The Imposter Within Me: Imposter Syndrome

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I’ve been hearing this phrase dropped around quite a bit lately: Imposter Syndrome. I had a general idea of what is meant, and assumed I probably fell under the umbrella somewhere. I kept trying to avoid it, but as we know, what the mind tries to ignore will fester and start to eat you alive. It took me probably a year and a half of hearing that phrase, thinking about looking it up, and then gently putting it on my “Things to Eventually Get To” list in my brain – AKA the shit that’s never gonna fucking get done.

Strangely though, I kept being pulled back to that phrase. So recently, I actually sat down to look it up and my search results ultimately led to Wikipedia – of course. Which, for anyone who thinks that Wikipedia is just garbage, you’re mostly right…. But! Sometimes you can go to the references area and strike gold. I found a few peer reviewed sources (I was shocked too!)

I have never felt good enough to be able to take credit for my small achievements. I always attributed any kind of small success to luck. “Geeze, I was lucky that xyz happened today that I could xyz!” It feels fake to call myself a researcher because I am not in a PhD program. It feels fake to call myself a writer because I don’t have any credentials to be considered one; as far as I’m concerned it’s just a creative outlet, something I have to do for school, and something I enjoy. I don’t even feel like my writing is even that great, even though I’ve been told by others that they enjoy my writing. I think, “They’re just being kind; they don’t actually think that.”

“Women who experience the impostor phenomenon maintain a strong belief that they are not intelligent; in fact, they are convinced that they have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise.” (P. R. CLANCE & S. A. IMES) Great women like Maya Angelou, Brene Brown, …. have all admitted to having issues with imposter syndrome.

“Women who exhibit the impostor phenomenon do not fall into any one diagnostic category. The clinical symptoms most frequently reported are generalized anxiety, lack of self-confidence, depression, and frustration related to inability to meet self-imposed standards of achievement.” .” (P. R. CLANCE & S. A. IMES)

The family conveys to the girl that she is superior in every way—intellect, personality, appearance, talents. There is nothing that she cannot do if she wants to, and she can do it with ease. She is told numerous examples of how she demonstrated her precocity as an infant and toddler, such as learning to talk and read very early or reciting nursery rhymes. In the family members’ eyes she is perfect.

Imposter phenomenon is correlated with anxiety, and rank high on the neuroticism and perfectionism personality score. (SAKULKU, ANDALEXANDER 2011) I am both of those things 😊 Yay!

“a psychological pattern rooted in intense, concealed feelings of fraudulence when faced with achievement tasks”

Impostorism is a self-perception of fraudulence, which is a combination of cognitive and affective components, rather than an emotional disorder

The term Impostor Phenomenon could be easily misinterpreted because the term suggests that “the experience should be viewed as a pervasive mental illness or categorical personality disorder”

the self-perceived impostor feels inauthentic regardless of the views of objective observers

Reading through the list of characteristics of imposter phenomenon and realizing that your personality checks off all of the boxes is incredibly eye-opening.

I Am Now Out of Odds…And I still can’t even.

A continuation of “Right Now I Am Out of Evens…And fucks. I have 0 fucks….”

Just recently we pulled out (lolol) completely as The Taliban retook the government and immediately began implementing sexist legislation. As of 2 days ago, men are no longer able to teach co-ed classes, so once again, the education for Afghani women will be revoked, and they will be forced to live in fear, without education. Someone recently pointed an important point home for me: The women of your generation have grown up with an education, and now, it’s been stripped away from them. For those who aren’t familiar, taking away the education of the people is the easiest way for dictators to keep their subjects in line.

When I began my quest as a young and dumb researcher, as I learned the long, complicated history of Afghanistan, I was struck by the notion that this was a country that never learned self-sustainability; someone has always occupied it.

Learning about the mujahedin, and subsequently Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden’s war on the west, stating the US would be no better than Russia. I’m stunned by the hatred now felt for America over there, created and fueled by America.

And I can’t help but feel like a much smaller, less overtly sexist battle over women’s right, but at the same time, hits us the same way I imagine Afghani women are feeling.

Instead of fearing stoning, lashings, and public humiliation, we are fearing our lives will ruined by r@p3, then being forced to carry the offender’s child. Women are forced to wear a full burqa, and American women are blamed for crimes against them because of what they’re wearing. Women of both countries will be blamed for their assaults, but instead of public torture, we are publicly shamed because “we were asking for it”.

One of my favorite YouTube Creators, Joe Scott, made a video awhile back stating many countries are currently being led fascist-like leaders, and in the past 20 years of American history, we have had a deeply Christian administration, and another who pandered to “Christian” supporters, and giving their radicalism a platform.

Why, in the “Greatest Country on Earth”, still living under oppressive Puritanical values in 20-fucking-21? Why have we, as a country and America, as a sovereign government, kept subscribing to these conservative values when Europe, in particular, have normalized the human body.

Why are we still punishing sex workers for fulfilling an important role in society: as long as there are horny people in the world, there will always be a need for sex workers, similarly to divorce lawyers; as long as people are getting married, there will always be a need for Family Lawyers. Why criminalize their behavior and denounce their worth as humans in such a way as to deny them the same rights as anyone else to call the police when they fear for their lives during work.

What the fuck is everyone so afraid of?

Is a nipple going to gauge your eyes out? No! Cause if they did, I’m pretty sure there would be far fewer babies.

Does the vagina have teeth which could bite off your dick? Sometimes we wish, but no.

Why does looking at cleavage send people in a blind rage? Babies get excited to see cleavage!

Just why?

And what boggles my mind is the Ring-Wing Christians can’t see the connection between certain current politicians and values of their hated Radical Muslim siblings; they see themselves as wholly different, when in reality, they both stand for the same dumb shit.

Americans look to Afghanistan with pity as it is being torn apart, but other countries are currently looking at America, Texas in particular, for the same reasons.

We had civilians storm the Capitol building because they were being false information by an elected “leader” as a form of revenge for not being re-elected. There were democratic house representatives fleeing the State of Texas in order to stall an unconstitutional vote against reproductive rights.

What the actual fuck is going on?

I literally can’t even.

#savetheuterus

Growth

This once clueless, flighty girl

Now weeps in this excruciating time of growth;

All the years of being comfortably numb are catching up, and I can’t hide any more;

I won’t hide;

Abandoned memories,

Suppressed hurt,

Festered into rage and resentment.

All my lonely tears are crashing into me; I’m drowning.

The hurt runs deep in my veins and into my heart;

Why did I deserve this?

Are you satisfied?

Dragging this baggage is too heavy anymore;

I’ll simply leave it and I won’t look back.

Good bye.

The Concept of Tampons Breaking the Hymen is Just Ridiculous…..

Click For The Full Effect

Friendly Reminder: You cannot lose your “virginity” to a tampon. Hymen ≠ Virginity

Virginity is a MAN-made construct to keep women in line. Having consensual, safe sex does not make you a slut or any less desirable as a partner, and it definitely does not make you a chewed up piece of gum.

Sex is a natural part of our lives. We are born to have sex; that’s why women menstruate.

Have ALL the safe, consensual sex you want. Pick a good play partner and learn what your body loves and craves, vs what you dislike and feel uncomfortable with.

Learn to say no. Learn how to use protection, and experiment with different types of hormonal or non-hormonal birth control.

Finally, if you decide tempons are the best sanitary product for you, fucking do it. And if you try them and they’re not for you, try something else.

Being Sexually Harassed by a Store Associate…

** Feature Photo Credit: Photo by Ikon Republik from Pexels

…Has left me feeling exposed and disgusted. I just can’t believe this is still happening in 20-Fucking-21.

I recently experienced a deeply uncomfortable sexual harassment moment in a major chain of discount stores. I was out on a Saturday evening; I showered and got ready to this particular store, as it’s the closest in the chain to me. As a creature of habit, I love going to that store; I know where everything is, I know it’s going to be clean and tidy, and the staff is always super friendly. It’s always a treat to visit when I have a few extra dollars to spend.

I wore a burnt orange tank crop top, with no bra, and a pair of workout leggings. As I walked into the store, I saw the associate out of the corner of my eye as he welcomed me, and his eyes were the size of Oreos. I’m used to being ogled, so I moved about my business.

I walked around for like 20 minutes, did my shopping and went to the front to check out. This particular store has self-checkouts, and the associate mentioned above was in the area directing traffic. He indicated me to a free stall, and leaned in closely. Like uncomfortably close; if he were any closer, I probably could have felt him breathing on me. In hindsight, he was probably about 10 inches from me as he said, “You look great by the way. Do you live around here?”

I was instantly uncomfortable and I felt so violated. I felt my cheeks getting hot, my race start to pulse, and felt his presence way too close to me. Was he looking down at my shirt at that moment? Had he been undressing me with his eyes when we initially made connection at the front?

I very abruptly blurted out I was married, and only then was he apologetic. I wasn’t wearing my ring at the time, and if you can believe it, so I thought I would have to go on the defensive, but instead he did. Still, though, he lingered for another 5-10 seconds, and that slow passing of time felt unreal and stretched thin.

I was ringing up my items during this whole exchange, and after he walked away, all I wanted to do was finish my transaction and go home. I could not finish checking out quickly enough, but then, some candy I was trying to purchase wouldn’t scan. I tried several times to swipe it, finally in a mad panic to get out, and not wanting to alert him back to me, I left the candy, very quickly paid and walked out.

When I got to my car, my skin was crawling, and I felt so violated. I sat in my car for another 15-20 minutes, texting my bestie, giving her the play-by-play as my emotions festered beneath the shock of the incident. My first instinct was to cover up with a sweater I keep in my car, but I just refused. I sat in my car for another while, willing myself the courage not to just go home, hide under my blankets and cry.

Finally, I had one other stop after that retailer, and as I parked my car, my instinct to cover up overcame me again, and I sat in my car for another long while before I could exit. I was hyper aware of my settings, I watched every person passing by, and I locked my car as soon as I parked (it automatically unlocks the doors when the engine is turned off).

I felt so naked and vulnerable. I knew those thing happen, but you’re never prepared for the moment when it is actually happening to you. I was scared to leave my car; I didn’t want to have the same experience again, but again, I refused to wear a sweater.

I thought, “Fuck that shit! I have been told my whole life that I can’t wear certain things as a woman, for one reason or another. I refuse to allow that jerk, and all the other jerks, to make me dress a certain way.”

I have never shopped at Kroger so quickly in my life. I was hyper-focused, impersonal, and curt. I paid, went home, melted into my husband’s arms and sobbed.

I’m so tired of having to be scared. It took me back to being a young woman in my late teens early twenties, being approached by men bigger than me, and being hit on and sometimes even groped.

That incident at the retailer took me back to the powerlessness I felt when I was 19; something similar happened in a women’s bathroom at a small Mexican restaurant.

Writing this made me so tired; Part 2 coming soon.