Tag Archive: judgmental


Impostor Syndrome

The very title has me hanging my head in defeat.

Who do I think I am?  Why do people think they can trust me with these responsibilities?  Surely everyone knows that I’m a fraud, just as I know it.  One day, they will know that I’m not who they think I am and will point and say “SHAME!”

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome is a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  It strikes smart, successful individuals.  It often rears its head after an especially notable accomplishment, like admission to a prestigious university, public acclaim, winning an award, or earning a promotion. 

Source

I have felt like an impostor most of my life.

Why?

I don’t have a ready answer for that question.

When I was a child, I didn’t feel like I fit in with the other kids.  I wanted desperately to fit in, but my likes and dislikes didn’t fit in with theirs.  So, I changed, as best I could, to try to fit into their mould.  I loved wearing dresses in elementary school, but no one else did – so I forced myself to wear pants.  They loved music, I preferred my environment to be quiet and peaceful – when I did listen to music, it wasn’t what everyone else was listening to; so, again, I was labeled different.

Going into the teenage years is awkward enough for most kids; to me it seemed like everyone else had figured it out, but I was from another planet.  I liked school, loved learning – but that’s not what rebellious teenagers are supposed to do.  So I didn’t study, my one avenue that I could successfully rebel at – and succeeded with good grades anyway.  I was in honors classes, and I questioned why – I didn’t study, I didn’t want to care about getting good grades – couldn’t the adults see that?

And then it happened, I actually failed.  It came at a time when I should have been at the top of my glory – a senior in high school, a major part in a play, a leader on my team – and I failed English class.  School rules state you cannot participate if you fail – and I finally proved what no one else knew but me – I was a failure.  I was ashamed of myself.  I ran away, literally dropping out of school, certain that everyone was pointing at me behind my back.

The months that I was away from home were not all roses and fun, but neither was it gloom and doom either.  I learned a lot while I was away – about the world, about myself, and about life in general.

I had no direction, no purpose to my life at that point.  I fell into adulthood working, paying rent and wondering what was next.

Marriage – which was again a failure (if you count that I divorced him within 2 years).  Yes, I had my wonderful son Buddy out of the deal, but even that made me question myself at times.  Flotsam was ashamed of our son; he was ashamed of his disabilities; he was ashamed of me for “giving” him a disabled son.  The doubts would occasionally creep in, would make me wonder – am I a failure as a mother too?

Work was no better.  I was quickly promoted, a high-school drop-out, from employee to supervisor – the youngest in the company (I was only 21).  I had other employees questioning, within my hearing, what I had done to deserve the promotion over them?  I blew the comments off, I worked hard, and I learned all I could.  But still, I felt like I didn’t belong there.

Every few years, another promotion to another department, brought back the same doubts, the same questions – why?  Why do they believe in me?  Why do they trust me?

During this time I married Hun, with his three children; and Jetsam who openly questioned my value.  She acknowledged that I was a mother, but sneered that I was obviously not as good of a mother as she was.  That I failed at being a mother.  The kids, feeding off their mom’s disdain for me (desperate for her approval), echoed her statements, determined not to give me a chance.  So it became a self-fulfilling prophecy for them – in their eyes I am a failure of a parent.  Today, I still question what I did wrong; how, when I love these kids so much, how did I fail with them?  I question this as the failure is all mine.

And then it happened, at work I was promoted to the point that I could no longer succeed.  I failed and I could no longer handle the pressure.  I crumpled and quit, willing to throw away a 20 year career.  The stress of trying to prove that I was worthy was too great.  I was a failure and now everyone knew it.

I stepped back; I examined my life, my hopes, my dreams, my own desires.

My mind wandered – researching, learning, soaking-up how to find myself again.  Reading, podcasts, journaling, meditating; all in hopes of rediscovering who I truly am.

I concluded that I had not been living an authentic life; that I had been living my life for others, to make them happy rather than myself.  Glimpses of my true self had poked through, straining to free itself from the cage I had placed it in – trying to appear “worthy” of those around me who wanted me to be someone else, someone different.

The times I had stood up for not only myself, but for the kids – to Flotsam, to Jetsam, and even to Hun.

The time I had insisted that I wasn’t ready for a promotion – knowing in my heart that it would lead to the failure it finally did.

Ignoring those around me, admonishing me that I cared too much for kids who didn’t return my feelings, telling me to give up – standing my ground and saying “no, I will not!”

It has startled me, in writing this post, to come to the realization that I have been an impostor.  That I have good reason to feel like one – because I am one.

I have been trying to be someone I’m not all this time.  I have failed at being Karaboo.

All this time, I have been ashamed of who others think I am, instead of embracing the greatness of me.

Yes, I am stubborn – but that also means that I am determined, persistent, steadfast, tenacious and tough.

I can be opinionated – but also confident, bold, courageous, undaunted and self-assured.

I tend to be judgmental – which is a combination of my intuition, awareness, experience, reasoning and understanding – and more often than not, my insights are correct.

Finally, I have been accused of being uncaring – they see the surface of my intensity and not my passion, dedication, and spirit.

People who know me are going to say I have changed.

They will be right.

Faults and Confessions

Continuing with my thoughts on blending our families…..what you’ve all been waiting for – my faults and confessions.

Umm….

Err…..

Faults….faults….I know I have some around here somewhere…..

Let’s see….I have….umm…..

Shoot!  Where’s Hun when I need him?  He’ll be able to list all of my faults for me without even blinking an eye….

Okay, okay – my faults:

I never think I am wrong and I have a hard time admitting it when I am when it comes to my family.  I can admit fault at work all day long, but admitting that I just royally screwed up to the kids or to Hun – that makes me want to gouge my eyes out.  But, I do it when I realize I am wrong.  I suck it up and make my apologies, even if I dread every word coming out of my mouth.  I have to realize I’m wrong though.  People have to either point out the subtle mistakes to me or the mistake was so egregious and blatant that I cannot ignore it on my own.

Of course, this also means I am passionate about my beliefs.

I am a perfectionist.  Not only do I expect myself and everything I touch to be perfect, I sometimes have a hard time not expecting the same from other people.  Sometimes the perfectionism in me will cause me to freeze up on actions I should be doing – if I can’t do it perfectly – why do it at all?  A certain bathroom remodel comes to mind here…..  If you don’t know what I’m referring to, maybe I’ll blog about it someday – not one of my finer moments – although it will be greatness when it is finally complete!

This means you can also count on me to do a good job at anything I set out to do.

I am judgmental.  I can be judge, jury and executioner without batting an eyelash.  If I feel I have all of the facts in front of me, attempting to change my mind without more facts that I was unaware of will be next to impossible.  Judge Judy is one of my heroes (yes, yes – I know it’s all a show – but I love her no-nonsense way of dealing with the people who present in front of her!).  Changing my mind is possible you just better do a good job of convincing me why it needs to be changed.

I don’t know if being judgmental is a good thing or a bad thing…the jury’s still out.  J

However, one of the biggest things I have struggled with as a step-mom is empathy for the bio-mom in my life – Jetsam.  I look at her life and cannot understand why she is where she is at.  I look at it from an outsider’s perspective and say, “If she’d only do this, that and the other, then her life would be so much better!”  I cannot for the life of me understand why she will not do the things I find so obvious or easy.  Things like the following:

  • Getting a GED.  She dropped out of high school in 10th grade and never went back.  Supposedly, she’s attempted to get her GED recently (within the last 10 years), but failed the course by 2 points or 2 questions – I can’t remember which.  So she gave up and never tried again.  WHAT?!?  If I had failed by 2 points, I’d have my butt right back in the testing chair and doing it again – not giving up and saying, “See!  I told you I couldn’t do it!”  See – lack of empathy to her situation makes me a bad person.
  • Staying in one place.  I totally understand the need to move if/when necessary, but this woman has moved somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-18 times in the last 10 years (I’ve lost count).  On average, she’s moved every 6-8 months.  To me, being stable will mean a stable job, stable home life, and stable family.  For whatever reason, she cannot stay in one place – but blames us for the inability to stay put.  Again – lack of empathy to her situation prevents me from understanding her reasoning.
  • Pulling the “she’s a single mom” card (she still has Flounder living with her full time).  However, she doesn’t receive child support for him – it’s not worth her time to file for it.  Hun and I have begged her to file for support; that it would make her life easier – at least there would be a record on file, even if she never receives a dime.  When she first lost custody of Hun’s kids, she also lost the child support she was receiving.  She tried to file for Flounder at that time, but because of our state laws, the state automatically named Hun as his father.  Since she knows Hun isn’t the father, she never bothered showing up for the hearing, since she didn’t show up, the state closed the case.  Hun was willing to do the paternity testing the state would have required – he was willing to jump through the state’s hoops – he showed up for the hearing.  It wasn’t worth her time to jump through the hoops the state set up to receive support – but it sure isn’t hard for her to blame us for all of her struggles.  There it is again – lack of empathy to her situation hinders me from understanding her motives.

There they are – all of my faults – at least the ones I’m willing to cop to.  All of these faults have hindered me in a step-family and as a step-mom in particular at one time or another.  However, I also contend that they have helped me as well. 

Judge me for yourselves.  Comments on anything that I blog is welcomed – including my faults.