There are two voices: one is the permissive voice of don’t let yourself miss out, there is no reason to say no, it is kind and inviting even when I know the outcome will hurt me. It is almost like the emotionally repressed part of me that was always told no to is coming back to haunt me. And while it is nice and pleasant at first, when it takes control, it is all in control. I zone out because I have made the decision to start and then I can’t stop so I don’t stop until I kind of hate myself. It started so warm and welcoming but afterwards, I don’t like where it lead me.
Then afterwards there is a mean voice, one of hatred, judgement, perfectionism. It’s the voice of criticism and right now as I reflect and lean into that voice, it hurts and it makes me think of the times I was criticized most specifically when I got in trouble for not calling mom after the speech meet even though I did so well and when I got told I should have done better on the ACT. Then I think of how anxious I was checking my score on the way home from the DR and how elated I was when I found out my score but also knowing how proud mom would be of me. And I am almost crying at work because those, really, trivial events are weirdly engrained in my head and dictate so much of what I do each day. That I did like to give my best effort but it was for the approval of others as well as to avoid criticism. I didn’t know how to handle it because it wasn’t deserved but I shoved it and didn’t and haven’t talked about it but it affects me. I don’t want to disappoint people and I don’t want to disappoint myself.
Even though the physical person of my disappointment is gone, I take that role upon myself. I adopted the negative aspects of that relationship and blew them up in my life in unhealthy ways. I became a slave of sorts to the mean voice because it is linked to moms and all I want to do is meet her expectations. In my head I know she is proud of me, but in my heart it must be proved. And that is where the defeat and self-hate comes from: not meeting self-created expectations that actually have no implications on my true value or worth but I morphed into being the sole source of my identity.