That voice in my head. It is always there. Lurking. I try to silence it. Through music, through TV, by hours spent on social media sites. Occasionally even through reading or knitting or ridiculously long phone calls to my Mum. Do I really need to watch the video of a man singing *read screeching* in a supermarket again? No. But I do. These things are louder than the voice in my head. At this point I have silenced her, her being me.
I assume we all have a voice in our head? I guess it our conscious? Mine is on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She gets louder the quieter my surroundings become. She is very selfish, she basically talks about me all the time. Constantly comparing and criticising. Nothing is good enough. Nothing is right and everything I do is wrong. Sometimes she tells me “well done for making sure all the kids bags are packed ready for the morning” but she quickly snatches it back as she snaps back “Oh my God, how pathetic, as if you actually need to congratulate yourself on packing the kids bags. You are such a crap Mum. It shouldn’t be such a big deal, it’s your JOB!”.
She tells me I am a rubbish Mum, a terrible Wife, a bad Friend, a horrible Sibling, Aunt, Cousin etc. I try to justify it that there just isn’t time to do everything I want. She says “That may be true, but you would have more time if you weren’t so lazy, if you prioritised, stopped being so selfish and putting yourself first”. Then in the same breath, she moans that I have no time for me, that I don’t know who I am anymore. Sometimes I want to run and hide. Sometimes I wish there was an off switch. To stop all the negativity. Sometimes I think I could get so much more done and I could achieve more if I didn’t constantly have her belittling me, judging me, berating me, once again by her, I mean me.
I decided to do a little experiment. I put a request on my Facebook page, for people to Personal Message me , with either a word or a short paragraph that they felt described me and if possible a little explanation. I did state it didn’t need to be positive, I was more than willing to receive some constructive criticism. I got a few responses and they weren’t necessarily from the people I thought would respond either. The responses were all really lovely. My sister in laws was probably the one which was most accurate ‘clumsy’ I know she meant it in an endearing way. She did also send me another more serious message too.
Anyway, the purpose of this experiment wasn’t to give myself an ego boost. It was to see how people see me and how that differed from how I see myself. My instant reaction was that they only know half the story, they don’t see the what goes on in my head, some of the less positive and kind thoughts, people said I was ‘kind and caring’ yet my response was ‘I don’t support any charities, I don’t give money to the homeless and I can’t remember the last time I bought/ made a gift for a friend’ my response was they think I am kind and caring, but they don’t really know me
However, I began to try and think why people think I am caring. My friends have told me in the past that I am good at listening without passing judgement. I don’t see this as anything special, but apparently not every one is like this. I am an encourager and a supporter. When looking at other people I can always see the positives, I can see how they can achieve and how they can make the changes that they want to. I support them in small ways if I can.
I had a few which said I was ‘Quirky’ this really surprised me. Had it been 5-10 years ago or so then I would not have been surprised at all. I was the crazy one who cut her own hair, dyed it a range of colours, wouldn’t even blink at the thought of having a mowhawk, piercing her lips and tongue and often wore inappropriate clothing.
I used to get my family to dress up like this at Halloween, now we are lucky if we have pumpkin and the kids have a costume on.
I was the rebel. When all the girls did their best Britney impressions at the school uniform disco. I was the one who said FUCK THAT. I got a flat cap, some boys school shorts and drew freckles on my face and went as a boy. It was a great night.
Now I don’t feel ‘Quirky’, I don’t really feel I am anything. I am just here. I think part of that is because I am such a people pleaser that I daren’t find out who I really am. I know some of the things that I am writing about will shock people. What I will say is sometimes the people who are the most confident and socialable are the ones that struggles deep down inside. The ones who try to be liked, hoping that if everyone else likes them then maybe they can begin to like themselves.
The ones who seem like they don’t give a shit about what everyone else thinks are the ones who spend stupid amounts of time analysing what they said and how someone might have interpreted it. These are the people who are so caring and thoughtful yet berate themselves for being so selfish and self absorbed. Only seeing what they haven’t done, rather than what they have done. I know this describes me pretty well. What was surprising and also in a strange way liberating were the following responses.
I think you are a kind thoughtful , funny and caring person who is often far to judgemental about herself & expects too much from herself
I also think you have your own wacky yet trendy style and you are unique , but also I feel that to some people you may come across as very outgoing and carefree when really I think you are quite a quiet, setback and possibly shy person at times
Hope this helps and you didn’t think I was being harsh cuz your a wonderful person and none of these points are bad xx
You are always honest. Even if it means acknowledging something you may have done wrong. You are sincere and always true to yourself xx
You’re a kind, loving, hard working person (and mother). You put others before yourself, which at times seems to be your downfall to a certain degree. You’re also too hard on yourself.
It’s a funny feeling to hear positive things about yourself, especially when it isn’t a special event like a birthday. I must admit it is nice to hear. I do try to be kind, honest and caring, but I am only human, sometimes I snap, sometimes I forget, sometimes I just get darn right angry at the world and its Dog. I hate thinking that any of my friends could think about themselves the way that I have felt about myself. It’s a lonely, soul destroying way to feel/live and it is exhausting to have to pretend that everything is OK. When really inside everything is feels broken, deflated, defeated.
You feel defeated.
Defeated by life.
Defeated by yourself.
Now do not get me wrong what I am writing about here is not depression. It’s somehow different, you get angry angry at it, you feel trapped and scared. You know there is a way out (unlike depression) but it means change and putting in effort and that voice is shouting loud and clear “DON’T BOTHER” “YOU CAN’T DO IT” “IT’S ALL LIES”
I am fed up of being ruled by this voice. I started thinking what if I started to have a different voice in my head. A positive voice, one that encouraged me instead of berating me. How would that change my life?
This is PART ONE of my self development series of posts. The posts in this series will span the past six months and I will be talking about what I have learnt about myself and how I plan to change. If you would like to follow me on that journey then keep an eye out for my following posts. I would love to know if you have been on a journey of self discovery or if you too have a voice in your head.
Thank you for reading