I Regret

One thing I regret: trying my best when I was young, in academia particularly. All the way up through high school I was committed to being a top student, which I was. Everyone admired my work ethic, conscientious, committed, intelligent -- I was a model student and gave everything I had.
I made myself a slave to it. Parents and teachers, everyone around me, brainwashed me into thinking this was a good thing. I was indoctrinated. Of course I made the ultimate decision to be that way; I cannot blame anyone but myself. I made my life a hell chasing top marks and what popular opinion deemed to be "success" & "achievement". I had no social life. No friends. I never spent time with people just to hang out unless it was a class project and we were working on something. I sacrificed sleep, happiness, my enjoyment of life. In addition to over-achievement in school & schoolwork, I worked straight through the weekend in a part-time job, I was in karate for a year, two different school bands, cadets, the cadet band, and upper-level piano lessons. I had no time to myself. I'd get home from after-school band practice with just enough time to scarf down some food & get changed and head to cadets. When I got home from cadets after 10pm I started homework. I worked late into the night to give my best work, and on days when I had projects spread out on my bed as a table, I'd fall asleep on the floor with my cadet boots on.
This kind of thing was typical of me.

I won all kinds of awards over the years and it was never a big deal to me because that's just how I was. The history award, the religion award, perfect attendence two years in a row (never being late or missing a class), the music award, Best Bandsman in cadets, ... every year I won different kinds of awards. At the end of high school I won Best Female (of the entire graduating class) as well as the English Award and one other thing I can't remember anymore.

Little did I was doing more harm than good. By going through all of this torture, which sapped my enjoyment of life, I was demonstrating to everyone around me that I was a certain kind of person. Their expectations of me had been raised quite high. Everyone expected me to achieve great things, really go somewhere in life. They just took it for granted because *that's who I was*. I had what it takes.

Well, that's all completely in the past now. I never even finished my degree. I work minimum wage and I have no future, no plans, no lofty ambitions anymore. I don't even have the excuse of raising a child and not having the time to go to school. I have no excuse for being a loser, and since everyone knows how impressive I used to be, it's harder for me than it would have been if I never even tried.

It was a mistake to try so hard, and I regret it because everyone is disappointed in me. They express it all the damn time.

If I were to move really far away and never ever had contact with any of my family members, and no one in my new city knew my past, life would be easier for me. No one would be constantly hounding me and accusing me. That's what it feels like. I would be able to finally, finally, FINALLY move on with my life and my spirit would not be plagued any longer with these toxins and pain. Then I could move past it. People would finally accept who I am.

Instead, every time I visit any of my family members, they each have to bring it up. My grandparents. My mother. My father. The only one who doesn't is my sister, and I'm grateful for that. She doesn't judge me, and if she does at least she doesn't spew it in my face.
Seriously. The same questions over, and over, and over.

I'm not good enough for them as I am.

I'll never be good enough.

I was sitting in the dark living room tonight with the pretty Christmas tree and all the lovely lights. A simple pleasure for me. Just time to myself and thinking. And that's what I realized. I'll never, ever be good enough for them. I'm good enough for me --- I'm working, making enough money to live off (barely, but still), I paid all my debts, I exercise, I don't do drugs, I love walking and reading and crocheting and playing music. Sometimes I'm not good enough for me, but I've been getting better with my self-identity and I'm not so hard on myself as I used to be.

But for everyone else, I'll never be good enough. That's even the reason I dread the possibility of running into people I know when I visit the city I grew up in. Because I dread telling them the truth. And in my job, when people ask invasive questions in an effort to be friendly, if I answer truthfully they evaluate me and judge me and my worth is lowered so far so fast. "She's just a failure, doesn't even know what she wants from life. She's being foolish and will never amount to anything or accomplish anything of value. She's just a nobody and can't even do THAT right." It's a huge reason I don't socialize. The first question people always ask is what I'm studying in school. Well.... I'm a DROP OUT. I never finished school, never will, I don't have children or a career or ambitions, or even fantasies besides perverted sex and suicide.

Last time I visited my father for a few days, he brought up the topic four times: do I have any plans for my future. Gee, do you suppose I all of a sudden came up with a plan for my future since the last time you asked me that question yesterday?? NO. I don't have any plans. I'm a loser, all right? Do you want me to come right out and say it? (I didn't say that, btw.) I jokingly responded, "You asked me that three times already! Maybe you should ask again in a few minutes just to see if the answer is a yes" (in a pleasant tone of voice & facial expression so as not to sound mouthy to a parent). And still he keeps asking. And giving advice. And suggestions. I don't even take him seriously anymore, or think about his suggestions, because it makes me so hurt and angry that it's so judgmental and condescending.

I don't see myself doing great things. I could almost be happy in my humble, fallen little life. Except YOU have to keep telling me I'm not good enough unless I finish a degree and do something of remarkable achievement. Being an excellent worker at my job, paying the bills and staying healthy isn't good enough for you. & You're going to keep reminding me of that until I'm not around anymore.

How would you like it if I move even farther away than I am now, hmm? And get call display so I never have to talk to you again? Both of you each, separately, enjoy my company enough to ask me to move back in with you, yet you keep hurting me. I have a good job, okay? I can live off such little money. I'm good with money and I won't go hungry. It doesn't take much to make me happy and I like this little job. I get to be on my feet and walk around all day, there are gigantic windows, and regular customers come in and have conversations with me. My coworkers and managers are kind to me.

I just want everyone to leave me alone.
& To be allowed to let the past, be the past.

My emotions are closer to the surface tonight, but even though it's amplified, this is how I feel.
Nyxii Nyxii
26-30, F
1 Response Jan 15, 2013

Ah yeah, concerned people who don’t put much thought in what they say can be rather insensitive at times.
Their expectations and values are their and their alone. Your life - your own way of doing things and means to find yourself, their passive condemnation doesn’t help the cause at all.
Honestly, I think you’re awesome. You’re self-sustained and can express yourself with ease. I wish they would just let you be you and see from there where it goes, I have a feeling that unbound by their opinions you’ll make an even greater person. Be brave.

Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to read & comment. You're right; they are concerned. They do care about me & it's not their intention to be insensitive.
Hopefully eventually I can just let it roll off my shoulders like water off a duck's back. I appreciate your considerate encouragement.