There are days when I feel like an imposter. On those days I worry that I don’t deserve love, support and guidance from those around me, because my own journey doesn’t compare to the trials and triumphs of other people who are working through their own darkness, and whose own journeys feel superior to my own – so says my ego.
There are days when I feel like I’m on the outside looking in. I have good days, and I have not so good days. I clash with the environment around me; the noise, the crowds, feeling like I’m being smothered by my own skin, the thoughts in my head, living in a state of waiting mode to provide my life with routine and structure, and so much more. The professional support for living with a neurodivergent mind is both limited and expensive. Some support from private practices is not backed by government funded practices and vice versa, and that makes it even harder to reach out to the hand that could help pull me from the trenches.
So, the journey of getting from where I am at this moment in time to where I want to be is like trying to find diamond crusts in murky water that just won’t clear. It’s overwhelming for me that I’m longing to rely on someone else’s opinion, diagnosis and solution/coping mechanism when I know within myself the validity of my own experiences that I’ve lived through, and the ones that I continue to face.
Anyway, back to feeling like an imposter…
The days are many, and the feeling is intense. I see and hear of people who live through similar experiences and who face likewise obstacles, and as an observer it appears that it’s a much more complex experience for them. As my compassion for them overwhelms my heart, so does the echo of fraudulence in my mind. It’s days and moments like that, that I ridicule my own experiences, but my own obstacles don’t go away; they don’t cease to exist just because I tell myself that somebody else is having a harder time with something so similar to challenges that I too face.
I have to remind myself that there’s an entire spectrum of what we experience, and what might be too much for me could be manageable for somebody else, and vice versa. There might be days where the noise around me isn’t so bothersome, but then there will be times where it’s almost debilitating for me to think clearly because of it. The feeling of being an imposter ripples through me and tells me that because I have good days, that I don’t deserve support - full stop. That, because I can mask what I’m going through and go to work, it should suggest that I can manage on my own. That same feeling doesn’t acknowledge that other people living through likewise experiences also have good days. It only ever singles out me.
When I feel the truth in my heart, it tells me that everything that we live through and every war that we win matters. There is validity in our feelings, and in our yearning for a little bit of love and patience, and in asking for accommodations to help make things easier on days where it feels impossible to have some normality. Besides asking for support, that compassion from those helping to meet our needs, binds and interconnects us on a deeper level.
Just like our shadow, the imposter follows closely behind us and challenges us. There are some things in our lives that we might always have to overcome from time to time – and sometimes daily – but I do have hope that there will come a point in all of our lives that we can accept our truth and silence the imposters that try to make us feel inferior in this life.