Cleaning House & Inferiority Complexes
It’s time to clean house. I’ve had this particular piece sitting around in draft status for an extended period of time. When Le Clown so graciously asked me to contribute to Black Box Warnings many moons ago, I really wanted to, but I felt the piece I am sharing here wasn’t good enough. Basically, I felt like my writing wasn’t good enough to be featured on Black Box Warnings. Most of those people had been Freshly Pressed, and I never had. Hell, I still haven’t been Freshly Pressed! Oh well, fuck those haters over there at WP. See if I send them a fruit basket for Xmas!
I still plan on writing something for Black Box Warnings, if they’ll have me, and I hope to work on it over the holidays. But I thought I would post this so all of you can share in my inferiority complex. Surely I can’t be the only one who suffers from the “not good enough syndrome”, especially when it comes to writing! I think the first two paragraphs of this are the best, so after that you may want to stop reading. Oh, and remember, I wrote this months ago, and the “boyfriend” I am referring to is no longer the “boyfriend” because he’s the fuck stick that beat me up.
The carnies are fighting outside the office window as I sit here writing this. No, I don’t work for the carnival, or the circus. It just so happens that the carnies are camped out near my office; close enough that I can see their trailers, and hear them bitching about something as they walk past.
The irony of the situation doesn’t escape me. I am trying to write up a post for Black Box Warnings, after Le Clown so kindly mentioned the other day, he would welcome a contribution from me. Get it?? Carnies?? Le Clown?? Fucking irony. I am honored to have been asked, as someone who doesn’t consider themselves to be good enough. I don’t feel like a good enough writer to be here.
Most days I don’t feel good enough, or smart enough, or thin enough, or pretty enough. Lately it’s been worse than usual. I am full of self-doubt as my son makes the transition to living with his dad. I don’t feel like a good enough mother by just relinquishing my residential custody to his dad. Do I believe in my heart of hearts that my son going to live with his dad at the age of 12 is the best thing? Yes, I do, or I would have fought it. But still, self-doubt set in.
Self-doubt is like a cancer cell, and it’s the fast growing kind, metastasizing. One or two mistakes at work led me to thinking that maybe I don’t deserve to have my job. That I’m not smart enough to do my job and maybe they should just fire me and find someone else to do it. So it doubled.
Hearing from my boyfriend last night, that yet another woman he had gone to high school with had friended him on Facebook, and how they had a long conversation about where she lives now, and what she does, and how she said he should visit her in Alaska, led me to thinking maybe I’m not pretty enough for him. Maybe the women he is friends with on Facebook look better than me, and he will want them more than he wants me, and he will leave me for one of them. So it tripled.
While typing this post I have written, and rewritten, read and reread all of it at least ten times, feeling like the words I’ve put down aren’t good enough. I feel like they’re not clever enough, that I haven’t put my feelings down clearly enough to convey my point. So it quadrupled.
Where did all of the self-doubt start? Can I blame it on my parents? I think it began there, with my dad telling me I didn’t do good enough in the basketball game and wanting to know why I didn’t do better; with my mother always talking about how unhappy she was with her body. But it’s not all their fault. Can I blame it on the media? Yes, some of it I think I can. Images on pages, or flashed across the TV screen, of nearly flawless women, with perfectly proportioned bodies, making young girls like me believe that sort of look is obtainable. Never do they mention how much genetics play a part in how your body is shaped, or how they airbrush pictures to take out every blemish and reshape every hip or breast to achieve that seemingly perfect look. Can I blame it on past relationships? Blame it on the men who told me I wasn’t good enough, either through actual spoken words, or by their fucking other women and leaving me for them? Yes, partially they are to blame too. Can I blame it on myself? Well, of course I can, because I’m not smart enough, or pretty enough, or thin enough, or kind enough, or giving enough, or funny enough, or. . . .