So much of my life has been spent posturing as a result of never being good enough for my mother. Despite doing better than my twin sister in pretty much everything there is to brag about in your kid, I never received praise. Or, if any, the wrong type. I would hear my mom tell my sister how good she is all the time. Which would shock me, because I was quantifiably better. Maybe she was trying to protect my sister’s self-esteem. Maybe she thought telling me I was “just smart” or “talented” was the best thing to do.
It’s so sickening to me. How much learning I’ve missed all these years of schooling because I grew up with the reinforcement that being able to say I’m the best is all I needed (emotionally). All the times I could have genuinely done the work before it accumulated and became too hard, or asked for help instead of pretending that I could just do it myself. It makes me sick to think that maybe I would have turned out like my comparably intelligent friends if only my mom handled that part of raising me better.
I think it’s fine to rant about it a little now and then. Even though, logically, doing something about it is the more productive solution. But recognizing it is not enough. And just knowing it’s a problem doesn’t mean you know the right solution. It’s a work in progress. One I hope I can overcome sooner rather than later. As much as I can if not completely. An Achille's heel.