Raised to Fail?

First, I feel I should apologize for my failure to post anything on the blog last couple weeks, or anything with the podcast at all this month. It’s been busy, disorganized, and I’ve had touches of feeling overwhelmed with regular life, not to mention try to keep up on these extra-curriculars. Add that to my general feelings of inadequacy, and I couldn’t find the words to put onto paper. And I certainly couldn’t record on my own. Not only would I not have anything to say for 30 minutes, but I convinced myself that no one would listen either.

Now, maybe that’s true, and maybe it isn’t, but I didn’t have the confidence or esteem to even try. That’s something that has plagued me my whole life. I have a constant fear of failure, and I have let that fear cripple my life. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if it was another part of my upbringing that ingrained this into me, much like how I’m an introvert.

It’s an odd combination. I know that I’m smart. I’ve scored well on tests in high school, the military, and in college when I took a few classes a few years back…but at the same time I feel like my ideas aren’t good. My writing is bad. I have no creativity and the plots for my books and stories fall flat. The idea of going back to school and trying seriously for a degree terrifies me because I’m scared I’ll come up short and will leave much to be desired.

I could see this as being a by-product of the introverted nature. I never had confidence as a kid, so I was the quiet one in classes. I didn’t like to answer the questions in class, especially if they were the ones that you had to form your own opinion and it wasn’t the ones that came straight out of the books. I can still remember the pain of humiliation when the class laughed at my answer to the question about the Trail of Tears. That can be pretty scarring to a nine-year-old.

That’s probably why it’s stuck with me so vividly and for so long. Feelings like that kept me within my shell. Once there, I didn’t come out. I didn’t make friends easily, and when the few friends I did have decided to join the rest of the class to bully me at the end of the school year, I felt that I wasn’t worth anything. Not even friendship.

The Church’s embedded misogyny solidified that. I wasn’t to go out and try to make something of myself. That was just a fall-back plan if I couldn’t find a husband. That was my purpose. Get married. Have children. I was good in math and science (and came by that honestly. My father majored in math and minored in physics, and my grandfather was a chemist with the FDA), but I was never encouraged to pursue these as a career path. The stress was always on preparing myself for marriage and finding a return missionary.

For years I parroted the claims that the women in the Church weren’t being held back because of their gender. “We just have different roles. We’re still equal to men.” It makes me sick now to think of the crap I believed: the gender version of “separate but equal.”

And we all know how that theory works out.


One thought on “Raised to Fail?

  1. I can really relate to what you’re saying as I have had these same feelings all my life as well. I wrote today in my own blog about failure, writing for the first time in six months, just offering my thoughts about ways we might deal with it. Thanks so much for sharing and keep blogging, you’re awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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