I was never, ever good enough. No matter what I did. No matter how hard I tried. I was never able to live up to expectations. Never cherished, delighted in, wanted, cared for, or desired. I was always judged and found lacking. By my parents. By my husband (now ex-husband). By church leaders. Very significant people in my life totally and completely rejected and discounted me, determining I had no real value.
As a result, I didn’t know I was a person…still struggle to believe it to this day. I can remember being shocked when, at age 21, my flight instructor asked me out after we got back from a training flight. I literally turned around to see who he was talking to, thinking there had to be a “real” person standing behind me that I didn’t realize was there. I was utterly shocked to find there was no one behind me and he was speaking to ME. Unfortunately, though I came to care for him deeply, he never seemed to care all that much for me. He would act like he cared, then be totally unavailable for weeks at a time. It was confusing and caused me to question my “person” status all over again, thus concluding I wasn’t one. But I will never forget that moment in time when he asked me out because it was one of the first when I was treated like I was a real human being.
Sadly, I’m still not good enough. Not enough. And I don’t really believe I’m a person, not like everyone else is a person. Oh, I have a few friends who think I’m O.K., though I’m not someone they hang around with much. I’m not married (now), don’t have kids and don’t share many common interests with them as a result. So our paths don’t cross much unless we work hard to make them cross. And frankly, they didn’t come from the kind of hell I did, so they are more on the normal end of the scale while I’m…not. Which means we have even less in common. Though they share with me, they don’t talk with me about who I really am inside because of that lack of commonality. There are certain “acceptable” things I can share occasionally, but most don’t know I have an eating disorder, that I still don’t feel like a person or think I have value, that I suffer from major debilitating depression, or know that I was horribly abused as a child. They may have heard I was abused, but know little to no details (details aren’t acceptable!). A couple know about the eating disorder, but not the daily struggle, the emotional fallout, or how bad it is. My point is this: I have to hide because what I am isn’t good enough. It’s shameful. It’s unacceptable. It’s bad. And because I have to hide, I never really feel connected. When you’re not good enough, it’s very difficult to allow yourself to attach or be attached to. You fear discovery, even though you wish you could just…simply…be…who…you…are. But you can’t. Not when you’re not good enough.
As a result of all the reinforcement I’ve received throughout my life from childhood on, I have come to agree with the opinion of those who have so harshly abused and/or rejected me. I have come to see myself as being without value or worth. I don’t know how to see myself any other way.
Being “not good enough” means there is little concern and even less love in life. It means being alone. Being isolated. Being different and unacceptable. It means never having anyone to share your heart with or to connect with in a deep way. It means keeping things light and shallow. Not really touching. Not revealing those ugly parts or talking about painful, dark topics. Which perpetuates the feelings of not being good enough. It cements in place the cycle of rejection and self-hate. It hurts.
Never being real is painful. Never being enough is demoralizing. Never being loved is the biggest wound imaginable; cuts straight to the core. Which probably explains why it’s so hard for me to simply make it through the day.