I have this friend that’s been a life-long friend. I keep this friend very close. In fact, this friend is a part of my life everyday. Here’s the thing, this friend isn’t a normal friend that you would think of - someone you’d want around all of the time. This friend scares me. Daily this friend beats me up. Not the fist type, but with the words they say. This friend intimidates me. My friend puts me in my place. Anytime I think I’m getting brave, strong and confident and think I’m going places this friend reminds me that I’m not brave, strong and for sure not confident. This friend reminds me that no one else wants to be my friend. This friend wants to be exclusive in my life. I try, I reach out, break out of this friends fingertips and make new friends, let people in and think yes, I love this and who knew I could be so happy and then this friend says to me NO, they won’t stay, they don’t really like you and I believe this friend. In fact this friend can talk me into being destructive and ruining the good friendships, because this friend has been with me so long.
You might be wondering why I would keep this friend around. . .I mean seriously looking at this list and thinking about all of the things this friend does I’m questioning it myself. But here’s the thing. . .I trust this friend. They’ve been with me my whole life. This friend is protecting me. Helped me avoid getting into friendships and relationships that could hurt me. This friend has reminded me of working hard, staying focused and what is expected of me. Those are good things. This friend keeps me humble. Reminds me of my value. This friend makes sure I don’t get too prideful. Keep perspective on what I deserve.
With all of the things that this friend does good for me I’ve overlooked the bad. I mean no one is perfect and I’ve been grateful for the good things. They’ve made sense. They are things that I’ve believed most of my life and have made sense. From a young age there were trusted people in my life that said these things to me. They told me that if I worked hard, met their expectations, performed better, looked better they wouldn’t leave. They told me that they loved me. They told me that if I shared what happened to me that no one would believe me, but they loved me. They gave me attention. Well, as long as I did good. They would groom me. They built my value around them. They kept me in my place though. You know I needed to do certain things to earn their love. The problem was no matter how hard I tried to be my best, they left. They left me. I wanted to be loved so badly. I wanted love the way they had shown me, because that’s all I understood. They called me stupid and idiot and reminded me of my value to keep me in line. The way they looked at me. . .there was power from them. I knew their different looks and what was expected. It was our secret exchange, because no one could know what was going on. It was our special secret.
This friend, this life long friend, that has deceived me thinking it was doing good things for me, because of the things I was told for so many years is my inner voice. That inner dialogue. In fact, all of the things that I thought my inner voice was doing for me that was good was conversations, words that my abusers helped me understand were good. They weren’t. My inner voice has been my greatest demon. My greatest enemy. My inner voice can take me from laughter to tears and destruction and even suicidal thoughts in minutes. My inner voice can take me from confidence, happy and safe friendships to destruction in seconds.
This last week has been HARD!!! I’ve cried so many tears. I’ve beat the heck out of me. I’ve been in massive destruction. I went into counseling on Monday morning with this whole story. This whole list of all of these people who I’m struggling with. The anniversary of things with my dad dying and how lost I’ve felt and how much I cry over this. The pain has been significant. I went into counseling and was sharing all of these trials and challenges. I was like PLEASE help me stop crying. Help me know how to process and cope with the loss of my dad. Help me know how to trust real, sincere, safe friendships. Help me know how to sort through what and who’s not good for me. Help me bring down the walls that are flying up faster than I can process. I was missing the old me. The me that had walls. My heart locked up tight. The emotions and feelings weren’t allowed to the surface. I was task driven and nothing stopped me. I had perfection down. I didn’t let people down. I wanted the best of both worlds, but not any of the bad. I honestly was at a point in counseling that I couldn’t live with myself ANYMORE! I just kept saying I WANT TO ESCAPE MYSELF!!!!
There’s a person in my life I super struggle with. They do scare me. They intimidate the heck out of me. They can beat the crap out of me and I take it. I honestly live in fear of this person. It’s a great chalIenge for me. Honestly, I can’t figure out why this person has so much power over me, but it’s something that is truly a struggle for me.
As I got done dumping my counselor said to me, “Cheri, you know who is hurting you most? You have your own person - this person that scares me to death - in fact, you’re meaner to yourself than this person is.” I was like what the heck! Honestly it was such a great image. It made this all so real. He said to me, we’re going to focus on how you treat yourself, your inner dialogue. He said to me what if I was constantly calling you stupid and idiot? He said, first I wouldn’t be a decent human being and second, that would keep me beat down. I was like well, when you said those words I believed you, I know I’m dumb and stupid. I honestly felt those words right in my heart, because I say these things to myself all of the time. I’m not sure how to think differently.
I was like, but all of these people, I’m hurting, I need tips and tricks and tools on how to survive all of these specific things. He went right back to my inner dialogue and said that we would address those other things in another session. I honestly thought, oh my gosh, I’ve got another week of completely falling apart. He didn’t give me tools for what’s really the problem.
You see, my counselor is often much wiser than I am - lol. That’s why I go to him. There’s been other times I’ve thought why this assignment or why did he go this direction, but then it all makes sense and my foundation is much stronger. So, I left the session with an assignment to really pay attention to my inner dialogue. He’s talked to me a lot about self compassion and I finally told him yesterday, I don’t understand. I honestly don’t comprehend self compassion. If I perform, if I do things perfectly, don’t mess up, make mistakes, say the right things and the list goes on then maybe I can have self compassion. Isn’t having self compassion really having a pity party? Pity parties are not allowed. No time for those things. I was very sincere with my counselor. I know that might not make sense, but that’s how my mind functions. Over 40 years of programming it’s hard to think any differently.
One thing that I will say is I’ve taken my assignments very serious from my counseling. I want to get better. I can see the blessings. I love who I am becoming. The thing is I told my counselor I’m not sure how to do this well. He said anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first. Well, alright, that goes against my grain, but in reality most of the steps I’ve taken in healing have been done poorly at first, but eventually have become a great part of me. It’s been worth it.
SOOO, for 2 days I’ve focused on my inner dialogue. I’ve included the Lord in every single step. I’ve prayed every second of every day in my heart. PLEASE help me. I don’t know how to do this. Yesterday I had a few experiences that were miracles. Very detailed miracles. Words that were said. Words I needed to hear. I was able to find confidence to say words I’ve never said my entire life until last night to a very dear friend. Someone I love so much. The Lord has been my strength. I’ve found a much greater happiness the last two days. A confidence I’ve not felt within myself. Now, I’m sure I’ll falter. I’ve tried this before. But faltering doesn’t mean I’ve failed. It means I’m working on it and I fell and stood back up and kept fighting for myself.
I’m going to work on firing this “friend”. My inner dialogue is not a friend of over 40 years isn’t a friend I want to stick around. Not for the good or bad. A lot of it has been bad. Even the good was deceptive. I didn’t have to perform to be loved. I didn’t have to be a certain way or be perfect. . .the list goes on. I’m loved as I am. I’m in the fight for my life. For me. For the real me. For a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father who has felt and understood the great pain I’ve suffered for years and years. It’s time to fire my “friend” and make a new friend. A new inner dialogue that sees and knows my real value.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity