Maybe I Will Never Be Good Enough
I remember looking at myself in the mirror at the age of 25 and thinking that I would kill myself on my 27th birthday to follow the footsteps of many famous musicians. I didn’t want to do this in vain because of my placement in my music career (I am not even an accomplished musician). I didn’t want to do this to be remembered, besides I felt that no one cared about me or my existence. I wanted to kill myself because I was exhausted and tired of living, I wanted to give up on myself.
I didn’t feel safe in my own skin, I hated myself for being overweight, and I hated myself for having black skin. I hated caring about the well-being of myself and others; especially when I realized no one cared about me. More of my friendships lead to me being left in the dirt to be ignored and treated like shit.
I resented the fact that my closest relationships were over 100 miles away and everyone I loved either died or found someone else to be with. I did not know how to recognize that growing up in your mid-twenties was not filled with joy, but more like about learning to become independent and recognize that everyone can’t be in your corner because they just simply “might not have the time for you.”
I didn’t have a tight circle of friends like most people do. Instead I had many circles of friends, I was a floater. Most people described me as a very well connected person, but no one recognized that even though I knew a lot of people, I still did not have the ability to have most of these people know the real me. I knew many faces, but very few of these people got to know the real me.
My social circles were dependent upon which one of my friends were dating someone or who got married. Week by week and month by month I noticed my friends finding significant others and losing touch with me or simply cutting me out of their lives. If it wasn’t a relationship, they found new commitments in their careers. For the times I thought I found friends that had the same passion and drive as I did, I recognized that I was just a space for them to use until they found something better.
I didn’t have the same luxuries and things that other people did. I didn’t have the best clothes I didn’t own a car because I never had enough money. I wasn’t afforded the same privileges of my peers. Even though I have been able to accomplish things that others have not (i.e. master’s degree, published book, etc.) , I was still not like other people.
My feelings of inadequacy did not just stop at my lack of consistent friendships and positive communication or negative body image. I have the inability to maintain the same livelihood as my peers. Unlike most people, I continued to go to graduate school to advance my education, and afterwards I still felt behind. I had the education but not enough job experience.
The job market wasn’t good and my experience wasn’t good enough. The two jobs I did carry into my adulthood didn’t seem to care much about me either. My first job was a temporary contract job that refused to hire me contrary to my high performance ratings, and my second job fired me and falsified my performance data to call me a bad worker. I was a passionate worker for a temporary need, just like my friendships.
Social media didn’t help this situation either. Social media graduated from being a communication medium to keep in touch with old friends to being an information highway of bragging. People used social media to brag about their loved ones, friends and accomplishments. The people in my “friend” circles showed off their friends when their birthdays occurred. No one ever showed me off. I was ignored. I developed a resentment for people who used hashtags of affection (i.e. #mancrushmonday #bae, #boo) because I never was considered to be someone else’s. It’s one thing to be ignored in the real world because you can walk away from the realization that you are not wanted. When you are in cyberspace, you are confronted with a public display that you are not loved like other people are loved, instead you are an outcast who simply does not fit in this world. I felt like a forgotten memory in a person’s life experience.
Just like the remainder of my life, my love life didn’t improve either. I tried the online dating thing, but that didn’t work with me because every woman I met turned out to either be flaky or wanted me for temporary attention. I couldn’t seem to get a normal date or a consistent phone conversation with anyone, because like my friends and like my employment, I was not good for anything that was long term, but only temporary.
I have been desperate to find connection and intimacy with others yet I continued to fail to do so. I’ve felt behind because I have not been able to live a life with the experiences of love, real friendships, and people who care. The people who do care can’t be close to me on my terms because they have better things to do. I am not entirely sure if I am good enough for anyone, or if I will ever find the love that I believe I deserve, but I feel that people are too busy for me. No matter how much I improve, I will stand alone just as I was born, just as I will die.
I couldn’t find comfort in my loneliness, but instead I found misery. I used a guitar and poetry to sit through my lonely nights while my peers were dating and traveling the world to experience the beauty that is out there. I experienced homelessness from torrential hurricanes while living in Long Island and have been left stranded in train stations and other odd locations for going on drinking binges in New York City. To say that I have had a “normal life” would be a lie, does this make me good enough? I think not.
My life did not come easy like other people. I have been rejected, denied, ignored and disrespected in various pursuits of my life. Some of these pursuits include friendship, relationships, employment, and my family. Does it make me any different than anyone else? No, we all go through rejection and denial, but the way I internalized denial is what caused me to feel depressed. My coping capabilities are not like others, because I lack self-esteem and confidence that I will be able to recoup.
When I feel that I am not good enough, I feel that I am not capable, which is a contributing factor to my depression and self-loathing. I thrive on compliments, but I don’t receive them the way I want to, because I don’t get the attention I need. The lack of attention I get from others is what makes me feel like I am not good enough. I don’t know how to give myself credit, because my depression tells me that I should hate myself.