Wrestling I am Not Enough

Kathleen M Peters, Speaker/Author

Once again I feel small. Once again I find myself crawling into my own skin to hide. Once again I feel the pangs of depression. I know I am drawing in when someone reaches out and my first reaction is to pull away. I flinch. “Don’t touch me!” “Don’t ask me how I am? I can’t bear you to look at my hideous self right now. Please run away. Save yourself.”

As I pound out the acre of dead grass around my property, marching out the feelings of inadequacy, weakness, failure, not enough, I recognize this feeling. I’m in a fight with lies.

And I don’t want to win.

If I believe them I don’t have to be responsible. I don’t have to do anything. I can just be that girl who said she wanted to do big things, but didn’t really have what it takes. She’s a dreamer with no real skill. Yes, this is easier. I can go back to cleaning house, baking muffins, and making cheese.

And then the inevitable thought…why am I even here. I bring nothing. I just take up space.

And then the inevitable thought…why am I even here. I bring nothing. I just take up space.

I stop crying immediately. I know this thought. This thought is straight from the pit of hell. This thought’s only purpose is to kill me.

Like someone just dumped a bucket of ice water over my head, I’m shaken to reality. I can’t go. I can’t do that to my kids. I can’t leave that legacy. The weddings, the births of children, starts of dream jobs, disappointments…they’ll need their mom then. They need you, Kathleen. There’s no replacement for your mom. You’ve seen this with other women who had crappy moms; they still yearn to be loved by her. Your kids will yearn for your love and acceptance. You can’t leave this way.

Ugh! How’d I get in this exact same place? How am I here again? What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get past these lies? Why do I keep coming back to them like they’re a best friend? A murderous best friend. Who keeps a friend like that? Oh. I do.

I remember a phrase from the self-compassion book I’m reading, “Oh, girl. You are suffering right now. You are in pain. This is hard. It’s okay to be gentle with you.” Right. It’s okay to stop and give myself permission to feel. I realize I’ve been angry with myself for feeling sad about some hard things happening in my life. I’ve pressured myself to get over it and called myself weak.

I shake my head in disbelief I’ve allowed myself to get here with lethal best friend again. And then I look down at my feet and I see it. It’s scads of dog poop. I’ve literally been walking through piles of sh&t. Laughter spills out. I keep coming back to my sh$tty back-stabbing toxic best friend because it’s what I’ve known. It’s a part of my make-up. 40+ years of telling yourself this sh%t, Kathleen, that’s why you are back here. But look at you, girlfriend, you may be walking in it, but you are moving past it every time you decide to not believe that blankety-blank “friend” of yours.

And so I keep walking. Leaving the piles of lies right where they belong, rotting in the hot sun.

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