Tuesday, July 24, 2012

a voice all my own

Tomorrow I will actually remember to do a recap/update on my Row80 progress and goals.  I've actually started meeting my daily requirements, mostly by reminding myself that it's okay to take a little time each day for myself to just write.  I've also had to constantly remind myself that it doesn't have to be great writing on  the first go...I just need to get the words flowing.

What motivated me to actually blog today, aside from the fact that I can finally breathe again at work, is this email I received today.  I've been putting some questions out in the universe lately, a lot to do with my issues/anger/sadness with my mother and letting go of the hurt/forgiving versus whatever I am now (not so forgiving).  And today, I received an email that was just this quote:

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." - Peggy O'Mara

I've come to accept that a lot of the crap my mother put on my shoulders starting at a very young age was all her own issues.  I was just there and accessible and maybe in her own way she was trying to help me, but I grew up always feeling wrong, bad, ugly, stupid and fat.  I remember when I was four years old I was told that I had to switch to skim milk because I was heavy.  And I took that for absolute truth throughout my childhood and teen years and I look back now at pictures and think, "What was she smoking?  I wasn't fat.  I was a cute kid."

My mother's favorite saying with me for the first thirty years of my life was, "I'm your mother.  I have to be brutally honest with you because no one else will."  And here I am, three and a half years after she died, still reeling from all the things that she convinced me of.  It's so hard to undo - I feel guilty when I put myself first. I think I'm being selfish and bad and wrong.  I even feel horrible when I talk about my mother in negative terms in therapy - like I'm a bad daughter who shouldn't say anything and should just suck it up.

The thing is I want to forgive her and accept that she's human.  I know she wasn't out to be malicious with me.  she did love me in her way, whatever that was, and probably didn't even realize that she was taking all of her sadness/anger with her life out on me.  But I'm still not there.  Her voice is still my inner voice and it hates me and her at varying levels on different days.

So I slowly try to replace that voice each day.  I've started to learn to catch myself when I say something irrational and mean about myself.  I've started to reason with my inner voice...and maybe one day I won't automatically think wrong, bad, ugly, stupid and fat.

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