A good friend told me about this and yes, this is a Wikipedia entry copy but here:
The impostor syndrome, sometimes called impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome, is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.
Today, I decided that I want to intermit my M.A. I want to take the modules next term, I want to have a fresh start. Tomorrow I am seeing my tutor and I am going to tell him and I am not not not going to cry. I hate the embarrassment. I went to his class today and despite being 200 words short of finishing I blagged it. But that is blagging and… what do essays have in common with Shakira’s hips? They don’t lie. My essay will show that I am a fraud.
Because, despite having the AHRC, despite being here at all, it makes me feel like an impostor. I am here at somebody else’s cost (waste of a scholarship…). I am here because I have made people think I was worth it. I am well enough to see beyond that- why would I be here on pure deceit, when I am so appalling at lying? It doesn’t make sense. Yet it plays in my head until there’s nothing else. I’m not bipolar- I’m stupid. I’m not smart- I’m lucky. I’m not good- I tricked them. I’m not depressed… I am fine, I deserve this. I wasn’t manic- I was a fucking idiot to think I could do this. I was an idiot to think I was well yet… I’m not unwell. I deserve this. I’m stupid, I’m lucky, a trickster, I’m fine, I’m an idiot, unwell and yet… not.
I saw my Care Coordinator today. She is really, really nice. She told me not to beat myself up so much, that this isn’t a matter of blame, or fault. She told me that her son intermitted for a year and is doing much better. And that makes her the first person I’ve spoken to who knows the consequences of my plan. Which made me cry a lot. (You looked better, when you came in…). I was. Better. I even bought new lipstick- make-up= caring= betterness? (Lipstick lezzer…) But I hold my feelings back so much, so Britishly, that even an Are You Ok brought on overspill.
Weeks ago, I hallucinated that my phone lit up and You Ok?! popped across the screen. Yes, I need to drink less. And yes, I am also feeling pretty small, pretty alone.