I do not make as much money as the members in my boyfriend’s family. I’m an online coach with a very specific niche, and I live with my boyfriend, on their family’s farm, in a very rural area, and my boyfriend, his two brothers, and dad all work on the farm. Their wives have very typical jobs – a middle manager at a local office, and the other a physical therapist. I feel like such an outsider, and the sister a dietician. My main thought is that what I do is very foreign to them, having this career yet trying to blend in with this very traditional farm family. I am about to launch a podcast, and I am stricken with fear at the thought of the brother’s wives (2 of them), and their sister a) knowing I have a podcast, and b) god forbid listening to one of my podcasts and hearing me talk about myself, what I do, what I teach, and some of the concepts in my episodes.
I recognize this is projecting. It only seems to be super bad when I think about the “women in the family” (besides my boyfriend’s mom is old and sweet and would never listen to a podcast in her life so maybe that’s why I’m subconsciously excluding her) and their potential reactions to what I say in my podcast, and then their thoughts about me and what I do for a living and my specific niche. They’ll all 3 (2 wives and sister) get together, say hey did you guys hear she started a podcast, look, then they’ll all listen to part of an episode, all gossip about me and say that’s the most ridiculous thing ever, what does she think she’s doing, she needs to grow up and get a real job.” And in this scenario, I’ll feel immense shame, rejection, disconnection, humiliation, and I’ll have to live (if I do marry in) with this family for the rest of my life, and not really belong here.
Every time I see any member of my boyfriend’s family, I’m SO tense and awkward and stressed because I’m afraid of them knowing me – and interestingly enough, I thought about the differences between me sharing details about me on the podcast to the listeners vs. sharing the same details to the family.
Thoughts about sharing with podcast listeners: they will appreciate my vulnerability and be able to connect with me and ultimately it might help them in their lives as well as potentially increase their chances of wanting to coach with me. It’s somewhat risky to share, but I see more of a benefit to it.
Thoughts about sharing with the family: they will ridicule me behind my back and laugh at me, use this information against me, I will have to live with the humiliation of being found out for the rest of my life (assuming I marry in and am here forever), I’ll never be able to live this down, I’ll never be able to have a good friendship or connection with these women (who, not to mention, are twice my age)
Overall, I think I’m so afraid of being judged by them, and overall who really cares, but my brain has painted a very elaborate worst-case scenario about how it will ruin me if other people have thoughts. I’m believing my own thoughts and self-doubt about what I do for a living. As I read back through what I wrote, I have lots of evidence for believing I’m different than them, I don’t belong here. I also see how at family dinners, I’ll be sitting by my boyfriend, and the two wives and sister will all be over by themselves talking shit about someone else or anything in general, and although I have no facts or hard evidence for if they’ve talked about me in their little group chats, I can only be led to conclude that they’re having the same disgusting conversations about me behind my back, and even if that’s true, I’m letting it bother me and poke at my metaphorical sore bruises.
Would love some coach eyes on this. Thanks in advance!