I hear voices. Not auditory voices that some folks hear, or even those that mentally ill folks hear. These are not voices that are telling me to hurt others or myself. I work with folks who have those types of voices. Some might call it a conscience, others might call it intuition. Whatever you want to refer to it, it’s there. It’s been there since I was a small kid.
I have days and sometimes weeks where all of these voices in my head seem to be shouting loudly to me. While I was growing up, anything negative said to me stuck inside me like it had been permanently attached to me. “Jerk, loser, worthless, waste of time, never amount to anything, fag, pussy, wimp, selfish, failure, mistake, fat, dumb, stupid, lazy, whiner.” Those and more are what I heard most of the time growing up, and as I got older I heard most of these repeatedly throughout the day.
When I would make mistakes, I would absolutely feel like a loser. I would start repeating everything over and over in my head that was said to me to reinforce the fact I had made mistakes. I would sit there in my desk at school thinking about just how awful I truly was as a kid and that if this was everyone’s opinion of me it must be true.
As the years went on and more and more things got slung at me, I would incorporate those into my monologue of things I told myself. As I graduated, started working and going to school, sure enough the patterns followed. Anytime I made a mistake, even the smallest one, the voices came loud and clear, reminding me of everything people had always said about me and here again it was true. I really hadn’t come very far in my life. I was still the same messed up person.
Even after I got married and had kids, the voices have still been there. When I make a mistake with my wife or kids, or I mess up on finances, those voices are right there as a reminder. I take my job as a husband and father extremely serious and when I do something that affects everyone else, that weights incredibly heavy on me. I feel like less than a man. Even though I will admit my mistakes to my family and ask for forgiveness, it still takes me a long time to come out of it. I just feel like I have let them down and there’s nothing I can do to make it up to them for this failure.
I know that Jesus looks at me differently, yet even as a believer, being at church and hearing the opposite, that seems to make little difference. There are days I feel really good about myself and interactions with close friends and family that build me up, are incredibly helpful. I know the curses that have been spoken to me over the years really aren’t true or who I am. I don’t want to be prideful either and inflate my ego, because I can do that all to easily. On the days where I make mistakes and I know it will pass onto others, those are the days I hear those voices telling me those things.
I don’t want to pass this on to my kids, so I spend as much time as a I can to affirm them and build them up and tell them how beautiful and wonderful they are. I am so incredibly thankful for them and how blessed I am to have them in my life.
Honestly, this is my gift I want to give to others, to build them up and affirm them. I know how much it’s hurt and affected my life and I wish it were different. I don’t want anyone to feel like they aren’t good enough or don’t matter, because in all honesty that is just not true. We were all created for so much more.
Does this resonate with you? What do you do when that voice in your head tells you things that aren’t true?