Sunday, April 12, 2009

fear and self-loathing in my brain

I had hoped that the one year anniversary of the loss of Jeff would somehow erode the loneliness and terror that filled my heart. That I would feel whole and complete again. That I would learn to just 'be' again. But it hasn't.
Tonight I am filled with self-loathing. Self-hatred. Self-questioning and self-mistrust.
Jeff thought I was kind. Funny. Sweet. Crazy. Quiet (compared to him this was not hard). Smart. Interesting. Looking at myself through his eyes, I liked myself. I liked who I was to him. Now I can only see myself reflected in the other people left in my life....and all I see is an insecure, hypocritical, pain in the ass.
I am a hypocrite. I make my mind up seemingly concretely about something and then change it. I am a preacher and meddler. I tell people to care about their bodies and their families. To do nice things for their wives. To smile more often. It's really none fo my business. I am a complainer. I can find something wrong in essentially every situation even when I have being trying for most of my adult life to train myself out of this habit. I am a geek. I do nothing of interest and live vicariously through my chidlren's childhood. I do not know what I am doing even though I often try to portray that I do. I stumble along, attempting to eductate myself about things that interest me only to lose that interest and zest after I have delved into the subject temporarily. I do not know jack-shit about anything. I didn't finish school. I never finish anything. I am obnoxious. I laugh too loud. I make rude jokes. I tease and think I'm funny when I am not. I am always late. I try to be on time. I curse my parents when they are constantly late. But I am just as late. I get distracted and attempt to fit too many things into small periods of time. I am raising my kids and not really knowing what I am doing. I have no idea what is right. People tell me what they 'think' I should do...and I believe them. Then someone else tells me what I should do...and I believe them. Conflicting ideas, maybe but I don't believe in my own feelings and think that I am shit and my kids suffer because I don't have much conviction in myself or my ways. I have no one to love me. No one to tell me that I am doing okay and that we will figure this out together. No one to hold my hand and tell me that even though I am an obnoxious, hypocritical, not-so-know-it-all know-it-all, they love me and that I am okay. I hate that. I hate Jeff for leaving me. I hate myself for being alone. I hate my life for what is left of it. I hate everything.
Who is insecure in their 30s? I thought you were somewhat at ease at this time in your life. Turns out, at least for me, that's shit. Without Jeff's image of me reflected back, I don't know who or what I stand for and that is pathetic all in itself. I am always telling my six year old daughter to not give two shits what anyone else thinks about her - what is important is what she thinks about herself. What if you don't know who/what you are after everything changes? Does your identity ever return? Who are you after? Do you ever know yourself again?
I want to close the door and not come out. I want to hide and not embarass myself further. I want to tell the world to go away. I want to scream and cry. I want to smash things and myself. I want to be free of myself because I make myself sick....I want to delete this because I think that I sound like a loser. A freak. A depressed sonofabitch who is just messed up and fucked up and full of shit. For all the 'ups' and the road that I have been pushing myself up, if I look hard enough, I realize that I haven't climbed even half of the fucking goddamned hill. I'll never make it. I have no reason to.

17 comments:

Peace said...

Me too, for a lot of that.

HUGS

Anna in Minneapolis said...

You've listed all the bad things you think of yourself...now I think you should force yourself to list a minimum of 10 good things. I read your blog regularly and know that there are many, many good things. First, I know you're an awesome mother. If I have kids some day, I will try to follow your mothering example by letting my kids be who they are, by helping them explore the wonders of nature, and by encouraging them to create and not just buy and consume. Second, I know that you're a good writer and photographer - you have a way of capturing moments in words and pictures. Oh, there are so many GREAT things about you. I'm so very sorry that you're consumed by self-loathing. I'm so sorry that Jeff can't be here to mirror back everything that is good in you, but since he can't be, please let your readers assure you of your value and worth. I can guarantee that we wouldn't be returning to your blog day in and day out if all the things you think about yourself were true. Hugs!

IamDerby said...

(((Jackie))) Just reading your blog I know there is a lot more to you than what you have listed. Its easy to be insecure anytime in our lives... its hard to believe in yourself, harder still when your number one cheerleader is gone. I have a list of things I hate about me that is super long. I still need reassurance that I am A-OK. You will forge ahead, you will get through this rough patch. You are beyond strong, you are wise, you are loving.... you still have so much ahead of you. Hang in there.

Jenny said...

I'll second Anna in Minneapolis's suggestion: just to be fair, now list at least 10 things you're good at. Or as an alternative, add "even though..." to the beginning of each perceived fault, and see where that takes you. It's hard to dig yourself out of the self-loathing hole, but oh so worth it when you can.

Anna said...

Jackie, I'm sorry you are having a bad day(s). Keep going. Keep climbing. You have 2 beautiful children who love you you are human. You have faults as we all do. You have great qualities too! You will find d your way, the new you, the after Jeff you. I'm sorry you have to go through this. From what I see on your blog, you aren't just an ok mom or a good mom, you are a GREAT mother! Despite the horrible tradgedy that has happened in your life, in their lives, you are creating wonderful memories for them. You are molding to beautiful human beings. Big hug.

Desha said...

I am glad that you got that off your chest!. Jeff KNEW who you were, and you are still that same person, even if he isn't here to tell you. Sometimes, you just need someone to remind you that you are the mother of those beautiful kids, doing an amazing job, and that Jeff would be so proud of you. No one is perfect, and that is okay. It is okay to have failures and insecurities. It is okay to feel guilty and not measure up all the time, every single day. Please know that those things he saw in you, I see in you too.
"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and will sing it back to you when you forget the lyrics."

13mimosa said...

You know what, all those things are you and I don't even know you and I still like you despite the things you consider flaws! And something else - I'm 40 this year and I'm constantly amazed that I still haven't figured things out yet - including myself!

leigh in the sav said...

I am not a widow, nor am I a mother. But I am in my 30s and I am or feel to almost everything you brought up in this post. I often feel hypocritical and judgmental, not attractive qualities. I also often feel hyper-critical and a real bitch. I am consistently late, I am sometimes rude to those closest to me. I am not very creative, I am a procrastinator. I am awful with money. I am insecure and often held back by fear.

The point is, these feelings are so normal. More normal than any of us think. We frequently fool ourselves into thinking others have it "all figured out" - but really, we're all just pretending to know what's going on. Feeling our way around - and I am sure that sucks to do without your best friend. I understand how Jeff likely made you feel that despite all those things you mentioned, he still just accepted you for you. He is not the only one that sees you for who you really are.

Many of us do, too. And while I know it doesn't compare - I just want you to realize that even strangers from across the continent can recognize your huge heart, crafty and nature-loving ways, your patience, your integrity, your tenderness, your sense of humor and sarcasm, your honesty and strength, your sensitivity, your bright eyes and caring soul, your appreciation for the world given to us and the need to pass these traits to your children. These are all beautiful things that also exist in you.

I am sorry Jeff isn't here to remind you of your internal light and beauty. I am sorry he's not here to comfort and hold you, but please don't feel that you should be past that just because some arbitrary date passed on a calendar. I can't imagine a year would be long enough to get used to your "new" life.

I do still wish for you and your kiddos continued light, love and strength. And am still so glad you feel comfortable enough to share out loud, so that you don't feel so alone.

much love and big hugs.

Krista said...

It is so helpful when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable like this, and *especially* when we're willing to acknowledge our judgments for what they are. Even though judging can yield a lot of pain (for ourselves and others), it can also be a great teacher to us about what we value.

You have judged yourself harshly here, Jackie. Are you seeing how all the things you value are coming to light through this post? You value strength and competence and reliability and that's why you're coming down so hard on yourself for being what you see as "an insecure hypocritical pain in the ass".

I know you also value forgiveness, so can you forgive yourself for the past, present (and all the future) times when you think you've fallen short?

I know you value humanity, kindness, love and understanding, this is why you are finding it so painful to accept the part(s) of you that you think sometimes doesn't reflect these values....

It is just so human to experience everything you're experiencing here! We all do to some degree or another. I'm feeling silly writing that because I know you know it already. I'm just grateful that you're willing to express it and be transparent in this moment.

Just know, I am not trying to "make you feel" anything different from what you're feeling, no one on earth can. It will always be your thoughts that determine how you feel. And no one can *control* your thoughts, but part of the deal with having support and good friends is that they can help you to shift your thoughts when they're really not very healthy ones to have...

Thank you for your honesty, Jackie, hope all the wonderful positives in your life are shining for you so that you can see them a little bigger and brighter today...

brown eyed girl said...

Jackie, you're touching a lot of truths and feelings that many people can identify with and relate to. Thank you for being so open and honest. I read your blog often and love your candor and witticisms. For what it's worth, I think you're a good person and a great mother. You're also human and relatable, which are endearing qualities so many people love.

I hope you're having a better day and taking pleasure in the little things.
-b.e.g.

darcie said...

Well shit - thanks for not deleting this post before I had a chance to read it! My creepy friend Leigh in the Sav nailed it down (thanks Leigh!) so I won't repeat it but...
yeah, please know that those are normal thoughts you have...I'm 34 years old and have NEVER been as insecure in all of my life as I am right now...not even in Jr. High or HS! The baby weight, the sleepless nights that cause me to barely function for days, the wanting what I don't have that I think I should have...
point is - we are all human and we just get through it the best we can...and you do have a reason to climb that hill - two of them actually - and they call you mom!

Anonymous said...

You're going to make it. You are.

Poppy and Mei said...

Anonymous is right...XXxx

corinnecooper said...

I think we all feel inadequate, stupid, boring, etc, etc. You are not alone in having these feelings, but without even "knowing" you I can list many great things about you that I can see from your blog. For instance your far better a parent that I could ever strive to be. You are brave, hence the post about your flatulence issue :) And you have great sence of humor. (again see above) Those are just a few of the great qualities I can see in you. Stay strong, you are a fighter ;)

Roads said...

Great honesty, Jackie -- that's really quite a list.

But really, apart from all that, I'd say you're pretty much right on track...

Keep smiling through the rain, as best you can, and spirits up.

indybarb said...

Oh Jackie......I love you and I don't even know you. I appreciate your humor and candor and I seem to relate to so much that you say, especially in this blog. You are real and human and wonderful and loveable just the way you are, and I am sure that is why Jeff loved you so much too. Please try not to be so hard on yourself.....I say that knowing how hard that can sometimes be. You are a very strong and amazing woman and I am sure I am not the only one saying that, because it IS true. I wish there was something I could say or do to make you feel not so alone in this great big world. Hugs to you from far away. You and your kiddos are still in my thoughts every single day. Today my wish for you is to feel some peace....even if it is just a glimpse

Jen said...

You have a beautiful and honest soul. Not many people could list all their faults, especially on a blog. You are holding yourself accountable by doing that and that takes courage. I don't know you at all and I've listed two wonderful things about you. Honesty and Courage. Just remember that 'He who is without sin may cast the first stone'. Don't try to be everything all at once for everybody all the time. Just be yourself and everything else will fall into place.

Love from,
Jen