Karen answers DK

Richard Baer on May 28th 2009

Comment by DK on 21 May 2009 at 8:36 am

As always your responses to the questions received enlighten and help me to better understand my own experience. I’m hoping you can offer some insight into the feeling of not being “good enough.” I have a part that struggles with feeling there is no way that anything we-all do will be good enough, meet some kind of standard that has always been impossible to attain. I was born a girl, the second girl, when my “mother” (she really doesn’t qualify to be called mother) really wanted a boy. I was told often and regularly that I should have been a boy. In her dying letter my “mother” brings it up again.

I guess what I need to know, knowing that you also struggled with an issue that made you less than acceptable in the eyes of your family (tumor), if there was any particular way of “re-framing” that ingrained belief so you could get past being stuck on “not ever being good enough” to be worthy of even living?

I’ve been working with a psychologist and it seems there’s nothing she or we say or do that seems to even prick a hole in this locked in self defeating belief.

As always, I appreciate your input and look forward to any grains of insight you might have to offer.



Dear DK,

Thank you for your compliments.  I truly appreciate your kind thoughts.  I also can empathize with not feeling “good enough”.  I’ve been there, too!  That was a hard issue for me to overcome, and sometimes that old feeling temporarily resurfaces when I am stressed or not feeling my best.  The difference between then and now is that I know that the dark thoughts that lead me into despair will eventually subside if I allow myself time to breathe.

What’s most important to me during my dark moments is to try my best to re-think what may have led me to feeling badly.  Dr. Baer has done this with me innumerable times, and I’ve discovered that most of these times are the result of some old “inner pain” being triggered by someone or something that was out of my control.  For example, when someone tries to undermine me, humiliate, or take advantage of me, my thoughts tend to go to I’m not good enough and I deserve it, and I allow myself to be treated in such a manner.

Sometimes I take the blame for someone else’s misbehavior because I believe I am at fault, when I am not.  Of course, when that happens, I am left feeling “not good enough.”  I apologize when I am not to blame.  It’s an ingrained thought that takes a lifetime to overcome.  Blaming myself for the hurt someone else causes leads me to not feel “good enough.”  As time has passed, I’ve become stronger and the dark feelings are shorter in duration. Yet, I still have a bad day now and then in which I don’t feel good enough.

I believe in time you will start feeling better about yourself and not hold on to the dark thoughts that come from being abused.

I wish you all the best as you continue your journey.


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