[quote="Aetheria, post:18, topic:201783"]
Oh, I'm quite aware that the problems I've been complaining about are the sort of thing normal people, people with their heads on straight, tackle and don't complain about at all. I'm aware that I am a dreadful bore and a blight on polite society.
I just don't know whether there's hope that I can ever cease being a bore, a blight, and generally a waste of oxygen. To say "I realize that I suffer from disgustingly maudlin and indulgent self-pity" and to have a plan to rescue oneself from that are two different things. Especially since it's then very hard to tell which things are real problems one needs help with and which are products of self-pity.
I'm sure it's entirely possible that I could cooperate with God's grace and muddle through. But I keep being attacked by such violent revulsion towards myself precisely for being a bore and a blight and a waste of oxygen that I can't think of anything to do to make it better; I just want to do something to punish myself for being so horrible. I know this can't be entirely a normal feeling, and it doesn't happen all or even most of the time. But I don't know what to do about it.
As I said before, I'm fairly sure this is what God wants me to do with my life and I really do want to be able to do it. I know it's possible; God is always there, of course, and I have a wonderful family and a fiance who loves me, knows about my issues and is willing to go to considerable trouble to help me. But the more people I have trying to help me, the more afraid I am of failing them.
Oh, Good. Night. Shirt.
Let us say, for example, that instead of your problem, your problem was that you could not get through a meal without dribbling food all over yourself.
There is a continuum with two possibilities on either end that could describe you. Either you have physical difficulties beyond your control that make it impossible for you to eat a mouthful of food without losing some of it before swallowing OR you don't take the trouble to be as careful as you could....that is, you are a slob because you don't choose to eat carefully.
My point is that you wouldn't start every meal with a blanket apology for the food that is shortly going to be all over you. Rather, you would do your best, wouldn't make excuses in advance for what is your fault, and rightfully expect people to be decent enough to pass over what is currently beyond your control. Polite people do not mention that your table manners need work. For your part, you do better to help them ignore the problem, not call attention to it. Rather than making people more comfortable with your situation, you put them on the spot and make them less comfortable. The only exception is when the group can occasionally mention the problem with the sense of humor. That's fine, as long as the joke doesn't take over the meal.
It is an offense against your dignity before God to call yourself "a blight and generally a waste of oxygen". There is no excuse for using language like that to describe a human being. Christ died for you. That shows your worth. Do not presume to second-guess God.
You don't have to fear failing your husband in marriage. You're going to fail as a wife sometimes. Get used to it. He's going to fail you sometimes. Get used to it. Sometimes, it will even be through what is willful, rather than through honest mistakes. Get used to it.
To be honest with you, I wouldn't want to marry somebody who never needed support and never made mistakes. I'm happy to be married to an actual human being.
I have a saying: Life isn't "fair." Life is good. If you think about it for very long, you realize that it can't be both. That is because goodness depends on forgiveness, charity, long-suffering, and all of those things that make the score-keeping of "fair" a moot point.
The thinking you're writing is unfortunately way too typical among the very talented. I have a PhD, and sometimes I wonder if they shouldn't make us pass a test to live in polite society once we've been to graduate school. There is such a thing as being too smart for anyone's good. We do research work where a mistake here or there is going to ruin the whole thing, and we start thinking that real life is like that.
Have you had the dream where the dean of students calls you up to tell you your admission to graduate school was a mistake yet? Did you know this was the most common dream among graduate students? So if you have nailed the GRE well enough to get into graduate school and still manage to think of yourself as a waste, you are not alone. You're totally typical, and you're still wrong.
Your finance does not want to marry you because you are a waste. He wants to marry you because you are a prize. You do not have to be perfect to be a prize. You only have to be right for him. He does not want you to be someone else. He wants you, just as you are. Get that through your head.
If this is what God wants you to do with your life, then do it. Get used to the idea that you probably won't be Nobel prize material as a wife. Get used to the idea that the Almighty knew that when He chose you to be a wife. God is no slouch when it comes to engineering. Your capacity to fail has been figured into the blueprints, right along with your desire to please God and your husband. As long as it is God who holds the structure up, it will stand.
"But the more people I have trying to help me, the more afraid I am of failing them"....what does that mean? That you think their charity towards you is really an investment, on which they are guaranteed a return? That you don't want to be beholden to them? Love does not work like that. Give them the credit, and require yourself to believe that their love is real love, and not some kind of a quid pro quo. The more people you have that love you, the more real failure becomes an impossibility. God loves you. You love God. You won't fail.