more popular way of dealing with ALL suffering. The media, alone, promotes enough violence and hatred to last an eternity. Thank you for commenting, diegodlavega.

We just have to realise and accept that people who put others down usually fail to look at themselves and do project their own failings and faults onto others,usually onto those who cannot defend themselves.If those failings were not in them in the first place they would not so readily see them in others.And also for certain personalities,putting others down make them feel better about themselves,the cowardly way bullies mitigate their feelings of inadequacy.

Absolutely. Well put.

Yep. Reminds me of "the right/wrong game." Truly an exercise in futility.
On a grander scale, it sounds like we might be talking about the game between the 1% and those whom they see as beneath them - a modern-day David and Goliath.

I do have hope. But hope without action is just a dream. The problem is one of Implementation. That's where we're going to need more Davids.

3 More Responses