one of the more queer things about me that i have come to notice is this undying self criticism that springs from within. it comes routinely and relentlessly without fail and is the source of a whole lot of self doubt. case in point... i spoke with a friend over the weekend about a personal issue he was having with an ex. the ex is now in a relationship and my friend found out that the ex is "cheating" on the new partner with the same young man he had cheated on my friend with. this was causing massive waves of anger and dischord in my friends life.Talk"
Oh brother I can't, I can't get through
I've been trying hard to reach you, cause I don't know what to do
Oh brother I can't believe it's true
I'm so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you
Oh I wanna talk to you
You can take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done
the truth, however, is that my friend's anger at his ex is ongoing for about 2 years. the ex comes in to town to see the kids- yes they have kids- and every time he is in town, my friend dips his feet into the waters of misery and anger over the same basic issue.
so here we are again having a similar conversation. i am feeling for my friend because i know he is suffering. so i decide to tell him what i think is the truth. i tell him that his misery is of his own accord. i point out that as far as exes go, his is really not the worst. anybody who flies into town every 6-8 weeks to see the kids, helps pay for their housing, food, and education, is not such a bad guy. if he has a substance issue, that is not the end of the world, nor does it make him a monster.
i also tell my friend that i believe that he (my friend) is the one making himself suffer. he is responsible for his own pain. by this time, he might want to consider actually forgiving this guy for leaving him and not turning out to be what my friend expected. and that if he forgave him, or worked toward that, this anger and this suffering would actually begin to really heal and go away.
all weekend, i found myself ( as has been the norm my whole life) drifting into self criticism because i probably overspoke. i should have ( i would tell myself) used more restraint and just been supportive of my friend's position, instead of injecting my spin on the situation. on several occasions, i almost reached for the phone to call him and apologize for being such a boob.
this morning my friend called me on my drive to work. he wanted to touch base, etc.. i immediately sprang into my spiel and confessed my struggles with inappropriate remarks and behavior.
curiously, an interesting conversation ensued. he told me that his experience was nothing like the picture i just painted. that my insight had helped move him from victim to feeling some hope. he appreciated my words and the intention behind them. then he told me an even more curious thing. he confided that he does the very same thing. on many occasions, he will criticize himself for no apparent reason and without warning. just like me. he would find himself judging himself harshly before, during , or after a social interaction and it would mainly be about him not being as good as others.
an interesting sidebar to this is that both of us have experienced this for most of our lives. when i was using heavily, i would almost always spend the next morning diligently slicing and dicing my behaviors and my interactions from the night before. most of the time, there was plenty of room for guilt because i had done something in the wrong manner. overspoke, laughed too loudly, spoke out of turn, tried to be too funny, etc.
i had really assumed that much of it this negative self-talk was due to my partying, but 5 years into clean living, i find the same behavior.
as does my friend. so he ( in recovery too) has spoken with his sponsor about this issue. his sponsor has recommended that he let this person inside him that has all the critical things to say talk. just let him talk. get a pen, sit down and let this naysayer speak and get what he needs off his chest.
i love this idea. i guess if i have any chance of silencing this nay-sayer, i need to know who it is, what they are trying to say, and where they are coming from. i have been procrastinating journaling because i blog so often. it satisfies my urge to writh and it keeps me linked to creativity. but i have a wound in my soul here. this voice inside me slowly lets the air leak from my balloon. there are times when i am not sure what to believe because of it. i rarely think my work is satisfactory, and if i am satisfied with something, it is short lived, because i will second guess almost every aspect of it later. i definitely feel "differently abled" when it comes to social interaction. if i am not on stage, or being a comedian, often times i won't really know what is appropriate. and no matter what action i choose, i will critique it.
i think this concept of "let him talk" is very much the john bradshaw idea of healing the child within. i guess i am going to have to figure out a way to let him talk. i hope i am ready for what he has to say.
today's sound choice is a remix version of coldplay with "talk"..... god, i love them..