Today’s post is about the worry that has plagued me throughout my life. There has been a nagging doubt following me around for a while now. This doubt is that I constantly feel like I am not good enough. This translates into several areas of my life. Work, relationships,my abilities as a parent and probably most things I do. I think it stems from lots of places. I grew up in a house with so many people in it that I felt insignificant for many years. I also was brought up a catholic and you are brainwashed to feel guilty about everything. I have either made bad choices or have been really unlucky in my choices of partners.
Most of the guys I have been out with over the years were out of work, alcoholics with very low self esteem and jealousy issues. The worst offender was the father of my three youngest kids who used to take his frustration at life out on me by constantly belittling me. This did not seem so bad at the beginning because I hardly noticed it. At the end of our relationship though it was almost all he did all the time. I think I have misplaced my self worth because I felt like I was never good enough for him. The person I was at the beginning of our relationship hardly resembled the person I was at the end. The good news is that I am no longer that put-down single parent. The more time I spend away from him the better I feel about myself. For a while it seemed that any time spent in his company drained all the energy out of me. Now that I can see him for who he really is he seems to be diminishing by the second. Every time he comes to see the kids he seems smaller, more insignificant and tiny. I feel like one day he will be small enough to fit in my hand. I also feel like this is the opposite to my strength which seems to be taking a nice swift walk up the side of a mountain. I breathe and sleep a little easier every day now.
As a single parent I have felt guilty for my kids not knowing their dads or not seeing their dads or for their dads being unable to face their responsibilities. I used to try to over-compensate for everything especially at christmas and birthdays. I used to half kill myself doing extra hours at work to keep us afloat or just to afford the necessities. My kids very rarely get a treat, in fact I can’t remember the last time we did anything that cost money. I have however made it my mission in life to tell my kids how much I love them everyday. I work because this hopefully will give them a good work ethic for later in their lives. I learn something on a daily basis because with learning comes understanding. All I wish for my kids is that they are happy and healthy and find some passion in life that makes them feel good. I hope I have given them tolerance, compassion, patience and enough individuality and guts to help them make informed decisions about their lives.
On the work front another possible move forward has presented itself and I was torn over the idea of whether to go for it or not. I keep thinking that I should give up already – that I won’t get anywhere where I am now. Then I got to thinking; should I make the fear of failure stop me from attempting to make a career for myself? I don’t know if I have been scuppering my own chances because of thinking negatively about work all the time. I have decided that I will take this one chance on me. I will try my hardest to get an interview for that job. I deserve to give myself a chance.
There is an upside to this story though:
1) I am aware of the damage I am doing to myself by feeling like I don’t deserve good things to happen to me. So today I am going to get ready for my next step. Tonight I will be getting my essay in order and making a list of what I need to do for my final essay for my degree and gather information I need to apply for that job.
2) I am aware of the wrong decisions I make when it comes to boyfriend material so for now I will take some time to work on me. Learn to like myself a little more, spend time with people who value me as a friend. I will stop letting people I can’t change from having an influence on me.
3) I am aware of how I have built up an image that I had to keep up with everyone when it comes to providing for my kids. My kids do not need things – xbox, playstations and other machines are just that. I need to give myself a break. My kids have love in abundance, food in their bellies and are clothed and have a roof above their heads. My kids know that I would do anything for them and that they mean the world to me. I need to give myself a break and accept that I am actually quite a good parent. In fact I would go as far as to say that I have done a wonderful job raising my kids so far.
I have been really lucky in the last couple of months as I have realised what a great bunch of friends I have. I have also met a couple of people too who have given me faith in my own strength and my own self worth. I have been learning to take time for me, do something that makes me happy on a regular basis. I have been taking time to tell myself that I am okay as I am. For the time being I am putting me first and it has been refreshing so far.