Thursday, July 21, 2011

Anonymous Letters From Myself

I am my own worst enemy.

Since I set out on this journey of self discovery, i have uncovered massive amounts of self-doubt. It permeates almost every part of my life. Honestly, I'm amazed I had the courage to fall in love last year with so much subconscious struggle going on. I have discovered that i constantly doubt my own intelligence. I dislike my writing, i HATE my body, and I don't trust my decisions. Believe it or not, I am not a quiet, introverted girl with no confidence. I am very active and outgoing. But on the inside, I am always reminding myself that I'm not actually interesting, pretty, or talented. Every compliment is a lie.

Sometimes my inner demons keep me from doing things I love, like writing. I throw away a hundred pages because i tell myself it's not good enough. I could be standing on the edge of something great, and i will refuse to jump, for fear of failure.

Sometimes, my inner demons drag me down. I spend days, weeks, stuck in depression, because my mind wont stop reminding me of that extra pound, that unwanted hair, that belt that doesn't fit anymore.
Where does my mind find the words to say the things that hurt me? I battle with myself every single day just to stay "Okay," just to keep my head above the water.

I have come to see my "inner demons" as a daily anonymous letter. You know, the kind that's been pieced together with glue from a million different magazines by an unknown perpetrator in black gloves. After a year of scrutinizing these "letters," I have begun to see a pattern. Every word of every line is something i have heard before. I am not smart enough to do well in math? My Dad said that once. I'm clumsy and unattractive? Thanks Mom. They probably didn't know that i was subconsciously recording every word they said, and didn't say. As a kid, everything i did was either to please them or spite them. I thought i was over by now. I don't need their approval anymore, even my dad saying he loves me has little to no effect now. So why are their voices still playing on a loop in my head? Why is every day a struggle against careless words from years passed?
Today I learned that the mean voice in my head is not my own. I am not fighting myself, I am fighting my past and all the lies it holds. My inner demons are just the echoing voices of everyone who ever doubted me. My self hatred is not based on facts or reality. I am not fat, or stupid, or worthless.
I'm sure my mind will keep sending me hate mail. Carefully constructed pages full of words and memories that bring me pain and shame. But now I understand that they are not worth reading.

I hope i will be strong enough to just throw them all out.


  1. Oh, these anonymous letters. What a great analogy. I'm really glad you can see them for the evil, accusatory lies that they are. Maybe during extra difficult times, write a truthful letter to counter these "inner demons". Sometimes seeing truth in black and white helps it to sink in.

    Regardless, you're doing great. Don't worry about being strong against tomorrow's letters...take it day by day.

  2. Sometimes, it just takes time. I'm still working on the false lie that I grew up a rebellious liar. It was beaten into me, literally and figuratively. I'm just discovering that that belief is completely false and that I am actually quite trustworthy.

    One day, Enigma. One day.

    And if it helps...I think you need to read my pimple post. Once you get past the acne hang-up, that extra pound might be viewed as a beauty mark. I know my dryer lint in my belly button is.

    Keep writing. I love your posts.

  3. KEEP WRITING! I love reading your blog... even when it makes me so angry I could spit! (not you dear, the crazies in your life!) I hear those voices on occasion too. It takes A LOT of time & effort to ignore the demons but it will be worth it in the end. I went to anger management for awhile because I couldn't cope other than with rage, yelling & lashing out @ my poor hubby. One thing that has stayed with me was "REPLACE EVERY INSECURE THOUGHT WITH A SECURE THOUGHT". When I would hear that demon telling me I was worthless & needed to respond to a situation with anger, I would immediately think "I am valued & loved by my HUSBAND!" Or something similar. & if you still feel badly, just read all the positive & encouraging comments that your readers leave.

  4. It gets better! (I think!) I try not to give in to those voices in my head telling me "you always fail! you're so stupid! you shouldn't be doing this, it's selfish!" -- stuff my parents either told me or implied. (Sometimes implications are stronger than the actual words...there's a quote that goes "you may forget what people say, but you'll never forget how they made you feel".)

    I try to talk back to those feelings and those voices, and sometimes I do so out loud. Sometimes when I have guilty feelings over something I shouldn't (like asking my husband to do me a favor), but something my parents would have made me feel guilty over, I'll say out loud "I'm not going to feel guilty for asking you to get me ice water."

    But when those voices are beat into you and shoved down your throat so many times, so many years, it's really difficult to overcome...but I believe it's possible!

  5. UGH! You put it so well. I have the same loop running in my head, you are stupid, you are ugly, you are lazy, your only value is the kids you can produce and your ability to keep a house fairly clean. Thanks for writing this. I think I need to write about it myself and get this stuff out of my system.

  6. I'm so sorry your parents would say things like that. There are many things parents say that are unintentionally hurtful. Those are not some of them. Keep your head up, and remember that God believes just the opposite about you. :)

  7. I can relate to some of these feelings. It's like a never-ending loop that never ends. You just keep running in circles until you get tired, and then once you rest awhile, you pick up from where you started and begin the loop again. It's so hard sometimes. You are not alone.