Feeling inadequate


Feelings of inadequacy are something I continually struggle with. Whatever I do, I can’t help comparing it to what other people do and feel like I don’t measure up to that. I use other people’s reactions as gauges too, and somehow they never (seem to) react as positively to me as they do to others. And if I do, by exception, get a positive feedback, I only wait for it to go away again, for the other person to see she was wrong.

My conclusion is that I must be stupider than most people, with less interesting things to say, less abilities, less charms, less charisma, less personality, less value and less worth. That whatever I do, I will only ever be at the bottom of the pile. That there I have an aura of ‘she’s laughable, ignore her’ around me that other people will recognize before long. Even when I compare myself to other people with mental health problems I come off badly. Like even by those standards I am inadequate.

Sometimes I wonder if those feelings are the direct result of rejection and abandonment. My mother cut ties from one day to the next, surrendered her parental “rights” (burdens) and that was that. I meant nothing to her. She jumped at the first chance to get rid of me. And while I know – in theory – that that says more about her than about me, my feelings are not as easy to convince. Even as a daughter I was inadequate. So much so, that my mother, who I had lived with for 15 years by the time, didn’t hesitate to throw me away like trash.

I guess that is probably why I can’t get past feeling inadequate. Why whenever I compare myself to others, they come off so much better. Why so many things come across to me as evidence that people think badly of me and wish I wasn’t bothering them, even when I try to be nice and helpful. Then I withdraw, because my feelings are hurt and at the same time I don’t want to bother them with my presence anymore, knowing they will be happier when I’m gone. And if someone wants to reconnect, I make it hard for them. Turn them down. Try to drive them away and alienate them with all my might. Make them hate me. To validate the way I feel, and to keep myself from getting hurt again. Unless I am beyond caring and offer myself as a willing victim for whatever it is they think I deserve. Easy prey.

The results of feeling inadequate.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sparrow
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 03:53:04

    This was a big thing for me too, which I’m slowly getting past, but still do more than I like. The most helpful thing for me (apart from consciously not paying attention to those thoughts, which is easier said than done) is realising that we’re comparing our whole selves with an impression we have of another person. If we could see ALL of them, all the insecurity, all the bad thoughts, all the sadness, all the cracks inside them, and they ARE there, then we wouldn’t feel so inadequate up next to them. The difference between us and them is that all of our issues are much more out in the open than other people, but they do have them.
    I’ve been wanting to ask my friends what their impression of me is, because I honestly have no idea how others see me. All I know is the mess of emotions and fear inside of me.

    • Lola
      Nov 17, 2012 @ 08:24:59

      That’s actually a clever realization, that we can only ever compare ourselves to our impression of someone else, not who they really are. I hadn’t quite thought about it that way yet. And it would probably be real useful to know how others see us, but I guess I’d always doubt if people I ask were being truthful to me when they tell me. Gee, so tricky. But I’m happy for you you are slowly betting past the feelings of inadequacy, even when you’re not fully there yet. Gives me hope. 🙂

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