Less than

It took me one single day to find inspiration in others' writing, and now I have a page full of drafts on this lonely little blog. 

Kris at Pretty All True always writes things that get my mind racing and my heart beating heavy and hard. One of her posts last week just made me ache, more so than I already was. It was so spot on! I felt anguish, frustration, fear, doubt, disappointment as I was reading it...all the things I have been feeling lately anyway. 

Reading it made me feel less alone. 

And then, this comment she left in response to someone's comment: 

" Some of us are less, because we believe ourselves to be less. 
Subjective trumps objective, every time.
Every time."

Silly fear of mine. I've struggled with this for YEARS. This less than

I can't really put my finger on when it began, the origin of my less than. Was it when I didn't get a part in the play freshman year of high school? Was it when I began to be talked about at school, made fun of, ridiculed? Was it when my then-boyfriend slept with someone else on my prom night? Was it when a friend chose drugs over me? 
Or was it later, when my now-ex-husband discussed our pending divorce long before we ever thought of divorce? Or was it when he chose work over time with myself and our daughter, for years? Or was it after the divorce?

I think maybe all those things laid the groundwork for this less than. I think this less than has followed me well into adulthood, gaining strength with other things like lack of self-confidence and fear. 

So here I am. 
Less than. 

Objectively, cognitively, I know I am not less than. I know that I am valuable and priceless and full of worth and power and strength. 

But subjectively? Emotionally? Ah. Such bullshit.

I am less than at work in terms of priorities for my boss. 
I am less than at home in terms of everyone else's drama.
I am less than in my relationship....less important than everything else, everyone else. 
No matter the objective, the words said....I still feel it. I still see it. 
It is a terrible weakness to feel less than....to actually feel and say "I wish I was someone's first choice." 

I don't know why I feel this way. I don't know how it started. But damn if it isn't painful. Because this less than teams up with that doubt and that fear and it's a hell of a weight to carry alone, a hell of a storm to fight alone. 


lane said...

i feel this way often. it sucks. a lot.

same with you, i know in my BRAIN, on a cognitive level, that i have worth. i am a beloved mom, daughter, sister, friend.

but in my heart, emotionally, when i look in the mirror or talk (down) to myself in my head, i am constantly comparing myself to everyone and everything around me and saying, "see, that's why you're LESS THAN."

i personally think this is something that women struggle with more than men, and i think it stems from the messages we're given from the time we pop out of the womb. we are told we are cute, pretty, sweet. we are encouraged to hug and love and please everyone else, all of the time.

smile, they say, because people are attracted to girls who smile.

stay out of the dirt, they say, because dirt is ugly and smelly.

BE NICE, they say, because, well, you're supposed to be nice, you cute, sweet, pretty little girl.

but then, we are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we aren't pretty/skinny/rich/tan enough.

so we are left with this feeling of overwhelming inferiority and helplessness, because we're supposed to be pretty/smiley/happy/tan/skinny/rich for everyone else.

when all that shit catches up to us (like it's caught to me the past several years) and you really start thinking, you realize that you have a lot of emotional work to do before all that damage can be undone. i think it takes a lot of conscious effort, a lot of positive self-talk, and very firm affirmations and intentions. but it can be done. and i believe you'll get there, to that point where you wake up and you're like "geez, i'm ENOUGH, just like i am. and that's petty fucking awesome."

i'll get there too, dammit :).

Chris said...

You are never less than. Ever. It hurts my heart that you feel this way.

You are an amazing person, mom, friend and confidante!