Standing up for myself.
I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that I’m not equipped to do it. It’s always been a tug of war within me. When I feel someone has insulted me, there’s a voice that says, “You gonna let them get away with that?!” but there’s also an immediate voice that says, “LET’S NOT CAUSE ANY PROBLEMS HERE! Feeling bad? Muffle it up. No worries officer, no issues here!” That’s the good citizen part of myself – doesn’t want any quakes or tidal waves. Then, usually a few minutes to hours to sometimes days later, voice number 1 comes back in and says, “HEY! REMEMBER WHEN WE GOT INSULTED?! YOU JUST GONNA LET THAT SLIDE?!” Then I get mad. It’s like, I’m my only champion, and I never hired myself. So I hire myself after the fact and it’s like “We’ll never let this happen again.” Then I’m mean to that person for weeks, months, sometimes years. Because I’m standing up for the little man. Myself. The little man is myself.
Where did that all come from?
Who has insulted me? What am I thinking of? Okay, I feel, sometimes, if someone gives me really real feedback that I’m both being enlightened and insulted. One of my friends the other day was giving me really real feedback about my directing style. At the moment I sat there and there was a little meter in my brain, or maybe a little judge (let’s call them Advisor #2), saying “how well can you take this feedback? Don’t be a jerk now. Take it well, and be grateful for it.” So that’s what feels like the most important thing to do.
Days pass. Suddenly, Advisor #1 comes stomping in. This in the middle of a run. “Hey! Did you even notice that that person walked all over a success you thought you had and told you it wasn’t a success at all! They told you you fucked it up! And they warned you not to fuck it up again! You gonna take that?! You better stew on it, tell them to butt out of it, you better just make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
And then I’m liable to punch a wall.
I’ve got all kinds of people in my brain, jostling around. It’s like a mosh pit at a hardcore concert sometimes. They can also be easily camouflaged. There are all these violent, angry, leering advisors in there, but Advisor #2 is like, “Alright Sam is in smoooooth sailing mode – let’s keep our heads down and voices to a minimum and we won’t have to go through any turbulence. Remember to keep your seatbelts fastened and your hands and arms inside your seat at all times.” And then something bad happens – let’s say I’m running late for a grad school info session and I accidentally splash water and hair all over the sink while I’m trying to shave at the last minute. Then, trying to clean up the hair, I end up splashing another bucketload of water on the floor. And suddenly I will literally howl. It’s like this.
Literally no one:
Me: “I’M JUST TRYING TO FUCKING SHAVE FAST AND IT’S ALL A MESSSSSSSSSS!” Then I’ll slam the sink as hard as I can with the heels of my hands.
A few moments later I’m like…who was that? Not me, I’m sure. Let’s just forget all about it.
Dirty little thoughts hiding deep in my brain trying to stay silent then you jostle the damn things and they all come alive at once.
I think the best thing is to give all thoughts a platform, let them speak. Sometimes I’d like to say to Advisor #2, mano a mano, “I know you like peace and quiet and the illusion of equilibrium and all, but it’s just an illusion. There’s a gaggle of rough, loud, tough, violent thoughts back there – and we’d better hear what they have to say before they go nuts and wrench the damn plane out of the air!”
There. That’s all I have for self-therapy today.
Hope it helps!