It waits for me, hovering just outside my line of sight, just on the fringes of my thoughts. Sometimes, it seems like I’ve imagined it. Sometimes, I think I’m just dramatic. Sometimes, though, it rears its ugly head, spewing its venom. You’re not good enough. You talk too much. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re too young. You’re too dramatic. You’re just trying to get attention. And nearly every time, it leans in close and whispers, You’re pathetic.
What is it? Doubt, I suppose. I’m not really sure what it is, but I know I listen to it more than I like. The worst is that it seems louder whenever I’m with a group of people I respect. Most churches, for instance, try to group people based off commonalities like the age of their children or their place in life at the moment. I, however, seem to slip through the cracks. My age is such that I should be in a group of recent college grads. My kids, though, put me in the same place as people in their late 20s, early 30s. I find myself unable to speak for fear that my words are foolish, or I do speak and lose my train of thought in the panic that it’s silliness. I end up feeling out of place and uncomfortable in my own skin. After all, these people have so much more life experience than I do, have been married longer, have gone through more than I have. And I just want to run away.
I wish I knew why I felt like this. Even writing this post, I feel ridiculous. My fingers are itching to delete it and try a more “reader-friendly” topic, but I won’t. Maybe someone out there has experienced this and has some tips. Maybe… I just wish I could fit in and not doubt. Maybe it’s residual shame from #1’s pregnancy, where I lost my college self and became my mom self. Maybe it’s just lies whispered into my heart. I don’t know. I wish I could fix it.