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Re: Effexor - what do u mean by imposter?

Posted by Yankeegirl on July 24, 2003, at 0:34:25

In reply to Re: Effexor - what do u mean by imposter? mercedes, posted by Daphnis on July 23, 2003, at 23:05:40

> well, I'm way behind because I went to work and just got back, but will read through and see what lies ahead as well. but I'll answer this...
> I have never felt like I belonged anywhere. I guess it's just the feeling I learned in my family. No one talked about anything real. and I was lonely at school. I was sort of anti-social. I think cause I didn't know how. funny, as now most of my life is people oriented. I did well and went to a good college but always wondered why they had accepted ME? Felt pretty lost all my life. Started getting help after college. A few pdocs. First one fell asleep, which didn't help the old lack of confidence. Had one I loved, for a year or so. He helped a lot. Married a wounded man and had two girls, now 21 and 18. Divorced in 93. He re-married, a woman half his age, just like my own dad did.
> I went to grad school at 43 or so, and loved it, but I always felt I was doing things for wrong reasons. Taught freshman comp and world lit and British lit one year, and really felt like an imposter then!!! But I was just green, I guess...
> Had trouble finding work after the fellowship, living in a very small town. Made bagels in a cafe starting at $4.25 an hour! I was overeducated and underskilled. Didn't belong at the university, didn't belong at the cafe, though it was actually basically a good interlude, despite the divorce happening then. I was learning that I could, indeed, take care of myself, even in difficult circumstances. I also realized I needed spiritual help, somewhere around 43, and joined a church, where I REALLY felt like an imposter, as I was an atheist for 30 years and have serious issues with any set of religious "laws". Maybe now, at 55, I am getting some realization that everyone muddles along, even if they act like they have it together, and I may feel like I deserve a place in the human race afterall. Not really there yet, I guess... It is really just serious feelings of inadequacy. Helpless and hopeless. that's the role I immediately revert to around my family. and it feels so familiar and so awful at the same time! OK. that's my attempt to describe feeling an imposter or always an outsider. I need a lot of solitude and isolate a lot, too. I think it's protective. I just take things too hard. Oh, one more place I felt an imposter...it took me YEARS in Al-anon to feel I really belonged there. I just kept saying: No one drank THAT much...no one was violent, etc. I didn't think the alcohol part was right, but I just knew everything I heard was familiar and helpful. At some point I told a counselor I didn't know if my dad was an alcoholic or not, but he carried a small suitcase bar in the trunk of his car, and gallon bottles of gin, rum, bourbon, etc. she just started to laugh...so...although I understand where the feelings come from, that doesn't make them easier to deal with. they still incapacitate me at times. I just despair, at times. Al-anon has given me some helpful tools to get out of it, if I can remember and make myself use them! phew! this site is like opening a window in a stuffy old house. It's great, but scary. Admitting vulnerability and needing help? Yipes.


Hi Daphnis,

There is SO MUCH in your post above that sounds familiar to me. We really do understand. I think we are all still trying to figure out what to do about it though! I was painfully shy as a little girl, and maybe being bullied by every male in my family kept me from getting over being shy. Even today, everything in my life has to be really good for me to be able to be social without overwhelming anxiety. If I receive any criticism, it just knocks me over for weeks. If I get actually rejected, well, that happened 2 years ago, and I basically went home, cried for 2 days, and pretty much just stayed home ever since. My pdoc (Psychiatrist) is going to talk with me about stuff from my childhood and how that affects me today, and also some cognitive tnerapy, which is something like keeping a journal to write down all those negative thoughts that automatically pop into our brain, and then actually stepping back to analyze if it is a rational thought, and gradually becoming more aware of the bad stuff we tell ourselves, and how to recognize it, and then stop it. I mention that because in your post above, there is a lot that sounds like automatic negative talk - "Why do they like ME" "my pdoc fell asleep so that means something is wrong with me" "everyone else has it together but I'm faking it"...

This is a wonderful, safe place. Even when sharing opinions that might not be welcome, people are careful to phrase it so that the other person isn't insulted, and they always respond with gratitude for the reply, even if they do disagree...

Good luck, and keep posting! Yankeegirl


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poster:Yankeegirl thread:13781
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20030723/msgs/244744.html