**Self-indulgent whinge and pit of sorrow alert**
Instructions for reading this blog are as follows:
1. Fetch sick bucket
2. Don big boots for the arse kicking that may be required
3. Acquire a wet kipper, effective for cheek slapping when you are done reading
4. Adopt a sympathetic counsellor's sideways head tilt and non-commital facial expression - self pitying rants always look better from this angle!
I am having doubts. Bit fat hairy insidious creeping doubts that tell me I can't do this. I can't write, think or even read adequately enough to complete a Ph.D. I mean who do I think I am?
These doubts manifest themselves as an overwhelming panicky sensation- you know the sort of feeling you get when you dream you are in front of your entire old school naked and there they are, jeering at you. You feel all sweaty and flushed and your hands are a blur trying to cover bits that should never legitimately be out on public display. And all the time you think 'this is never going to end is it' ... and then with a bit of luck, before your sense of failure and shame can reach its nadir, you wake up flooded with relief.
Well what do you do with that feeling when you are awake, and it is a reality that makes you feel so exposed, so vulnerable, so flawed? What 'wakes you up' so to speak? What stops you spiralling uncontrollably down into a pit of despair?
It leaves its mark.
I am sad to say after years of marriage (and even after years of being divorced) that sense of never being quite good enough has stayed with me. I don't hold my ex responsible for the way I am now, but he didn't help.
Low self esteem is like a worm, that eats its way from the inside out. Slowly devouring all of your securities and assurances and shitting them out as insecurities and doubts. A bad marriage is fodder for the worm. But even once you rid yourself of the bad marriage, you still have a fat well fed arthropod to deal with. You can try starving it out, but it takes a long time before it shrivels sufficiently to disappear, if it ever does.
Even though I found a man who adores me and makes me feel as though I am capable of conquering the world (I think he just fantasises about thigh high leather boots and being dominated!) I still carry this sense that I just don't cut it.
In fact I am getting worse. Despite having a reasonably successful career (so far) as a scholar I still feel as though one day soon, someone is going to whip back the curtain, a la the Wizard of Oz, and find out I am a sham, a fraud. The proud and glittering edifice will crumble leaving me exposed, naked and once more at the mercy of those jeering taunts.
I read prolifically in order to get the ideas to write, and every time I open the covers of yet another scholarly tome I find myself sinking deeper and deeper into my pit of self-doubt. How do they find the words to express themselves so clearly, so succinctly, so perfectly??? Where does this inspiration come from, and why, in comparison, does my prose squelch like a stale cow-pat under a sandal?
Answers on a postcard please.
In two days time this post will embarrass me. I will sit and re-read it and wonder what the fuck possessed me to put myself out there, to basically strip off my own outer clothing/shell and sit naked and vulnerable in front of the eternal gaze of the interweb ... I may even delete it (unlikely as I hate deleting anything) so for blackmailing purposes I suggest you c&p it now whilst you still can!
- ▼ September (9)