This is the question that keeps me up at night.
In talking to my therapist recently, we uncovered, uh….. a lot. And, she assured me that I’m not alone in this, and that more people than I realize feel the way I do.
So, here we go…
I live my life in a constant state of feeling inadequate and not good enough. In all areas of my life. As a sibling. As a friend. As a girlfriend. As a co-worker. As a human. All of it, and everything in-between.
There isn’t one person, or one moment in my life to blame here. Looking back, I never remember not feeling this way. Honestly, I thought this was just how people were supposed to feel.
I always feel like people are spending time with me because they feel like they have to. Not because they want to. And then it hit me at 3am the other night. (Ya know, normal time for your best thoughts.)
We aren’t in first grade anymore. It’s not 1991 where the whole class has to get invited to birthday party at Burger King whether you actually like your classmates or not.
That was a lightbulb moment. Despite all the therapy, all the tears, all the grueling thinking. That one thought changed it for me. We are adults. We get to choose who we want to spend our time and energy with.
I find that I am constantly giving my power to other people. See above (siblings, partners, friends, co-workers). Again, this isn’t blaming anyone, and I don’t want the 3 people reading this to feel bad. I mean it when I say,
It’s not you, it’s me
I make myself feel so small, so worthless. And, it’s not fair. Not fair to those on the receiving end, and most importantly, not fair to me. I am smart, capable, funny, kind. Worthy and deserving all the things I attribute to others. All the high standards I hold other people to – I am worthy and capable of those things too. Worthy of success. Worthy of love. Worthy of pure, genuine happiness.
I don’t “owe” people for being my friend. For dating me. No one is being my friend or dating me because they have some obligation to do so. It is a mutual contract (for lack of a better word). We both are in the relationship (in whatever aspect) because we both want to be there.
I was talking with a good friend about this, and how I need to learn ways to make myself understand and believe that I also have power in the relationship. He said that there may not, and probably will never be, a perfect balance. However, that I am never without power. He also told me that because there will not always be pure balance, that we need to trust the other person because there will always be uncertainty. And, I think of that every day and am working toward that perfectly imperfect balance in all areas, and relationships, in my life.
If you feel the same way, know you’re not alone.