Growing up my sister did everything first. I am sure this is a youngest child thing but since we are the same gender and interested in the same things I ran into an endless string of "oh Sister already did that" whenever I accomplished anything. I don't think my parents loved me less or thought I was any less wonderful than my sister but for them and our extended family it was hard to get worked up about a first grader getting all A's when her big sister had done that four years in a row at that point.
This continued basically our whole childhoods. I do wish that some one had urged me into different activities and sports than the ones she did. I wasn't really talented at anything and she was always better. In another family I would have been the smart one but in our family I couldn't snare that title. She was even prettier once she got through the awkward phase (sadly right as I entered mine).
As adults none of this matters. We both grew up to be successful adults who are happy and have beautiful families and our lives couldn't be more different (I would like to go back in time and somehow tell Little AB that--that none of this matters). But that feeling of never being really GOOD at anything built a tiny evil voice in my head (truthfully, he looks like Gingy from Shrek which says something maybe not so flattering about me) that exists only to fuck with me.
I think we have all have this voice sometimes. Unless you are more mentally healthy and probably really boring and maybe also a kitten kicker at any rate. I think mine is louder and meaner and maybe more convincing than other people's (wait! this is what I am good at! huh I am never going to be on Star Search). Evil Gingy whispers in our ears about how we aren't smart at all and how GOD how could you have worn that outfit don't you know you have Mommy Ass and everyone in your office hates you and your stupid FACE. Evil Gingy plants bad thoughts in your head about how your husband doesn't really love you and resents you and how your mother screens your calls. You know these things aren't true and yet that dark place in your heart wonders. Evil Gingy is an asshole.
Most of the time I don't listen to Evil Gingy. Listening to Evil Gingy never results in good work or cute outfits or gold star parenting moments. Listening to Evil Gingy means you will find yourself in the parking lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken licking a honey wrapper with a bad haircut and wearing weird frosted lipstick.
Occasionally though Evil Gingy gets to me. I have Evil Gingy days. Days that are filled with anxiety and that terrible deep in the stomach feeling of DOOM DOOM DOOM. Days when you think about crying in the bathroom at work even though you are WAY TO MATURE FOR THAT YOU MEAN IT. Days when you could rip some one in HALF. Days when one more email chirping away in your in box is the difference between functional adult and a trip to the nuthouse.
I had an Evil Gingy day yesterday. I don't know what overtook me. Nothing was happening out of the ordinary. But I became convinced that everyone in my office hates me and is talking about me. Also that they make fun of my outfits. That I am old and washed up. That I am going to be fired. It was like having a huge cannonball of PMS and shame and hate hitting my self esteem. Every ten minutes.
Today is better. Today maybe they hate me, maybe they don't. I can't really do much about it. Today maybe my outfit is better and I made roasted carrots for dinner and I just slog through it all. Today I am remembering to be proud of myself because maybe no one else sees that I am doing something to be proud of here.