Does this ever happen to you?
You’re going along fine for quite some time – a long time, really. Things are going well, you feel good about life, everything is okey-dokey. There are no major problems, you find decent parking spaces, your health is holding – life, in short, is pretty damned good.
Then, for no reason you can really identify, you start feeling like an impostor; like the life you’re living doesn’t really belong to you, like you have no right to be in the situation you’re in.
The last few months have been plagued with isolated bouts of self-doubt and insecurity for me. I can’t begin to tell you why I’ve been feeling this way – there’s been no specific incident to erode at my foundations, there’s been nothing that has significantly changed in my life – but I’ve lately been feeling off balance. I look in the mirror and see a plain, unremarkable person; not terribly pretty, nor especially smart or clever, nor overly ambitious or driven. She’s okay, that person in the mirror, but I can’t figure out what’s so special about her that she deserves the life she’s living.
I have always, in the back of my mind, worried that someone will figure out that I don’t deserve all that I have. I know that the voice that says these terrible things to me was trained – and trained well – by my parents, who said as much to me on a fairly regular basis (‘when your friends figure out what you’re really like, you’ll be alone, and that’s what you deserve’); most of the time, though, I’m able to quiet it by just trusting that none of the wonderful people I have in my life would be fooled into loving me if I weren’t worthy of it.
Still, sometimes I get choked by waves of insecurity, and I worry that all of the people I love and depend on are going to decide that they can have more fun with other friends, or a better life with a different wife. I’m afraid of being left alone.