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Writing Workshop #5

November 16, 2009

writing workshopI think I’m too excited to write this week. Josie used one of my own posts as a prompt!! I’ve finally ‘made it’! Thanks Josie for making me feel competent finally!

And that actually leads me nicely into my chosen topic this week, number 5. A deep, dark fear.

I don’t have many fears really, just the typical ones like someone close to me dying. I’m not overly keen on spiders but I do have an insanely irrational fear of sharks, to the extent that I struggle to even swim in a pool anymore (see, irrational). I had to stop swimming competitively when I was 17 because I just couldn’t go in the deep end! Ridiculous. My mum’s tried cognitive therapy with me but it hasn’t stopped me having a panic attack whenever I see even a picture of a shark (Blue Planet is not my favourite place).

But my biggest fear is not being good enough. I’m just waiting for somebody to out me as incompetent. In all areas of life.

I worry that I’m not good enough at working. My manager knows everything (although she disagrees and says she has to look most of it up) about everything and can advise our employees on anything from maternity rights to discipline issues. Whenever someone asks me I say I’ll call them back and quickly read anything I can find to get the answer. I’m just waiting for the time they say to me ‘Actually, you’re shit. You don’t know anything, you don’t retain enough knowledge from your uni course, you have a memory like a sieve (since having Sam) and you’ll never be good enough to progress. Sod off.’ What if I’m not good enough to move into management like I want to? What if I’m vaguely intelligent enough to do the qualification but forget it all when it comes to an important meeting? What if I think I’m right but I’m not, give someone the wrong advice and we get taken to tribunal? What if I have to be a lowly assistant all my life? I want to progress in my career but I just don’t think I’m good enough.

I worry that my friends will be so sick of me turning down invitations to go out/go on holiday/ go for meals that they’ll just stop asking me. I’m not a great friend, I tend to breeze in for a couple of hours, have a catch up then rush off to pick Sam up, go back to work or just go home because I can’t afford to stay out. I rarely find time to call or even text and thank the internet gods for Facebook and Twitter. Online isn’t how I like to conduct my friendships but it’ll have to do for now.  I just hope they stick around until life calms down and I give them the attention they deserve.

I worry that I’m not a good wife. I try to keep the house clean and tidy, to cook nice, healthy, substantial meals for Craig who works 4 nights a week then has Sam 2 full days and 3 afternoons a week alone. I try to do that whole ‘maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom’  Jerry Hall advises but am failing miserably. By the time I’ve been a maid and a cook I’m fast asleep & Craig doesn’t have a hope in hell of finding a whore in the bedroom! Unless it’s one I’ve hired out of pity for him. I am not stuck in the 1950’s but do try to look nice for him so he won’t look elsewhere. I feel better being his wife now I’ve lost so much weight. I used to worry that people wondered why he was with that fat heifer. Of course Craig is well trained and always tells me I look gorgeous dressed up or in my pjs after a bath with wet hair. He loved me when I was 9 months pregnant and massive, and with a new born and massive. He’s the most supportive husband I could wish for and sometimes I don’t think I’m good enough. I don’t worry that he’ll run off with anyone else, he’s not like that. But I do worry he’ll get sick of me not pulling my weight and tell me to do one.

I worry about not being a good mum more than anything. When Sam falls over and bangs his head I worry Social Services are just waiting round the corner to drag him away from me. I worry he’s too little for his age. He’s barely 26lbs and still in some 6-9 month trousers although he’s getting in more 9-12 month now (he’s 16 months old!). I worry that I’m not encouraging him enough to talk. He still only says ‘hiya’ and ‘Emma’ occasionally ‘Creg’ or ‘no’. I worry both of these are down to me not feeding him the right food. I’ve near killed myself the last month making sure he has fresh meals everyday but it’s not enough! He isn’t eating enough oily fish. In fact, I’m going to Asda tonight to buy some mackerel. I’ll make cheesy, creamy mackerel rice which he usually likes. I worry if I’m not there for him because I work will he grow up to be one of these angst ridden hoodies with an ASBO? I know I’m over reacting but I can’t help worrying? What if I’m just not good enough to bring him up the way he should be brought up?

Sometimes, at night, I think about all of this and just cry in bed. I’m working flat out to keep my life on track and up to date and although I’m doing my best there’s a voice in my head that tells me it’s not enough. My biggest fear is that when I’m juggling all these bits of my life I’m going to drop something. I’m hoping it’ll be something less important like my sanity or my health rather than my marriage, job or studies. I hope that soon I’ll be able to banish that little voice and feel secure in the knowledge that I’m not doing too bad. I don’t think it will be for a while though.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2009 8:48 pm

    I read this post with such a level of understanding that only comes from familiarity. After MiniMad was born I suffered from PND quite servily and my one irrational fear was that I was inadequate. I thought I was a bad mother, bad wife and a generally bad person all round and that my family were better off without me, although thankfully I recieved treatment before anything too drastic happened. I was so lucky to get the correct treatment. Feel free to e-mail me and I will discuss more with you

    • notsuchayummymummy permalink*
      November 17, 2009 1:45 pm

      Hi Madhouse, thanks for your commment. It sounds like you had an awful time. Generally I think I’m doing ok. It’s just late at night when the little voice creeps in. Most of the time I am happy, upbeat and coping quite well. I’ll see how I go and may be in touch. Thanks. x

  2. November 17, 2009 12:17 am

    Is this post partly fictional for the writing workshop or is it truly the way you feel about yourself? If it’s true then what a lot of worrying it must be so exhausting for you – you sound like my Mum who is also a real worrier. You seem like a really lovely person and I think you should do something to help yourself. Have you ever been to see a counsellor? I have done when things have got on top of me in the past and it helped. The best books I have ever read that helped me were ‘Feeling Good the new mood therapy’ by David D Burns and ‘Be your own life coach’ by Fiona Harrold.

    • notsuchayummymummy permalink*
      November 17, 2009 1:46 pm

      Hi Jennysnail, this is how I feel sometimes, no fiction (I can’t write fiction!) but it’s only sometimes, most of the time I’m more upbeat. Writing about my biggest fear was always going to be quite dark and personal but it’s not a reflection of who I am all the time. I’ll make a note of those books though and have a look, any help is good help! Thanks. x

  3. notsuchayummymummy permalink*
    November 17, 2009 1:41 pm

    I didn’t think my amount of worrying was more or less than anyone else! I do feel under pressure a lot of the time but I’m just very busy at the moment.
    Does anyone really feel good enough in everything they do? Surely we all have our doubts about ourselves?

    • November 19, 2009 12:19 pm

      Yeah I think everyone does. When I start having doubts I have to talk to myself and try to put it into perspective. Also accept that EVERYONE makes mistakes (even your boss who you think knows everything!) and this is how you learn. So if you did something to the best of your knowledge or ability at that time and it turns out to be wrong, don’t beat yourself up about it, learn from it and try to focus on how the knowledge gained can help you in future.

      • notsuchayummymummy permalink*
        November 19, 2009 4:22 pm

        You are, of course, absolutely right. I will do my best 🙂

  4. turtleturtleturtle permalink
    November 18, 2009 2:41 pm

    I have doubts! Maybe a few less than you, but that’s because I’m a SAHM, so I don’t have “work” worries. Just the normal mother ones. Quite enough to send me around the twist a little at times, I can assure you.

  5. Karen Hannah permalink
    November 18, 2009 9:12 pm

    Emma. I totally see where you’re coming from. I just assume that that’s how it is for some of us, some of the time. Thank god it’s not all the time though or we’d all be in therapy! I will never stop inviting you, and will always be as rubbish as you for keeping in touch! Hugs to the Murphy’s x

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