When “I’m a failure” is true


I’ve failed a lot. I’m in my hometown after the sudden loss of my sometimes nightmarishly abusive and sometimes amazing father. I’m here with highly successful family.

In the midst of really complicated grief and somehow making it through every day, the reality that I am a failure, especially compared to others, is running away with me.

The amount of stupid around this is expected. While I was in a pile of tears at the mini funeral my mother said my father was sooooo proud of my brother. And yeah, he cared about you too (justmehere). She’s treated him as the golden child and me the piece of … our entire lives. Super expected remark.

She is grieving, we all are, she’ll never change… whatever…

Something else came up at dinner with others.

At the end

But like, he is super successful and I’m not. I also have this robust history of my mother just brutally treating me as super incapable, She does it even now. Most of it undeserved.

But at the end of the day, I have failed many ways. Mostly PTSD driven failures.

I’m a flood of self hate. I don’t know what to do. I can’t seem to re-frame this one.

My stress cult is overflowing and this thinning is making sucidkal thoughts rush in so I’m trying to shot it to something mroe useful.
comparing myself to others is a failure, every time. i failed to be you, AGAIN! ! ! maybe i need to let that failure be and focus on endeavors truer to my own path? me is all i get to be, culture approved or knot.

there is a little known song i adore called, "the shallow end of the gene pool." that song floated into my mind as i read your post. thank you. yes, it's on youtube, as recorded by the lounge lizards.
Just did this in therapy not long ago.....

I'm the one with CPTSD. Not something I went looking for or asked for. I got it from someones abuse to me.

So in all the years between then and now - I may see failure on my part but really----

So, so, many people failed me, because when I failed no one looked into why.........
@Justmehere , it depends on how you define 'success'. Seems to me the greatest success is facing your past and demons head on (even when much of the grief had been caused by others); to forgive and hold your tongue (or you wouldn't be present in your home town or for the funeral); to look upon your life with introspection (you are very hard on yourself, but many others find only faults in the other). And just as conversely, the opposite is failure, to me: failure for your mother to beg you to forgive both your dad and her; failure for your brother to not stand up to your mom, and call her out, and value you as a precious sister. And a lot of other examples I can think of.

I understand when you have great intelligence and skills (you do) it seems like perhaps failing to not be in a 'power' career, or be married with 2.5 children and a picket fence, because you are or could be as some of these others are. But you employ those strengths and abilities and gifts in all you do, and will in all the future holds, which is largely unknown. You've definitely done it without the recognition it deserves- surviving and overcoming your trauma(s) let alone childhood goes with grace, grit and integrity. And you have much life ahead. Not to spend feeling you are less-than, but realizing how much you really are, yourself and for others, With a heck of a lot of wisdom and strength and heart and courage.

I think one thing no one expects as an answer if you ask a child. "What do you want to be when you grow up?". is the answer "happy". Sometimes people get to the top of the ladder and realize it's the wrong ladder. Things are rarely what they appear. But if you are true to yourself and doing the best you can, and are slowly but surely overcoming yourself, for battles within and without, you couldn't succeed more. (Tbh, Idk how you've even been able to bear these family dynamics, from what you've said, or be as tolerant or forgiving as you have been. But you have. Amazing!)

Hugs xoxox.
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A forum glitch wasn't letting me post earlier. I'm posting my response without catching up on what others wrote.

Failure depends on your goal, right?

- If my goal is to make a lot of money, I have failed.
- If my goal is to have a stable* place to live, I've succeeded.
- If my goal is to be independent, I have failed.
- If my goal is to be healthily interdependent, I am starting to succeed.

What are their goals in life? What are your goals in life? They could be different. Which would lead to different conclusions about your (and their) success or failure.

Just one potential starting place for getting out of the absolutes / binary. There are other cracks and ways to reframe, too.

And I seriously get it - according to some incredibly narrow definitions, I'm a disabled disappointing failure blah blah blah. But there are many other stories available.

* where stable is defined as "I can reasonably expect to live here for the next 2-3 years"
the reality that I am a failure

What does "being a failure" mean to you? Not having the job you want? Not having the relationship you want? Not having the amount of material wealth you want? Not being the person that you want to be? In terms of axes, there are a lot of different points that people can "fail" at, what in particular is driving this thought of yours?

For me, I am always disoriented to learn that people tend to define "success" by material and occupational status - those are simply not relevant to my life.

My conceptualization of success is intra and interpersonal. I want to integrate into society, I want to be a person with integrity, I want to be a good friend, I want to be compassionate and kind, I want to limit my exposure to and acts of violence and harm, I want to be an advocate for those who are vulnerable, I want to be educated and informed. I would like someday to have some type of family, even if it doesn't look like other people's families.

(I am still working on myself to reach the point where I can provide for said family in a reciprocal fashion.)

For me, this is something I can accomplish while playing Dead Island: Riptide all day on social assistance. I founded a support group that deals with extremes of trauma, particularly focused on cluster B and attachment disorders but also PTSD, and I do my very best to assist others as I can by educating them on these issues, teaching emotional fortitude, and listening to their stories.

It's on Discord, because I am disabled, but I video chat and voice chat with people on a regular basis. I accommodated my social disabilities by finding a platform that works for me and I do my best to produce relevant content. I am generally well-liked in my community and I have a good core group of friends whom I speak to regularly. I recently gave an impromptu talk to 12 people on the street face-to-face where I detailed some key factors of my story and elevated groups in my province that do outreach for children with similar histories.

To me based on my upbringing and the difficulties I have had throughout my life, this is success. It is not "much," in terms of occupational or material gains, but it is mine and I went through a great deal of adversity to come to the point where I can do these things meaningfully and truly. I go out on a daily basis in the summer-time with my mom, I have an evolving and good relationship with her based on restorative justice, I have felt happiness.

To me, that is success. And I would challenge anyone to tell me to my face that it isn't "as good" as someone who became a doctor or a lawyer or who is rich. Are they happy? Are they fulfilled? Do they have self-awareness? Are they compassionate? I would argue that I am on equal footing.
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