Thursday, June 16, 2016

Make two inner voices, instead of one.

Several talks about stuff and messages I give myself about how my stuff reflects who I am have reminded me the way I deal with self-hate has evolved quite a lot this last year. The most helpful thing for me is to remind myself that loving myself well is (for me) more about respect. I say and do things to myself I would never want anyone else to say or do to themselves, because "I need the hard truth," or
"I'm spoiled and whining and I need to shut up and take this crap like a normal person." The thing is, normal people don't take that crap, and the so-called truth I bash myself with is in fact just an inner voice telling me I'm so worthless that whatever harm I do myself is a justice because I deserve harm and hate. If it's an actual person telling me these messages, they need to be out of my life as much as possible. I am a kind and good person and deserve kindness and love. I make messes, I am not a mess. I don't need to take criticism from any direction as "truth" without examining it for what it is, and the motives for giving it. That goes for friends and family, and it goes for one of my inner voices.

I visualize that inner voice as a terrible monster that I can defeat, and remind myself there's a kind voice it is standing on to get its lies closer to my ear. It's hard to defend against it when I'm tired and the mean voice has so many arguments I get confused and give up and believe it - mean voice has the power of an adult talking to a child. It can resort to "because I said so, because I'm your mother, because I know you better than anyone else." Nope. I have to remember I'm not a child. I usually have that nasty inner voice by the throat these days, and hold it away from me - I hold my arm out straight in front of me, and make a fist. It chimes in, I squeeze it, not myself. I call it what it tells me to call myself: stupid, lazy, mean, crude, etc. Then I tell the kind inner voice it can come out to play. 

If I'm somewhere I can't talk aloud, I write what it says down, and then rewrite it to "the bad inner voice is ____."  A mean inner voice collects negative and cruel things like a library; it'll tell me nothing changes and I'm delusional if I think I can be different and proves it by hauling up every dumb thing I ever did. It puts a magnifying glass over my "flaws" and tells me that's reality. 
 Feed the nice voice. I fed mine with a free online "Introduction to Logical Thought" class, with the specific purpose of learning about Mean Voice. Laughing at the bad logic of my mean voice relieved a lot of pain. How do you deal with your negative self-esteem?

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