This resonated with me as many of your daily posts do. I have been struggling with not being enough for many years. Most people who know me would not agree but I have felt it inside since I was a child.
My “story”…Both parents worked, I’m the middle child of seven, Dad had a favorite my younger sister, Mom had a favorite my older brother. It was obvious to everyone in my family who the favored children were, it was overt. We were a poor family by local standards and often neglected as children. We were made to take care of the household and be slaves to my parents needs. Cooking and serving them dinner, doing laundry, cleaning basically everything a parent is supposed to do for their children. I could never do enough, there was always something more to do with a family of nine people. Let me say that though I was resentful I did learn how to take care of a home, myself and others. I was taking financial care of myself since the age of 13. My hard work and a wonderful teacher in high school gave me skills in sales and marketing, which helped me land a job right out of high school. I went on to work for a major corporation in sales in 1978 and was recruited by major corporation in Boston in 1989. All without a college degree. I earned my under graduate degree with a 3.7 gpa at the age of 38, and a masters at the age of 48. I share this to make the point that I am not stupid, lazy or lacking in confidence, from outside appearances. I am also an attractive woman and carry myself well.
My adult struggles began and triggered my youthful insecurities of not being enough, when I worked for this major Boston company. It was a male dominant culture, I was hired as the first female from outside of the company into management. I was hired as an agent of change as they transitioned women into management. I moved to a new city where I knew no one and began my new career. Two weeks after I was hired the Supreme Court ruled against quotas for women in management and this company’s quote in the Wall Street Journal was “business as usual”. I was a head strong cocky survivor and did not see the writing on the wall and was consequently beaten down by this male dominant culture over a five year time period until finally I was called into the corporate headquarters and told that we essentially were getting a divorce. They had no grounds to fire me, I was a highly effective worker, they just didn’t see a fit for me in the culture. Bla Bla Bla… I took a severance package and felt deeply depressed. I had just built my first home and now did not have a job to support it. I felt worthless and beaten. I didn’t have a fight in me to bring suit against them for discrimination for which I had a very good case according to my attorney. I worked so hard and such long hours to be dismissed and have my contributions devalued. I was an emotional mess to say the least.
Now I am dating this guy for almost three years, he has wanted to marry me since day one that I met him. I knew there was something not right and I resisted his proposals. I didn’t know it then but I know it now, my lessons had a 2×4 attached and I was being hit hard once again and didn’t see the writing on the wall. I married this man by his mother’s bedside just before she went into emergency heart surgery (which she survived and lived for 10 more years). He didn’t ask me he just went about the process of finding out who could marry us in the hospital. As it turns out in Florida you can get married by a notary and every hospital administrator has to be a notary. Six months after I lost my job we were married at midnight in the cardiac care unit by a jewish hospital administrator. He talked about it as if it were the most romantic story in the world. I felt manipulated and used. We were married for 10 years, together for three before the marriage and separated for three years for a total of 16 years of my life.
I understand that I could have said no, I didn’t. I understand now that I was emotionally drained and wanted to belong to someone or something that made me feel like I was valued. He turned out to be a narcissist in the full sense of the meaning. I slaved during our marriage and was the work horse behind building a small technology business out of our home. He also managed to get all of my savings including part of my 401K to invest in this business. Eventually during my masters program in Spiritual Psychology I knew I had to end this “marriage”. I separated from him in 2003 and by 2006 I made the decision to walk away from my home and the business for a small sum. I own stock in the company through my 401K so I do hope it is successful but I can’t and don’t count on it.
After my divorce I moved south to a new place where I knew no one and started over again. I’ve been for five years. I was depressed and lonely but worked on myself to get above it all. I took art therapy classes, dance lessons, and have been joyfully taking Argentine Tango lessons for two years now. I do not have a job and my savings is dwindling. I do not have any debt nor do I own a home. I am existing in a small city that I truly enjoy. I appear by all outside observers a confident, competent woman. In reality I have not worked since 2003 when I separated from my ex. My resume shows a huge gap in employment and my confidence has tanked to a level I don’t even understand.
I need to get a job but I lack the confidence to interview. I have begun to network people that I know and have my resume updated. I am alternating between joy and loneliness constantly. I am not asked out on dates very often but I often hear men say “you must have tons of dates”. I want a relationship with a caring person. Someone to allow me space to be me and be the wind beneath my wings. I am in fear of being alone when some natural disaster strikes with no one knowing or caring if I am dead or alive. It’s irrational and yet true. Being the middle child I often emotionally separated myself from my family. I know they care about me but I am viewed by them as the confident career woman I once was.
When I request from the Universe what I want I simply ask for:
The right and perfect job, the right and perfect home and the right and perfect partner.
Where is my worthiness, how can I get it in my head that I am creating this. I know intellectually that it’s one step at a time, it’s a mind set but my actions are not in line with my emotional state. I know that I need to meditate more and go out less. I know that I need to get a job. I know that I have skills and something to offer yet I am not able to voice my needs and to get through the fear of not being enough. I know that I have to be willing to be uncomfortable to get to a level of comfort. I just can’t seem to do it.
There I’ve put it all out there for you and ME to see. Thank you for being the impetus for my dialog with myself. Thank you for letting me share my sense of unworthiness so that I can undo what I have done and forgive myself thoroughly enough to get it and move on. I’m going to practice some self forgiveness here if you don’t mind.
I forgive myself for judging my parents as having favorites. The truth is they loved us all as best as they knew how at the time. The truth is they were young themselves. They were learning how to be parents and living their own life challenges.
I forgive myself for judging my parents for neglect and slavery in my childhood…The truth is we had to survive as a family and it required everyones input. They were doing the best they knew how at the time.
I forgive myself for judging myself as a headstrong cocky survivor… The truth is I did not know how to ask in that corporate culture for help when I needed it. I presented a strong exterior because I was raised to find solutions and get it done. I forgive myself for judging myself for hiding my needs from others. The truth is I could have benefited and built alliances by asking for help.
I forgive myself for judging my ex as a narcissist. The truth is he had lessons to learn also and was doing the best he knew how at the time. The truth is he was there to be a teacher for me. I forgive myself for not standing in my truth and speaking up when my boundaries were crossed. Fear was driving me to work harder to please others. I forgive myself for judging myself as being in fear. The truth is there was nothing to fear what I produced without fear was enough. I forgive myself for judging myself for putting everyone elses needs before my own. The truth is I am by nature a giver and I need to honor my boundaries vs abusing myself and blaming others for abusing me. Wow there is some meat there to chew on…
I forgive myself for not honoring myself and my personal boundaries. The truth is by not honoring myself I give permission for others to dishonor me. Hmmm I’m going to chew on that one too…
Thank you for reading and for being there for me today…
The Conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought!
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This was shared with the author’s permission. We take your privacy seriously and would never publish something without your consent. Share what you’re going through by sending Mastin an email:WhatImGoingThru@TheDailyLove.com.