It’s not you, it’s me


Am I the only one who has someone else’s voice in her head? I don’t mean like mental illness level voices. I just mean the voice of someone you know that pops up from time to time.

For me, that voice has changed over the years. It used to be a member of my extended family, then it was an ex, and lately it’s been a different extended family member. And it’s not always there. Only when I do something that the voice implies is stupid.

I really do not like this voice. This voice is mean and tells me terrible things. Thing that any actual person would never be able to say to me more than once without getting a severe talking-to.

Where does this voice come from? Why is it in my head? These are some of the questions that I have been asking as long as I can remember. Until recently, I figured it was some kind of personal short-coming that I allowed one person to have so much power over me that I was internalizing their criticisms. I worked really hard to get that person out of my head, but it never happened on purpose. Always by accident. And usually quickly replaced by someone else.

Recently, when I did something that the current voice thought was stupid, I decided that instead of yelling back at the voice, telling it to shut up, I’d try and talk to it. I figured the yelling hasn’t worked so I may as well find out what it wants, and why it is here.

You know what? I had an epiphany. A really big one.

That voice? It’s me. It’s my own fear of not being perfect. I just put a mask on it, shaped like someone I know, because I very well couldn’t yell at myself! (I know there are people who yell at themselves, but I don’t.)

Also, as soon as I started talking to that voice, it started to get quieter and quieter. In fact, I haven’t heard much from that voice in a while. I know it’s still there, and I expect in a moment of weakness, it’ll pop up again. But I also know its secret.

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