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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Voices

I hear voices in my head.

Not the kind that scare people and require heavy duty psychotics.  Let's not give the mentally ill a bad name by associating me with them, m'kay?  More of an internalized dialogue that carries on between some facet of my psyche and society.  And different facets of my psyche with other aspects of my psyche.  Let's face it, my brand of crazy would not be complete unless I was fighting a losing battle against myself, amiright?

The constant ebb and flow of my day to day life is fraught with examples of all the ways I have failed, at least in my mind.  Today was a perfect example.  I  had to work a bit later than usual due to some glitches with a hospitalization.  Alexis also had an extra dance class for competition because they like to see how much they can make me twitch there with last minute changes to the schedule.  I was running late.  Plus, the original plan of me bringing her dance stuff with me so I had it when I picked her up from my in-laws (due to Elizabeth having a planned after school activity and therefore not being there to get her sister off the bus) fell through because Elizabeth's activity fell through.  None of this was in my control.  Or really, anyone's control for that matter.  It's life.  Changes happen.  She got to dance, and actually on time.  (Barely on time, but still on time.)  She was even fed before hand.

I appeared cool and collected while dropping her off, but in my head is a litany of sins the voices are screaming at me.

If you were a better therapist, you would have gotten that client out the door sooner.

If you were more organized, you would not have had to worry about the dance clothes and she could have gotten dressed at home.

If you were better at managing your money, you could be a stay at home mom and be able to run your children around whenever and where ever.

If you were a better mom and if you really loved your child, you would not feel that you had to be rushed.

Over and over in my head.  Constantly belittling myself.  Constantly second guessing my decisions.  Never being good enough.  Always critical.

I am fully aware that it is illogical.  I am educated enough in therapy to know how to address that negative self-talk.  And yet, I constantly do it to myself, and sometimes to challenge it is exhausting.

You play board games with your family?  We don't do that.  I must not be dedicated to my family.

You get up at 4 AM to exercise?  I am not disciplined enough to do that.  I must be lazy.

You stay at work till 9 PM to finish your paperwork?  I won't do that.  I must be a bad employee.

 You are planning on buying a new house and going on vacation?  I can't afford that.  I must suck at managing finances.

You are going to send your child to a private school?  There aren't any around here.  I must be selfish because of where I choose to live.

You and your BFF are going to a concert together?  I barely find time to have coffee with my friend who lives around the block.  I must be a bad friend.
 
Around and around.  Not all from my internal voices.  Some from society, telling me that I need to compare myself to others and always be found lacking.  I am not thin enough, blond enough, pretty enough.  My job is scorned as weak women's work.  I am not tiger mom enough.  Hell, I don't think I qualify as a kitten mom.  I am awful as a wife because I am difficult to live with.  I am a horrible friend because I barely make time to hang out.

All at once, everything feels as though it is crashing down.  The voices are screaming at me. Most days, I can control them.  I reason that I am not superwoman; that other people's lives are filled with struggles as well; that I am keeping it together.

Just because I don't read to my children as often as others does not make me a bad mom.  Just because we have to hurry to dance does not mean I am a crappy therapist.  Just because I don't exercise at godforsaken hours of the morning does not mean I am lazy.

I am more than the sum of the epithets that my psyche throws at me.

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