I suffer from the imposter syndrome and I have spent my whole life on the outside looking in.
“I regret my entire life. My parents raised me to be a good little coward – totally obedient and ever afraid of judgement. I have always been intimidated by authority figures and anyone with a normal level of confidence could assume that stature and intimidate me.
For my first 47 years I was unconfident and angry until I spent two years getting anger management therapy. Now I’m not angry and somewhat more confident, but still not as confident as “normal” people.
I regret how I behaved as a result of all this. With the combination of anger and low self-esteem I was a pathetic, passive-aggressive asshole who became very good at sarcasm without realizing that my sarcasm was actually effective. I behaved, figuratively, as though I was going into a knife fight armed with a nerf-gun but not realizing that it was actually a real gun. So I’ve probably left a trail of either pissed off, confused or hurt people.
I’ve treated so many people like crap, including my wife, who is a wonderful woman who I don’t deserve.
The sad thing is that I have the basic qualities that should have allowed me to be more successful and happy in life: I’m reasonably intelligent, I’m fairly good looking and I’m tall, but my self-esteem is such that I have always gone through life with the ambition of surviving, never thriving. I was an officer in the military for 32 years but I never aimed to do well. I only aimed to not fail.
There are probably many, many people who think that I’m arrogant when the truth is that I don’t want to impose myself on them. I could meet people in a professional setting, who could be good friends, but can’t help but assume that they are simply tolerating me.
And now I’m 58 years old. I’ve done reasonably well materially (technically I’m part of the “1%”) but I am so unhappy. I suffer from the imposter syndrome and I have spent my whole life on the outside looking in. There’s also some mental illness in my family as well. I have a first cousin who is bipolar and I have siblings (I believe myself included) with some level of functioning mental illness.
So the great miracle that is sentient life has been wasted on me. I’ve got about another 25 years to go and I continue to look at that remaining time as something to survive and endure”