I remember feeling invincible when I was younger. Between the ages of..well..birth I suppose and 6 or 7 years old, I seriously had no problem with myself as a person. My Mom has told me stories from my and my twin sister’s first day of school (ever) where we walked down the hall asking EVERYONE in the hall to be our friend. If they agreed it was cool! If they didn’t, it was their loss and didn’t seem to bother either of us. I have no recollection of feeling anything except love and acceptance of myself because the idea of self hatred had not been introduced to me yet. And then that changed violently, without warning, and without any way to stop it. I won’t go into graphic detail because you don’t come here to read horror stories but I will tell you that every effort was made to remove my sense of self esteem when I was very young by someone who I loved/adored and who’s opinion I held in high regard. On top of that, our family struggled harder than I think most of even my closest friends really understand. Between the ages of 7 and 24, my life was marked by uncertainty, pain, suffering, and an inability to see any way out of it. I learned to mask this very, very quickly. My life depended on my ability to “grin and bear it” more often than I care to count or remember on most days. I wish I was exaggerating that point, but I’m not. There are few things in this world that motivate you to keep your mouth shut faster than someone holding a knife to your throat while telling you to hold still or you’ll die. I was told that I needed to learn what my place was in the world and that I needed to learn how “little girls like you are taken down a few pegs”. I always feel it incredibly important to point out that my parents had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA that these things were happening. I know in my heart that had I gone to my Mom and Dad and told them straight up the full story of what was happening that they would have moved the Heavens and the Earth to make it stop. They couldn’t know though because great care was taken to make sure that no outward signs were shown of anything bad happening and, as stated before, having a gun pointed at your head or a knife to your throat and being told that you and everyone you love will die if you talk is a VERY powerful motivator to do what you’re told.
What this has resulted in are negative self thoughts/negative self talk that I very very VERY rarely give air to but have affected every area of my life since. Even the people who I consider to be “closest” to me generally don’t know how bad this gets or why I can be difficult to get close to in the first place. This is my attempt to help you with that, not an attempt at getting sympathy or pity. Just understand that when you say you like me or you love me or that you’re my friend…you’re walking into a world that you may not understand. Truth be told, I sometimes don’t either. So I’ll start there.
- I do not understand why you like me or love me. You don’t understand how bad of a person I am. I am poison that will eventually kill your feelings for me and you can’t see it yet. But trust me, its coming.
- Everyone will eventually hate me or already does whether they fake liking me or not.
- I can’t do anything right. Literally, nothing.
- I’m stupid. Not just a little, but incredibly so. I will never amount to anything substantial regardless of how much I want it.
- I’m weaker than anyone can ever imagine I am.
- I’m a terrible sister. I’m a terrible daughter. I’m a terrible wife. I’m a terrible friend. I’m the worst thing that ever happened to the people in my life.
- I want to be your friend but I can’t because I’m incurably socially awkward and people don’t like that.
- I smile too much.
- I cry too much.
- If I don’t understand something, I should give up.
- I should give up on all of my dreams. I shouldn’t even have dreams. There’s no point in them because I could never make them happen anyway.
- I lack follow through so there is no reason to even start. I won’t finish it and whatever I do manage to accomplish won’t be good enough, anyway.
- I suck.
- I’m not attractive at all. I don’t understand what blinders people have on that make them think otherwise.
- I should listen to everyone else’s opinions of what I should do with my life because I have unrealistic goals for myself.
- The universe won’t let me have a baby because the powers that be know I’d be a horrible Mom. I’d probably mess that up, too.
This is just a small taste of the types of things that go through my head daily. Sometimes its not as extreme, sometimes its even more extreme, and sometimes I’m capable of making it shut off.
Just understand that when you’re in my life, you’re dealing with this too. I can only put up the facade for so long before people get to know that while I am genuinely a happy person for the majority I also have this dark part to my thoughts that sometimes gets out of control and overwhelms me. I’m sure it would overwhelm everyone else, too.
So yeah…that’s it. The good and the bad act as one always.