I have a little girl living in my head. She’s not “real”, but she’s definitely there. She speaks with my voice and says the worst things about me.
“You’re a liar.”
“It’s all your fault.”
“You should’ve done better.”
“You were asking for it.”
I think you get the point. The little girl in my head is a complete asshole. That’s why, for the longest time, I called her The Little Asshole. My therapist gave me a better name for her; The Negative Survivor.
Anyone who knows me, knows I’ve been through more trauma in my 27 years on Earth than most people twice my age. Abandonment, abuse, assault, poverty, homelessness, I’ve seen it all. I lived through it all, mostly at a young age. Far too young. So young that I had to learn how to survive earlier than my peers. That came at a cost.
Enter my Negative Survivor. She’s the manifestation of every bad thought I have had and still have about myself. She’s the one who tells me I’m exaggerating my mental illnesses. She’s the one who tells me I’m not good enough. She’s the one who tells me that I’m not as smart as people say, and when they compliment me they’re lying.
I’ve lived with her for as long as I can remember. There are days where she’s so quiet I almost believe she’s gone and days where she’s so loud I can’t hear anything else. No matter her volume, I always know she’s there in the background waiting to sabotage whatever good thing I have going for me.
Six months ago she ruled my life. She told me that the end of my marriage was all my fault and I was a horrible wife and mother. She made me believe I was useless, no one wanted me, and I was a horrible person. She had me doubt my own intelligence and talents to the point where I couldn’t do anything without second guessing myself. She was well on her way to ruining my life.
Then one day, I got help.
My primary care doctor saw me drowning and referred me to a therapist. I blocked out my Negative Survivor long enough to make that appointment and never looked back. Through a regimen of weekly therapy and medication, I’ve slowly been able to tell her in no uncertain terms to shut up. I still have my bad days, but the good ones are coming more frequently. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, one day she may leave me. Until then, all I can do is take it one step at a time.
Originally published on medium.com