Three years ago:
Inner Voice-You are stupid. You make bad choices. You do everything wrong and you are worthless. You married someone that isn’t right for you way too soon. You didn’t even know this person. You are dumb. You had a kid too fast. Then you had three more kids. You are a fucking idiot. Look, you screwed that up again. Why can’t you just get it right? Everyone is better than you. You think you try hard and things just don’t go your way? That’s not it. You are stupid. You don’t even give minimal effort. You have destroyed your career, your family, your life, and everyone’s life around you. Why don’t you just kill yourself and spare this world from your bullshit? You are lazy, you make excuses, you are nothing but a drama lover. You fucking suck. You are stupid. You are never going to amount to anything because you have nothing. No friends, no future, no family, NOTHING. You are nothing.
<Me-sobs alone, wishing I could just be dead.>
Today, after allowing some of my wife’s clothes through the dryer when I completely forgot to remove them from the washer:
Inner Voice-Why can’t you get things right?
<Me-please stop berating me. It was just a mistake.>
Inner Voice-Why are you so stupid?
<Me-please just go away. I am doing my best. I need to finish folding all of this and I am determined to get all of my goals with laundry complete today.>
Inner Voice-WHAT?? You think you can complete things properly? What a little idiot you are, thinking you have the ability to get things done.
<Me-don’t bother me anymore. I don’t care what you think. You are not me.>
Inner Voice-I don’t know who you think you are, telling me to fuck off. I am you, I am the truth and you are the wishful thinking that will never come to fruition.
<Me-(sobbing) please just leave me alone. I can’t deal with you anymore. I don’t want to. You don’t even know me. You are the voice of the past and the voices of those who hurt me on purpose, who felt I was just a kid and not worth anything. Go away now. Please just leave me alone.
Inner Voice-I will never leave you alone until you deal with me. I am the shame that accumulated when your parents told you to be ashamed of yourself, the responsibility that wasn’t yours that you were forced to accept from adults that neglected you, I am the trauma you shoved away from your entire life until recently, I am the hate you poured into yourself because no one told you that you were worth loving as a little kid, I am the child who should be seen and not heard, I am every spanking you got for no good reason, I am all of the things you need to face head on. I don’t care if you are tired, drained, or ready to be done with me. I can’t go away until you face me and neutralize me.
<Me-I can do this. I can fight you and win.>
And that is how I know that I am coming alive again. That I can get better, will get better, and will love myself for who I am on the inside and the outside. The fight inside of me is coming back. All of it. The spark I was born with hasn’t gone away, it’s just buried behind layers of pain and trauma. But it’s getting bigger and hotter now.