I have worked really hard to combat the negative self talk in my head. The echoes that say “you are not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, capable enough”. These are things I was told for years, and after much repetition I finally believed them. Most days, I am ready for war. Some days, I feel weak, and I fall prey to the echoes of the past. Something will trigger these feelings, and down I go. I slide down the slippery slope into negative self talk. “See? no one likes you. You are ugly, you are stupid. You will never be good enough.” I hear. I have learned to stop, then talk. I talk to trusted friends, and most importantly, Husband. Together, we bring the voices back to reality. The situation that triggered me today was a friend saying “maybe I should just date an ugly girl”. This is something that I have heard guy friends say in the past. I instantly felt triggered. This is what I was told by Ted. He chose me because I was ugly, and not “expected”. That if and when I told about what he was doing to me, that no one would believe me, because I was ugly. Because I wasn’t good enough. I shared with my friend today how his statement triggered these feelings inside me. Aside from the fact that I felt like it was categorizing and objectifying women. I was always told how beautiful everyone else was. All my friends, my Mom, I was told how they were beautiful and that I looked like my Dad. People still tell me this today, and that is a trigger as well. I felt like I was in the “ugly girl” category. As if we are not as good as the “pretty girls”. Husband is very patient with me, and has gotten me to the point now that I don’t argue with him when he gives me a compliment. It is hard to accept that I am beautiful. But I am working on it. I had a poem starting in my head after working through these issues. Although, I think I will write this as a story.
My conversation with the echoes
“You’re ugly” I hear. “Shut up!” I say. I thought you were gone, don’t you ever go away? Where did you come from? Stop coming around. I wish I could bury you deep in the ground. I know you are watching, waiting for me to let my guard down. As soon as you feel safe, you come around. Around and around, like an echo you fly. Around in my head. And with you you bring your friends: doubt, fear, and shame. I know you so well. And you know my name. You want me to look down, to close my eyes and listen. I rebel against you now. I look to the light. I look up to the sky, searching for help. There he is, my answer. He doesn’t hear you. He knows the truth. My beauty, my grace, my heart full of love. My brain, my worth. He changes the echo, from darkness to light. He’s the light in the forest, the thief in the night. He stole my heart, and he won’t give it back. You don’t own me anymore, you ugly echoes of the past. I know you will come around again, like echoes always do. You are fading with time. I choose not to listen to you.