Scarcity, oh no
I didn’t mean to let so much time go by between posts!
I’ve been busy, though, and one reason I’ve been busy is that I’ve been feeling deep in scarcity thinking and in my reactions to that. I’m not sure if this is specifically an ACOA thing going on, or if it’s more about the inner “poor kid” I still carry around with me. Searching through my library of ebooks about recovery stuff, I actually couldn’t even find the word “scarcity,” which kind of blew my mind.
Suffice it to say I’ve been feeling stressed, and the center of my anxiety is often on money and fears I will not have enough. (Enough money but, more to the point, enough of the security or the illusion of security that money buys.)
How this plays out is this feeling like I need to hustle in a hundred little ways to try to make something happen. Which is fine in itself, and in some ways is the very nature of a freelancer’s life. But I get caught up in tiny bullshit instead of believing that if I only sit down and work on the various Big Project things, I will be okay.
Here’s an example: I spent two hours the other night in an online seminar related to some film industry stuff I’m interested in. And frankly, I already knew everything. I have spent hours similarly in other people’s panels and workshops relating to my industry and I always come away thinking…I should be on that panel. Or, even better, I should have spent that two hours working on my novel.
It’s a strange facet of imposter syndrome, this not seeing myself as an accomplished adult with 15+ years in the business and 10 books to show for it. It’s more than that, though. It’s this small thinking that a lot of us ACOAs suffer from. Especially women. You know the joke - “God give me the confidence of a mediocre white man!” It’s not that funny, though, when you look at the research that shows that men who don’t feel totally qualified for a job will go for it anyway, while women tend to wait until they are overqualified to make the ambitious moves.
I am really trying, here at 50, to run my career as if I’m the person others see in me and my C.V.
And it’s so. damn. hard.
I feel like I’m not enough. I can never be enough. The waiting for the other shoe to drop, the confirmation that, See, you’re not enough, Sara, and by the way this is why your father abandoned you and oh also he wasn’t enough, either, and I guess it just runs in the family!
Apparently, I’ve highlighted this from the BRB like five different times:
Our perfectionism as adults represents an internalization of our parents’ attitudes and discontent with self. Many of our parents truly wanted the best for us, but they handed off a sense of being incomplete as a person.
In my case, both my parents were ACOAs themselves; it’s a cycle with a lot of layers.
I did not get negative “you can’t” messages growing up with regards to dreams and goals and having a sense of accomplishment, but there was certainly the stress of poverty in the air at all times, accompanied by the auras of failure and shame.
And I just can’t shake it sometimes, no matter how accomplished I know I am when I lay it out on paper and look at it objectively.
I still so often feel small, I feel like not enough, and sometimes this translates into unconsciously keeping my selfhood small and my goals small, which then contributes to me not pushing in my career and therefore the lack of financial security and the wasted time where I’m still acting like a child who needs to learn something, be told what to do, be perfect before she can be anything.