Friday, January 7, 2011

little voices we love to hate

One of my favorite bloggers, Em, is back from a long hiatus. I am so happy to see her blogging again, and I particularly enjoyed her post yesterday about her "little voice." (And I hope she doesn't mind me posting about it.)

We all have it. It's the voice that tells us we aren't good enough. Aren't beautiful enough. Aren't in shape enough. Aren't a good enough wife. daughter. mother. sister. girlfriend. partner. It's the voice we hate, yet we listen to so often.

Em's post struck a chord with me because I've been struggling with my little voice lately. Even last night I tweeted about my desire to have an off button on my brain. A switch that I could flip when the thoughts in my head became too jumbled and loud to ignore. Of course, all of those thoughts are from my little voice:

You'll be a terrible mother.
God hates you.
Pretty soon, you'll be the only infertile left.
Who would ever give you a kid?
No one cares.
You don't deserve to have a baby.

And, much like everyone else's little voice, it's not just about infertility. It's about everything from work to school to my marriage to friendships and relationships with family members. It's the way I look, and the way people look at me.

My little voice harps on nearly every aspect of my life.

Yet I find it nearly impossible to talk back to my voice and stand up for myself - the reason why I so desperately seek an off button. And as we enter our fourth calendar year dealing with infertility, the voice only seems more prominent and difficult to drown out.

My hope for this year was to live, to stay positive about life and enjoy the ride. But how can I do this with my little voice being not so little anymore? How can I push the shouting in my head aside and keep going? I need to figure out the answers to these questions for my sanity. I need to figure out the answers so that I don't slip back below the surface.

In the meantime, I just sit here and listen to that little voice growing in one ear and the silence of my real voice in another.

It's almost impossible to bear.


Hayley said...

I would love to smack the shit out of your little voice. Love you.

Secret Sloper said...

I don't know how to tell you to silence the voice, but I am so glad you posted about this today. Having taken my first tentative steps back into being a writer again, I'm shocked by how quickly that voice sprang up. All day, I've been close to tears at the thought that I suck, that my books will never measure up, that I'll fail at this just like I've failed at becoming a mother. That my life is a big suck of failure.

These past two years (three for you) have been so brutal. I want to pull myself out and regain the optimism of my early twenties, but I just don't know if I can. Silencing that voice is a necessary first step, I think. If you work on it, so will I.

A said...

I definitely struggle with my little voice that tells me that I'm not worth what moms are, that I'm not as valid of a person as they are, and that the mistakes I've made are the reason I'm not worthy of a baby now. That little voice sure packs a big punch.

AL said...

everyone has their little voice of self doubt. my little voice tells me that I don't deserve this. That it will be taken away from me again because I'll be terrible anyways.

It's taken some time, but I've pushed that voice to the background for good and you will too.

You will be a mother and you will be an amazing mother. hugs.

amiracle4us said...

I wonder if it's one voice we are all hearing bc the comments are all the same. I hope like 2010 the voice goes away!

Rebecca said...

That voice has been haunting me for years and I wish I knew how to make it go away.

Slackie O. said...

So I'm reading this, and thinking to myself, Hey. That little voice sounds awfully familiar.

And then I think, Why don't I ever just shout right back at that little bitch? She needs to SHUT UP! She doesn't really KNOW a damn thing!

Might be best to do it in private if I'm gonna do it out loud, but I can get pretty shouty inside my own head too. I think I see a new habit about to form.

I always did have a tendency to back-talk...

Kakunaa said...

I hate that voice. Smack it around for me if you figure out how. HUGS

Bean stalk ballads said...

Katie I am honored you talked about my blog. I think the key to the little voice is to recognize it but take the power out of its words and out if its sting.(IE the thoughts are there but just because they come up doesn't mean they are real) I don't think it can be got rid of because its rooted in a survival part of the brain (IE if I don't run that lion/ hyena and bear will eat me) But what I do think is that it has no real purpose anymore in modern world.
What this has highlighted for me is the one ness of our journeys. That we are not alone.

JC said...

I hate that little voice. =(

foxy said...

On some level it is so reassuring to know that everyone struggles with this internal voice of dismay and discouragement. It is also reassuring to know that you don't have a secret off button. What I would give to have an off switch for my brain! (the best thing that I have come up with is klonopin, which has absolutely given me my life back.)

I figured that if the voice is going to be there, all I can do is help it find better things to tell me. I've worked hard this past year to 're-frame' my story. Instead of my voice telling me that this journey is hopeless, it now tells me that I have a long wait ahead and that I am stronger than I thought I was. it is a subtle difference, but a really powerful one. Therapy helped a lot with the re-framing, and the circle bloom tapes helped give me more subliminal positive messages. Even my Dh has noticed that my perspective has changed.

I've accepted that the voice isn't going anywhere. But it can either be my nemesis or my partner. I will wish for you that you can find a way to 'reframe' you little voice so that it says nicer things to you. Because you re an amazing lady, a loving wife, and an incredible someday mother.

much love Katie,

waiting for baby said...

I too hate that little voice! :)

S.I.F. said...

I don't think I could have possibly said it better than Hayley! She nailed it!

lowfatlady said...

My voice is loud and tells me all kinds of crap. I wish we could find a way to turn it off.

Another Dreamer said...

I really hate that voice. I always have. I wish I had an answer for you, I'm still trying to find the off button myself. But I'm trying to just ignore it for now, but it's hard at times.

I hope you find peace soon, and the joy you deserve.

Alex said...

Ah yes, I have that little voice. And I hate it!

Adele said...

Yes. And sometimes that little voice becomes a big, booming a-hole of a voice.

A friend taught me a nifty trick. Imagine placing that voice in a bottle and corking it. Now, set it on your desk. Look at it. The lips are moving. The fists are beating on the glass. But it's sound-proof. You can't hear a thing. "I'm sorry, little voice. I can't hear you."

It works about 3% of the time:)