I have a problem with being so open and honest about my problems. When you open up to your "Friends" on social media too many times people will accuse you-behind your back- of ranting, or of being a drama queen, or an attention whore, or any other of the vast array of insults and put-downs that tend to hurt feelings and make one not want to share any part of yourself with the cruel, cruel, world.
To be an effective, successful blogger you have to have something that pulls people in. The most successful blogs are often ones where the author shares a part of their life, a piece of themselves. I know that to identify the root of my own problem within my own mind, that I will need to be completely honest with you, my audience. It's not going to be easy. For that reason, I doubt I will share all my personal blog posts regularly with my facebook friends.
So what is my problem?
I am a self saboteur. I am so good at it, I have completely destroyed my own life, my own health, my own potential. The problem is...I don't know why I do it.
I have potential. Not to toot my own horn, but I am smart. I am reasonably attractive. I have talent...lots of it. I can do just about anything I set my mind to.
And I do! I bust out the gate at the start, gun-ho and raring to go. I may even lead at the first turn, I may be winning...inevitably, I see how well I am doing and decide that second place isn't so bad, the backstretch arrives things get tough, I feel tired,and so I slow down and take a breather, telling myself I can catch up. By the final turn, I have completely given up. I just stop. No one can beat me, if I quit first.
In high school, I ran cross country and track. In cross country, a team scored based on how well their team finished. The team with the lowest score would win. I would let other girls from my own team pass me. I told myself-and my mother who confronted me about it- that it was fine if my teammates passed me...the team score was still the same. It wasn't until years later I realized that even then I was self sabotaging. I was giving up in the name of "team spirit." I realize years later that I continued to do this in many areas. It was okay to wear sweat pants, and get fat, and be unhealthy...my kids always looked great and were doing well. It was okay that I didn't own a coat during frigid Kentucky winters...I sacrificed my own needs for those of my kids. That is what I told myself, and it was undoubtedly true. What I didn't want to hear at the time is my sacrificial attitude was unnecessary. My kids are ridiculously spoiled. They don't remember half the toys featured in their bygone Christmas pictures, having had so many awesome gifts given to them year in and year out. Buying myself a coat would have been a smart investment. Losing my hand to frostbite, not so much.
I see now, after reflecting over my last 40-plus years, that at least since high school, I have been allowing myself to lose. I made sure I failed. Honestly, the fact I finished college with honors is perhaps my greatest accomplishment, (except the birth and raising of my children) because it is the only time in my last 20 years that I did something from start to finish and did it well.
Self sabotaging...it doesn't sound so bad. You just stop, right? I see what I am doing and I just...stop...doing... it. Sadly, it doesn't work like that. I can identify that I am self sabotaging, know when I am doing it, but I can not bring myself to stop self sabotaging. I have some sort of deep seeded issue.
What has self sabotaging cost me?
My health- I am grossly overweight, have fibromyalgia and arthritis, and feel generally bad much of the time.
My Financial health- I just can't get it together, I forget to pay bills, I am in an insurmountable amount of debt. I have no control at all over my finances. I don't make much money, but what I make I spend immediately. Sometimes out of necessity, but sometimes on frivolous things. I see something I want, and it becomes an obsession, and I work to find a way to afford it, whether I can truly afford it or not. Why do I do these things? I am not sure. My relationship with money is just as screwed up as my relationship with food.
Procrastination- I am the world's worst procrastinator. I used to excuse my bad habit because I honestly can do some of my best work under pressure. However, the procrastinating kept getting bigger, until I began to miss deadlines. I missed classes in college, turned in work late, began to miss appointments, and I started feeling guilty because I was putting other people out with my tardiness. This all goes right back to my self sabotaging....screw it up however you can.
The truth is, things start to go well and for some reason, I blow it every...single...time. I have not yet had my epiphany on why I do these things to myself. Is it because I don't feel good enough? I obviously have some deep-seeded self-hate to so thoroughly destroy a life that had a promising beginning. I remember people taking special interest in me. Teachers pulling me aside and building me up. I sang solos in Christmas programs in Elementary school, won speech/Drama Club awards in Middle School for my dramatic interpretations. I was called to the counslor's office because I showed such promise as a budding poet...I was a talented distance runner, a good all-around athlete, but I struggled in Math and I never felt smart.
So I got to High School and decided that I didn't care. I was happy to pull C's while my friends cranked out A's and B's. I just wasn't as smart and frankly, I didn't give a damn. That story lasted until my junior year when we took the ACT. I scored just as well as my "smart friends," and thus it was quickly discovered, I was lazy, and again I didn't care.
Something happened to me in High School that forever changed the fabric of the hopeful kid I was. Teenage angst quickly became hormonal imbalance. No one saw it at the time. Everyone just thought I was a bitch. However, I remember a sad, slightly depressed freshman girl who hated the way she looked, who didn't feel pretty enough, or smart enough, or good enough about anything. My freshmen year I was really good at Cross Country. I was so good that I even beat the seniors in many races. They didn't have my attitude about getting beat by a teammate, and I noticed after several races the seniors would high five one another when they would beat me. This should have spurred me on to push harder and to beat them next time, but in my desperateness to feel accepted, I took on the attitude...it didn't matter...the team score was the same.
My freshmen year, I also got my first boyfriend. I honestly felt honored that he paid any attention to me at all. He would use me and dump me, use me and dump me...repeatedly for several years before I started to slowly see my own worth, and finally I broke the cycle with him. However, the damage had already been done, and I took more shit from useless, teenage boys than I ever should have. I got pregnant when I was 16 by one of my oldest friends, and at 17 gave birth to one of my greatest accomplishments. I don't regret having my child. However, I regret allowing other people to make me feel like shit because of it. I regret allowing an entire town to gossip and look down their noses at me. Me, a scared little teenage girl who had made a mistake with the wrong boy...Grown adults gossiped about me at a factory where the people I babysat for worked. They heard the rumor of my pregnancy, before I even got a chance to tell them myself.
I understand exactly what it felt like to wear a scarlet letter.
To be continued...
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