Updated: Jan 15
Welcome to Wyrd conversations! I’m Samantha, the founder of Wyrd Coaching and the creator of Wyrd conversations. Today my mind turns to inner dialogue. So much of our inner dialogue is mean and presented by a bully. Yes, people regularly bully themselves. Why we do it, that is a very interesting topic and there are as many answers as there are people because our minds are individual to each of us. For a deeper dive into that, I highly recommend working with a clinical therapist. Here we can open up the discussion, and I can share my personal experience and thoughts. If they resonate with you, great! If not, keep on digging until you find what does.
You can also listen here on my podcast.
My inner dialogue is from a childhood full of abuse. Mental and sexual. My uncle got drunk and stuck his hand down my dress at my sister's wedding, I was 14. In 5th grade, a group of boys held me down to feel my breasts because they wanted to, and I had the shame of being shy and developing early. It was done in a school hallway and nobody helped me. My mother also liked to marry interesting men – eight of them and I am from her third marriage. Anyway, my father was supposedly physically abusive, I am aware of 2 functioning alcoholics as stepdads and a pedophile. Everyone loved the pedophile, he was fun and threw epic parties and drank a lot and even got off looking at his biological daughters and making comments about their breasts. He didn’t live with them, he lived with me and my mom – my sisters had already bolted from the home – and my mom had better sex if I was nice and a little flirty with him so could I please cooperate? My mother being both wonderful and terrible raised her daughters to stand alone, not to bond, heaven forbid we band together and outwit her or support each other! Hell if that happened one of us might outshine her and she couldn’t have that. So as the youngest, my world was one where I looked up to my sisters, and they ran from the home as soon as it was legally possible and a boy that made them feel good. I became the epitome of a PTSD survivor, a people pleaser, an empath – had to monitor all things and feelings at all times so I could navigate them and get out of harms way! Or lessen the impact of what was happening. Not the way a child should live, and it took me a long time to realize it had nothing to do with me at all. I was a child and I did the best I could in a life full of danger and instability.
All of that meant I became extremely competent in an emergency and I became an expert in time management – have to keep things smooth to avoid the danger! A positive from that is I can help people with their relationship to time! Always a silver lining. One of the negatives that came from it all was an inner dialogue that screamed I was at fault, I wasn’t capable, I should shut up and sit quietly. Don’t stir the pot, that brings trouble. Me being me, I always stirred the pot because I am contrary and push boundaries and refuse to behave simply because someone tells me to. Side note, I spent time in my youth in Arizona and with some Hopi Indians who comically dubbed me a ‘contrary warrior’ and gave me a turquoise earring to wear in my left ear. They said it meant I did things the hard way but once I mastered something, it was true mastery. No clue if that is a thing but I decided to take it as a compliment. Plus even then I could own my personality quirks and it was true, I did tend to learn things the hard way.
I digress…The point being that I always thought for myself and that saved my life more than once. Still, I have battle scars and recently, in my own journey work with my therapist we talked about inner dialogue and giving it an identity in order to be able to separate out the negative thoughts/voice that I use on myself and immediately what sprung into my mind was Statler and Walldorf from the Muppet show! Since I can’t infringe on the Muppet copyright, even in my mind, I named my inner balcony critic Bob. Bob is an amalgamation of Statler and Walldorf to my inner Muppet Show.
The amazing thing I realized when this came to me was that for much of my life, my ‘bob’ character was really playing me. It was like in my story, Bob was dressed up and acting my part. Now, Bob sits in the balcony and Samantha is the heroine and lead in her own story. I may never get rid of Bob, PTSD is a bit like grief, it eases up but rarely just goes away entirely. That said, I can live my life and treat my negative talk/thoughts like I would any heckler in the balcony. Tell them to just fuck off. You thought I would say something pretty like ignore them or be kind to them because hate makes for hate? Nah – this is real life and when a bully – of your own making or not – comes at you standing up to them is important. Domination can only happen if you submit. It is true. When someone stops agreeing to be dominated, everything changes. Similar to Eleanor Roosevelt saying no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
So yes, I stand up to bullies. And yes I tell my inner ‘Bob’ to fuck off when he starts shouting at me, or I just shrug it off and say meh, it's just bob and he is in a mood today. Either way, I decided not to be dominated anymore by my inner negative talk and it set me free in so many amazing ways. I get to live for myself and not those that terrorized me.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have an inner dialogue that needs to be named and thus separated from the true you? Give it a name and characteristics, and have fun with it! Laughter heals! I would love to hear about your inner ‘bob’ in the comments.
Have a Wyrd and Wonderful day!