Inner Voice Outside
Most people know a little kid in their lives. And, as you think about these adorable little children, innocent and full of life, you’d never do anything to intentionally hurt their feelings right? You just want to scoop them up, smother them with kisses, and remind them of how perfect they are. (Because really they are.)
Dr. Laura had been a weekly part of my life for months and I could see the notable difference in my life: I’d reflected on a lot of things, recognized things I wanted to work on (and was actively working on them), put myself first, and was working on self-love. I’m saddened to share that all that has ended, not because she wasn’t absolutely incredible, but because it got too hard.
In my final sessions we talked about my self-perception and how I talked to myself. You see my inner voice can be really mean to me when I stop to listen to what it’s saying. It’s not like some people that think they need to be perfect – I don’t feel the need to be perfect and am very forgiving of not being the best at things. Instead my inner voice is just downright mean to me. It’s critical of my lack of motivation to work out; it beats me up over and over again about things I say to people that might be taken the wrong way; it makes me believe that because I grew up on a farm and have never been exposed to finer things in life that other people are better than me; it tries to convince me I’m undeserving of my KISA and friends that shower me with love; etc. It’s something I don’t admit to other people because I’m ashamed of it. I try so hard to keep my life loud enough outside to not be able to hear it from inside. Or else if I move fast enough I don’t have time to let it be heard. I pride myself on how well I can hide it by pushing it down so far that all of it is hidden and then faking confidence so others don’t know it’s in there.
The downfall to Dr. Laura is that she seemed like she really cared about me. She treated me so well that I wanted to make myself a better person for myself, my KISA, and her. It was like she saw something in me that I didn’t see, and I was willing to try, hopeful to see whatever it was. She was like having a stranger that cares for you in the way a mother does, even in hearing the gory truths you admit. Because of this it was inevitable that I opened myself up to her and admitted the real side of me that I was ashamed of.
I don’t remember how it happened, but somehow the inner voice got outside and she heard it. I was embarrassed that it slipped out and I could tell how surprised Dr. Laura was to hear it, which made me even more embarrassed. Like a magician’s magic scarf, she started pulling at it and the inner voice kept coming out and getting louder. Dr. Laura knew enough about my past to know that my father’s outer voice had become my inner voice, which I was ashamed of. If I’d stopped long enough to listen to what it was saying I would have realized that too, but what it was saying hurt too much to listen. Why would you listen to someone criticize you like that? You wouldn’t. Those are the people you don’t keep in your life, yet this one stayed with me, determined to be heard.
What struck a nerve with me was when Dr. Laura wanted me to imagine myself at 5. I closed my eyes and saw a little girl dancing and singing. After a few seconds I realized the 5 year old was a mix between myself and my niece, Emma. I admitted this to Dr. Laura and she asked me if I’d ever let the inner voice say to Emma the things I allow it say to me. The emotions hit hard and quick – a combination of violent anger and overwhelming sadness at how it would make her feel. Those are the things you protect children from, not say to them.
At the end of our session on August 1st Dr. Laura tasked me with making a list of the things I said to myself. She asked me to text her when I was done. I left without making another appointment, not yet realizing that I wouldn’t be back. I still carry the piece of paper in purse that she wrote on with my assignment.
So why haven’t I done the assignment and been back after all the raving I’ve done about how great she is? Because it’s really hard. It’s so hard. The idea of acknowledging that voice and what it has to say scares me. I know it’s going to hurt my feelings and upset me. I know the pain it wants to inflict. And to know it’s coming from within me and are my thoughts is too painful to see on paper or admit to anyone. Even myself. To admit that I’m that cruel to anyone, especially myself? It’s much easier to just shove it away rather than dissect where it’s coming from and relive my past.
I know one day I’ll get the strength to reach deep within myself, pull out the demon, and listen to what it has to say. And when I find that strength I’ll call Dr. Laura or another therapist and find out how to kill it. Until then I plan to smother every little kid I meet with loving words and affection so that hopefully my outer voice will become their inner voice when they grow up.