Will I Ever Be Good Enough? – Is Anyone?

I have spent most of my life always trying to be good enough.  I never even really know who I am trying to be good enough for.  Myself?  My Wife? My Boss?  I don’t know that I will ever know that question or that it is even that important.

As a kid growing up in a very poor (financially, emotionally, physically) environment I was always trying to be good enough for someone to notice me.  You see I was raised with 6 brothers and sisters, 3 of each, and I was smack in the middle.  I had three abusive older siblings that I tried to not get noticed by or it never turned out well.  Even my parents were not very helpful in this category.  I was always a huge disappointment to them or a huge regret, not quite sure which one yet.  Either way I know where I was not wanted.  I have resigned myself to that fact along time ago.

I can remember never wanting to ask for help because there was always a consequence in doing that.  I have taught myself almost everything that I can think of growing up.  I taught myself to swim, ride a bike, run really really fast, play every sport and be good enough that I can hang with most crowds.  I also  taught myself to build things, fix things, and also to cook.

I can actually remember that in second grade I took a loaf of turtle bread (a loaf of bread shaped like a turtle) that I had made to school to share with my class.  It was just one of those things that if I wanted to eat I had to figure out how to do it myself.

In school, I was supposed to be very smart and to be honest I was but I was also very bored.  So I hardly went.  I passed all my classes and did well but I missed a ton of school.  I would always get called into the office about it and  be told I am not doing good enough and I can do better.  I knew I could but who was I trying to be good enough for at that moment.  My teachers?  They could hardly care less.  Parents?  laughable.  Family?  No one liked or cared about me.

I know you think I am exaggerating and I am a little because I can think of two relatives that actually seemed interested in my well-being and made strides to help me without me ever asking.  However, in a family of my size (my parents all came from huge families so lots of aunts uncles and cousins) only having two was pretty hard.  And I did not get to see them much.  When I graduated I did not have one relative tell me they were going to come to my graduation.  My older siblings had 20 or 30 relatives at theirs but none of them wanted to attend mine.   So I didn’t even go.  I told them that I would not go through the ceremony and I would just pick up my diploma later.

I have probable painted this rebellious person who is pitted against the world.  While it felt that way at times it was definitely not the case.  I stayed out of trouble (other than attendance) in school, I avoided home so there would not be trouble there (and they never missed me anyways), I went out of my way to help others so no one would feel like I did.  I did not drink, smoke, steal things, even though my siblings did all those things.  I was too smart and never wanted anything to do with those things.  I never minded being the designated driver or help clean up at parties.  I was the nice guy no one ever really noticed.  It is actually rather interesting how invisible you can make yourself while still being in plain sight.

I was shy until you got to know me and if I felt like you were a friend I was fiercely protective.  For example, one of the guys I played soccer with on the HS team was being bullied by a kid who was part of a wannabe gang.  I rode the bus home and walked him home everyday for two months because they would not mess with him if I was around.  I would show up for the last few hours of school just to ride the bus.  Eventually I told him this had to stop.  He had to stand up for himself.  I told him that when he did I would keep all the other members of his “posse” out of it.  I said even if you lose at least they would leave you alone after that.  So the next day one the walk to his house after getting off the bus and the kids were following us he turned around and told them to leave him alone.  The kid said something stupid and my friend just reared back and punched him in the face.  The kid was so stunned he did not have time to react before my friend was on him, had him on the ground in a headlock and was beating his face in.  Finally a guy driving by broke up the fight.  He felt so good about it.  I thought it was all over so I did not walk him home the next day but the kid, obviously out to redeem himself, jumped him and my friend did not fair so well.  I took care of that kid later, without violence, but he got much harsher treatment than if we had just fought.

Even now I look out for anyone in need of help and I will always lend a hand because I want to be good enough.  I just don’t know for who or what.  I cannot decide if it is for me or someone/thing else.  I just know I want to be good enough, I want to know that at some point I will make it.  I want to know I will be good enough or I want to know there is no such thing so I can stop trying.

So I can do all these things and I am still the same now.  If I need something fixed, built, made, I would rather do it myself rather than have someone else do it.  I don’t want to be looked at as incapable.  I want to be good enough that I should be able to do it myself and not need help.  Stubborn, I know.  But it is who I am.

Right now I am trying to be good enough for my wife because I have not been that for her.  I have made our current relationship difficult and am trying to rebuild what we had and build what we want.  I want to be good enough for her.  We have had a rocky year and while it did not start exactly a year ago, last September and October were two of the worst months we have ever had.  So now I am looking to figure out how to fix and rebuild what has been destroyed.  This is no easy task.  And I will never know if I am ever good enough, but for her I will keep trying to be.

17 thoughts on “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? – Is Anyone?”

  1. I think it’s great that you are trying to be better for her. People should always try to be the best that they can be. If you are happy with yourself then on a certain level I think that is good enough. I hope things get easier with your wife. 🙂

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  2. You, you’re life are good enough. Don’t put yourself done because of your upbringing or the mistakes you have made. If you were not good enough in the eyes of your wife I doubt she’d still be there trying to get on with life with you by her side. You are a good person. We all make questionable choices, but it does not make us worthless. As long as our heart and willing is on the right path (even after a sidetrack) we are choosing right and righting or lapse.

    Stay strong, keep your heart open, and be kind to yourself. You deserve that and love, but most of all you deserve it from yourself.

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  3. Hi, thanks for the follow. I agree with the comments above: anyone who is introspective enough look in the mirror and write about these things – recognize your own shorting comings – is on the right track.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve answered a question I’ve never been able to understand about myself. Why, why was I working so hard, why did everything have to be done perfectly, why did I always feel like I had to earn my place? Why? I wanted someone to notice.
    Who are you?
    How is it you’re walking around in my head, reading from everything you pick up?
    Though I’m at a different place in my ‘journey’ we share many pit stops. I hope you don’t stop writing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In some respects you’ve outdistanced me, in relationships. But I’ve finally found , me, not the me I should be, not the me anyone wants me to be, not the me I was raised to be, not the me very many people who’ve known me a long time are happy with, just me.
        I’d love to talk to you about your journey as well. I think you have much to teach me, if your writing is any indication.

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      2. All those things people want or expect us to be. The only thing that matters is what you want and who you feel you are. I think you are farther along in these regards than I, but then again I really could care less what most people think. I always aspired to be a hermit. I am just failing at the moment, maybe someday I can hide away on a mountain top somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think you want to believe that’s all that matters but you don’t feel it yet. You’re still denying who you are to keep an even keel for others. Noble, but lonely and rife with desperation and disguised sadness. Well, it was for me.

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