I am not alone with the struggle of not being good enough. It is a repeated theme in conversations that I am privy to and seems to touch humans in general in some way or another. Sometimes it is big – a deep-seated belief of being completely unworthy of love or any form of kindness and this may result in suicide to end that pain, for once and for all. Sometimes it is small – just a blip on a bad day when something has not gone the way it was expected. Of course there are all the nuances and variations between the extremes.
Having an entrenched struggle with narcissistic abuse syndrome, as I do, I find that the days of not being good enough are hugely overwhelming at times. It soars to epic proportions where death is so appealing. To give up the fight, to lay down and be enfolded in the serenity of quiet and calm and no more running on the hamster wheel. To not inflict my brand of not good enough on any other human being. I sometimes long for that sweet relief.
I didn’t know that I would be so tired after leaving my marital home. I laboured under the misconception that my energy would return and that life would revert pretty much back to the way it was before I got married. Obviously some differences – I am not in my 20s anymore, I have children now and have many friends that are journeying with me in this life, that were not in my radius in my 20s.
Instead I am so often tired – exhausted to the marrow of my bones. Part of it is the fact that I don’t sleep as well as I would like, but hopefully that will come right, given some time. Part of it is that I have very little energy left to fight, push and pull. I find it hard to say no to people and therefore commit myself to more things than I can manage in a day without wearing myself down completely. This tiredness exudes itself into so many things – from the everyday chores to work to returning calls or messages and more.
Yesterday I realised part of my tiredness is pretending to be what I am not, to fit in with what other people want and / or expect of me. I decided earlier this year that if I make it out of the tunnel to the end of this divorce, I am going to metamorphosize en route. I can’t promise that I will be a butterfly. Probably a moth, but at least I will no longer be crawling on the ground. I will be flying with my wings that have been tinged by the flames to which I have been blindly drawn over the years.
It is exhausting pretending. No wonder the narcissists I know all sleep so much. They may not sleep a lot at night, but upon inspection, all the ones that I have known very well, have regular daytime naps – power ones or longer ones. It is tiring keeping up a pretence of normality. Or perhaps I am analysing them from my perspective and that is not true at all. They just need to recharge their batteries to inflict some more pain on you. Or to find a new method of blame-shifting, gas-lighting, love- bombing or whichever tactic they feel like using on their victims today.
I am becoming less and less tolerant of hypocrisy. I don’t care for it. I have spent most of my life avoiding people who practise it and managed to put up a facade of tolerance when I have not been able to avoid those people. Some of them were the people who are Christians between 9 and 10:30am on a Sunday, every Sunday, as well as on Wednesday nights at Bible Study group. Some of them are the people (mostly women unfortunately), who are sugary sweet to your face, but are just as poisonous as sugar is to the body. The second that you are out of ear shot, they gun for you. Some are the partners of people I love. Partners who are appalling people. I have to work hard to find the nice things about them. It is difficult to tell someone you care about, who is very in love and very happy, or thinks that they are, that they have made a bad choice. If you are like me, you wonder if you are putting your own bias on the situation and judging the other person unfairly. My sister had a boyfriend like this. Truth be told, I too had a boyfriend like this, but was lucky enough to have someone who loved me boldly enough to tell me to kick him to the kerb.
One of the liberating things about being in my forties is that I no longer feel that I have to tolerate the bullshit that surrounds us. It has been a hard fight to live this long and to survive. If I am going to make it through without prematurely ending the race with suicide, then I cannot have people who are fake in my life. I don’t want the people who are not straight talkers – the ones where you have to spend hours or days trying to work out what they were implying in the last conversation and wondering if you should take what they said at face value. I know that I am flawed and imperfect. My mind has been messed up by my experiences and my thought patterns are all over the places at times. My emotions pour out with an explosion that takes me by surprise more often than I like to admit. I can laugh and cry within the space of two minutes. My body leaves much to be desired compared to the air-brushed, make up artist and hairdresser attended, personal dresser perfection that we see on TV and in the magazines. But just maybe, there may be people that love me anyway. We can look at all the bits that are going south and laugh heartily and then love one another anyway.
So I am tired of being tired. I am no longer willing to expend my energy on people or situations that do not deserve it. Currently, I don’t have a lot of extra energy to pass around, so I am going to be selfish with it. I want to learn to love myself thoroughly. I want God to know that I appreciate all the work that he or she put in.