No, not you, me.
I kid, but its for real. Dr. T today noticed something that I thought I had stopped doing. I still beat myself up. If reducing my drill-seargent self talk has made this big of a difference (I have gone from suicidal to not depressed, and I am on the lowest possible dose of my antidepressant!) imagine what replacing all of the meanness with constructive self-talk would do.
She explained to me something important, and I know it's important because it makes sense and will be difficult for me. A person's self image is developed around ages 3-8, and continues to a lesser extent through adolecence. My mother died when I was 9, so I was traumatized during my brain development. My mother was very invested in my development, my dad and step-mother, bless their hearts it was their best, but they parked me in front of the TV and if I did something wrong said "don't do that." I sensed pretty well that I was a burden, extra work that neither of them were ready for. Then when I was 11 and the step mom left the REAL fun started. The dad decided the stress of an ex-wife dying and wife leaving him was too much, so he checked out (passed out drunk on the porch every night.) Things like help with my development and hmmm, my stress of losing a mother, a step mother and now a father...not important, in fact, I was a mean person to make him feel guilty by saying stuff like "Dad, I really need some structure, could you please make some rules for me and then enforce them?" God I was a bad daughter to him.
These things happened when my self-image was being formed. It may have happened in the past, but they are a part of my brain development. When dealing with myself I get so mad! Why are you doing these rediculous things? You are almost 30! But I am dealing with a person who has had trauma during her brain development. A traumitized child. I need to keep this in mind in my self-talk, and be encouraging, not shaming.
And she said something that sounded cliche to me but is probably right. I dislike myself, I think I am unworthy of love and respect so I sabatouge my own success. I know this is the case with men, perhaps it is the case in the professional world too. I am working hard to treat myself better, but am cautious to go "too far" because I want to stay modest. Well maybe what I consider "modest" is bullshit. Maybe I want to keep myself in my place, "don't go thinking you are worthy of too much, because you are a mean selfish person." By the way I am crying now. I guess the tears mean I am on to something.