As P!nk aptly put it… Don’t let me get me

Guilt. Ineptitude. Stupidity. Immorality. Shame. Imposture.

These aren’t really all that different when you think about it, right? Just the variety of tactics that the one and the same inner critic uses to help us destroy ourselves. Scratch that: “critic” is too nice of a word. “Monster” or “demon” is more like it.

Who knows why we develop this inner monster? Maybe it begins in childhood. An offhand comment. A chemical imbalance. A tragedy.  And so the inner critic awakens; born or made, I do not know.

I swear sometimes that this monster is a separate entity from me, as though I were possessed by a demon that’s trying to kill me. Right now, I think I have battled down the principal monster pretty well, or at least chained it. Some of its chorus members are still standing, though, and the monster speaks through them. Every time I want to make some sort of advancement in my life, they pipe up. Even while I’m typing this, they’ve informed me that I should probably just quit everything before I waste more time. Or when I try and devise a way to get the hell out of my job, they tell me I am too stupid and don’t even have life skills, let alone job skills. Can’t even ride a damn bus without them bothering me. 

When I was in college, I had big plans to earn a PhD and become a professor. I thought I was the shit. Won every award and medal in the book. Hell, I won first place in a writing contest I didn’t even enter. At first, I believed in myself and in my abilities, and that if I worked hard, I could do it. Unfortunately, these turned into the belief that everything I touched was gold. This false belief set me up for my fall. I was admitted to a graduate school on a scholarship. And then I allowed one person to get in my head and undo all of that and make me believe that I could barely read, let alone earn a degree.

My rapid implosion came when I was humiliated by a certain professor during a presentation, which awakened the memory of an experience in grade school, when a teacher repeatedly insulted me (personal insults no less) in front of my class. Fast-forward to graduate school, and the experience of being humiliated in front of another class was enough for the monster to step in and take over, since clearly I couldn’t handle things myself. I ended up transferring to another graduate school where I completed the degree, but the damage was already done.

I did manage to drag my ass to the MA finish line. In reality, I didn’t do as badly as I thought. I found my transcript one day and my grades were all A’s with one B+ exception, but I remember it as barely passing by the skin of my teeth. I suffered major impostor syndrome and I could not focus on my studies or pay attention in class, because I imagined everyone else in the room was wondering why the hell I was in there too. I couldn’t see reality for what it was.

There was no middle ground for me between believing I could do no wrong, and believing I could do no right.

And now I’m in debt and have worked almost nine years in retail making barely above minimum wage. Boy did I get knocked off my pedestal. Please learn from me and don’t let that happen to you. 

I’ve been told before that it’s my fault. My attitude. Too emotional. Oversensitive. Conceited. Delusional. Snap out of it. Stupid millennial. Grow up. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Yes, I know it’s all my fault. Yes, I should have grown up and changed my attitude. Yes, Yes, Yes, I suck. I own my mistakes, even if I can’t fix them right now.

I don’t know the reason why, but it seems like some people have the will to overcome challenges, and some of us don’t. I’ll accept that it was my fault and I take the blame for it. I shouldn’t have made excuses and let other people decide for me how I’m going to feel. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like my decision; it’s like the monster and the other party negotiate on how I’m going to make it. It’s like you’re arguing with so many negative voices in your head that they drown you out to the point where you don’t even know which is your real one.

Let me leave you with a little illustration of what the monster can convince you about yourself. A neighbor asked me if I could cat-sit for a couple of weeks. I said Sure! Then later I realized that I couldn’t do it because I don’t know how to take care of cats.

I had a cat for seventeen years.


Do you ever feel like something in you is trying to take you down?

9 thoughts on “As P!nk aptly put it… Don’t let me get me

  1. Recognise all the wonderful achievements you have achieved. A MA a PHd. No small deal. List them out every day, until you brain is rewire to see the truth, and appreciate you.

    I wrote a post, I think it was called how to deal with unhelpful negative thoughts or something.

    It doesn’t matter if we gained these feelings at childhood, or later on. Or all the way thru. We need techniques to break the pattern and create a new.

    Have u seen a cognitive therapist.. trust me a few sessions will work wonders.

    Acknowledging your achievements and greatness is not ego. It is confidence building.

    U know I am thinking of writing a book that covers a bit of this. Well it my first ever book, if I make it all the way. Planning do a rough draft in july 2020.

    Wish u well

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I do have a therapist and they’ve helped me a lot challenging my negative thinking. Writing something I am grateful for, every single night, has made a difference too.

      I think you should write about this stuff! I like your blog a lot and you have a wide variety of content.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. That is a hard battle from the sounds of it, but you are aware the voices are not you, that seems like a necessary foundation from which to defeat the negative illusions about yourself. You seem very capable of persevering through this and on to the next challenges. I hope you are having a good November, and are being kind to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting on this post. I forgot this one. You know, I feel a lot better since then. Finding things to look forward to makes a huge difference in one’s life. And my therapist really helped me to recognize my negative thought patterns and showed me ways to climb out of them. I’m very fortunate for that. Thanks for your concern. It makes me happy to read these comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I go through ups and downs of my own, I often try to remind myself that it can help build empathy for others, when you experience low moments, and then recover. I wonder sometimes if that is not a principal purpose of suffering – to build a capacity for empathy. We might all be quite robotic without our challenges, and our mood swings.

        Liked by 1 person

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