Then, thinking that you are not good enough, do you isolate yourself, and end up feeling lonely?
Maybe you’ve tried to combat this pattern by forcing yourself into social situations? And, then, when you are in these social situations, do you feel awkward or phony? Or perhaps, because you feel so badly about yourself, you are surrounded by people who are “takers”?
These situations can leave you feeling very alone. Unseen, unappreciated, and unvalued.
This is a tough place to be.
Let me share the story of Elizabeth*, and what she did to turn her life around.
Jonathan* was an executive in a fast paced business, he had two pre-teen children, a wife struggling with depression, and elderly parents depending on him.
Despite the heavy load of daily expectations, he felt he should also be accomplished in sports, keep abreast of world news and politics, and be a great cook.
He prided himself in being better than the rest, the one who would always come out on top.
He didn’t notice the large amounts of caffeine he was consuming to keep himself going, the alcohol and medication he needed to fall asleep at night, the increasing irritability and the frequent bouts of road rage.
It wasn’t until his wife left him that his world started to crumble.
When something goes wrong, do you tend to blame yourself? Are you generous about the quirks and mishaps of your friends, but much harder on yourself?
Do you take care of the needs of others while you drive yourself to the ground?
People who struggle with self-compassion tend to answer yes to these kinds of questions.
If you have experienced trauma, and especially if you were maltreated as a child, odds are high that you are very self-critical. Even if you intellectually know you were not to blame for the trauma, your emotional self tends to believe otherwise.
It can feel very frustrating to continually bump up against this seemingly self-destructive tendency.
You have probably been told that the goal is not to be a perfect parent but rather that you need to make sure you are “good enough.”But, what does “good enough” mean? How do you know if your parenting measures up?
This is especially confusing if you are an adult survivor of abuse. You grew up in an environment that was unsafe and unkind, and as a result it can be hard to know what is healthy.
There are many building blocks to being a good enough parent. The first building blocks—those that ensure the physical survival of your child—are adequate food, shelter, and clothing. If you were physically neglected as a child but have managed to provide better for your own children, you are a good enough parent in this area.