Am I truly a good person?
It’s a thought I have fairly regularly, and it’s honestly something that I can’t seem to let go of. What is “good”? What is “bad”? What is right and wrong?
I’m not trying to get too philosophical here, and I’m not trying to fish for compliments, but my moral worth – is that even a thing? – is something I call into question a lot.
Why that is probably comes down to two very distinct factors: my childhood trauma and anxiety. Both of which play very important roles in my adult life, and it’s something I’m still struggling to fully get a grasp on.
Growing up under the hands of narcissism and alcoholism, I’ve learned exactly what NOT to be. Which means I’ve also learned exactly what NOT to associate with in order to keep my mind and emotional well being thriving. If I think a person is even remotely similar to my family, I tend to withdraw and isolate. I find that my mind goes into self preservation, and I cut off said person – even if that person genuinely makes me feel as if they are good people.
I do believe that this defense mechanism is useful, and isn’t something I should turn off entirely, but it is something I need to tone down and fine tune. It’s something that seems to be working in very black and white terms, and I need it to settle to a nice shade of grey.
Where was I going with this again? Oh right, am I truly a good person.
What does all this mean for me then? Why did I explain all this just to ignore the question? Well, that’s my ADD brain for you, if I’m being honest. But here’s what I can tell you.
I grew up in a toxic home. I find that I surround myself with people that are great individuals, but I’m quick to judge (if you will) because of my past trauma on isolated incidents that do not define that person’s worth. This cycle, this… irrational response makes me wonder: am I the bad person here?
Are my weird black and white judgments actually the mark of the narcissism I fear? Do I see bad in people when really it’s the bad in me I’m projecting on to others? Am I quick to anger, judgement, negativity? What if I’m becoming what I resent most because I focus so much time on NOT being that very thing?
I get told often that if I’m asking whether I’m a good person, I likely am. The true mark of a narcissist is the inability to see any flaw in themselves; they essentially believe they are the best, most special person to ever live.
I’ve spent a lot of time in my life dissecting my behaviors and working to determine which ones need to be improved upon so that I can live a happy and healthy life. I do genuinely believe that I’m a good person, at least deep down, but sometimes when I do certain things it gets me wondering.
I know that in my heart of hearts, I have to do what’s best for me – no matter what. That is something I’ve had to learn through years of therapy, and it’s something I hold on to. But I have to wonder if sometimes I make things into bigger issues than they are. And that makes me wonder if I’m bad.
But I take a step back and I realize that I’m human. And humans sometimes fluctuate between “good” and “bad” and it’s not necessarily a depiction of their character. Different situations bring out different parts of us; stress, mental health and illness too. We are constantly changing and evolving, and what really matters is whether or not I feel like I’m a good person as a whole, despite my flaws.
I think, at least right now, I can safely say yes.
Until next time, Internet.
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