Seeking Approval

I’m having one of those days where it feels like everything I do is wrong, where it feels like all I ever do is fuck things up.

Tonight, I was supposed to make calls to people running in caucuses in the next 10 days who are supporting my candidate.  I needed to make sure they had recruited people to come vote for them and that they’d entered their information into our database system.  Instead, I wrestled with the database system (man, that thing sucks!) for almost an hour to get the lists to work.  Then I had to call my regional field director to ask how he wanted me to enter the results of those calls.  I did manage to make 5 or 6 calls, but then I was busy the rest of the evening spending quality time with my toilet…by which I mean I was doubled over trying not to cry as I crapped out everything I’ve eaten in the last 14 years.

But there’s this niggling voice in my head saying, “You’re just making excuses because you didn’t want to make those calls.  C (the RFD) is going to be mad because those calls were really important.  He thinks you’re just a big fuck-up, and he’d probably fire you if you’d actually been good enough to get hired, which you weren’t.”

C has never said anything like that to me.  He’s said more than once that I was a “great find,” that I’m very experienced, and that I’m good at rolling with the punches.  But that doesn’t feel real to me.  Most of the time, I feel like I’m making it all up as I go along.  I’m often uncomfortable with the amount of assertiveness required to work a political campaign, and I’m afraid everyone can tell I’m faking it through the anxiety.  At least half the time, I have no idea what I’m doing, so I just pretend I know and hope no one notices.

Today, I’m seriously considering the possibility that I do this work because I’m addicted to praise.  I need to feel good at something.  I need people to tell me I’m capable and valuable and wanted.  I need other people’s approval to justify my existence.  It’s pathetic, really.

Especially because no amount of approval actually convinces me that I deserve to exist and be loved.



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5 responses to “Seeking Approval

  1. kat

    ya i feel like that more often than not. and youre right, the compliments still dont seem to really soak in, still seem to not be enough to make us feel worthy. when you figure out the answer on how to stop this, let me know!! and rest assured, it really is true that you really are a great person.

  2. Hope – In days gone by I would have said, ‘chin-up, tomorrow will be a better day.’ For today, thanks for what you are doing for the team. I’m appreciative you are able to do all that you do. I detest making cold calls. I’ll do most anything to avoid that assignment.

  3. I’m sorry things are so rough! I do think you’re a great person too!

  4. I hear you. I have the worst time dealing with the sort of thing you describe. I take people’s opinions of me far too much to heart, even when I’m assuming their opinion, like you are.

    Try to give yourself some credit for being able to do this work, even some of it, while dealing with the physical issues. NOT easy. Ever. You are one who rolls well with the punches in life and I’m sure you are excellent at what you put your mind to, even when suffering. I wish you didn’t have to suffer at all.

    You’ve never come across as a fuck up to me. Not once. So you know. xx

  5. ~meredith

    Grainne is a sage–she’s right. Hang tight, people have our backs in ways we often don’t know… and you have YOU. (Right? You’re the best at having your back because something within knows what you need all the time… in multiple colors.)

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