A strange , surreal thing happened to me over the past few weeks.
I realised after leaving a job interview. A job interview where I wasn’t sick with nerves. One in which I think I was chatty and friendly (they may have thought have thought me an idiot ,that’s not really the point)
The point is I went to a job interview.
I only heard one voice before ,during and after. The one that said :
You can do this
You’re a sociable creature
You DO like people
You can make conversation with most people
You’re capable and intelligent
If they don’t like you ,well you don’t want to work with them do you ?
Afterwards the voice , the only voice, I heard was the one saying you did bloody well in there , well done you !
For the record , when I’m talking hearing voices . I don’t mean in a mental health crisis way. I have many mental health niggles but hearing voices isn’t one.
There’s been a voice though . A negative ,mean , bullying one in my head for so many years. One that like one of JK Rowling’s dementors just wants to suck the joy out of anything I do. It wants me to feel stupid and useless and fat and ugly and ridiculous for having any kind of ambitions or dreams or plans.
The voice used to have a body accompanying it. It used to be that of the long , soul destroying abusive relationship. It was his voice. It was very successful too. Over the years ,repeated like a mantra I came to absolutely believe I was pathetic and stupid and worthless. That by having ambitions I was thinking I was better than I was that I had ideas above my station. Don’t worry with words and actions he made sure that any dreams were knocked right out of me . Keep me grounded .
For years I accepted this as my lot . This was my life , I chose it . This was me forever now . The voice didn’t whisper but screamed how I was too stupid and pathetic to ever get out of it . I couldn’t live without him. Who else would want someone as fat and ugly as me ?No one! I should be grateful he did. This scream was so loud no other thoughts could permeate my thinking.
Not for a very long time.
Then I left.
Only I didn’t leave the voice behind . The voice came with me. I’d heard those cruel words so often so long the voice became my voice. Despite being free from abuse I still told MYSELF now his mantra. I was useless , pathetic, thick.
So brainwashed that he no longer had to even put the work in to make me feel crap ,I was doing it all on my own . Any other critical or negative voices along the way were added in to the mix . If other people thought I was rubbish too ,not just the abuser then obviously he was right.
Everything he had said was true .
Your head is such a delicate thing when you’ve been emotionally abused , it’s almost as though you spend your time waiting for someone else to repeat his horrible words so as you can confirm to yourself that you are indeed totally pointless and worthless.
Over the years I’d gotten used the voice. With help though ,and time the voice has been hushed . It was a gentle whisper . It was still very present though, I’m always quick to follow up mistakes I make with “I’m so stupid ” or “sorry I’m a bit rubbish” eager to vocalise my rubbishness (made up word alert!) before anyone else gets the chance to …yes I know I’m stupid no need for you to point it out.
Somehow though , and it must be fairly recently that voice has been silenced . I don’t know when it happened or how it happened. My theory is I make a conscious effort these days to surround myself with positive people , anyone who brings negativity and nothing good into my life had to go. So I now am lucky to have lots of positive voices in my life. Friends , family just good , kind , motivational people and they’ve joined together like a huge choir and drowned out that long lasting dark , mean , ugly voice for once and for all.
As part of the job interview process there was once of those horrific group assessments. Previous me would never have even shown up for that. The thought would have had me so ill I’d not have made it through the door. Being assessed?? Someone actually watching you for how rubbish you were? Absolutely not.
Only without that voice , I was free. I’m a reasonably intelligent woman . I like people (absolute revelation!!!) I gave it a go . It was fine,they liked me enough to give me an interview . I went to an interview , I put myself out there and talked myself up ….to other people and the only voice there was was my inner cheerleader with a big well done .
It’s taken way , way longer than I ever could have expected to get that bullying , cruel voice to pack it’s bags . It’s really gone though . There’s space freed up in this head of mine lately and it’s about time it was filled up with positivity and self belief and that pretty great cheerleader of mine – me !
Oh….and I got the job !