We all do it...........negative self-talk. Just some of us participate more than others, particularly victims. Victims tend to raise this behavior to the level of an art form, specially sculpted and designed for our own particular circumstances.
In More Thoughts on Therapists and Therapy the comments suggest that readers see the problem with labels and double standards. Even though it was expressed in different ways, it still comes down to the same thing. That would be our self talk.
Knowing that we abuse ourselves through our self talk is actually the first step in being able to make it better. We sure can't fix it if we don't even know it's a problem. So if you now the things that you say and do to yourself that beat you down, that's a good thing.
The next step, obviously, is changing that behavior. It's certainly easier said than done. And I think it's easier done with a therapist because you have someone to check in with, hash it over, get ideas etc. BUT it can be done without a therapist. Because the fix comes from within. And, hey, with the blogging community many of you have built, you have lots of sounding boards so why not take it on.
For me, Garbage Feelings was what I called my negative messages. To identify them, I started with a list of the strongest most obvious ones. Just writing them down helped me to recognize them faster when they popped into my head.
Once I recognized them, it was time to change those negative messages. Replace them with a positive one. Sounds easy enough. I can tell you I had lots of pretty loud debates going on in my head. I wanted to hang on to that old s*** like it was some kind of treasure.
Taking on new positive messages in the place of the old negative ones was not easy. I had to start off knowing that it was going to feel weird, unreal, insincere. But it was a start. Just allowing myself to think something contrary to all of those years, was an important step.
I had to do things to remind myself I was working on this project. Sometimes I would sit down and write out the new message over and over. I had little pieces of paper taped up everywhere (the fridge, the microwave, mirrors, doors etc) with my new positive messages on them. Sometimes I tore up those pieces of paper and every once in a while, I drew glorious pictures to illustrate them.
One step at a time, I confronted them. I made it my goal to not let a day go by without challenging those old voices. Sometimes I had to get on the phone and call friends to talk about those messages. Other times I got out my "new rule book" and read through the pages over and over.
.Sure I didn't believe it at first. And sometimes I took three steps backwards to only two steps forward. BUT I never quit. It gradually got easier and easier. I still have days every now and then that I find one of those messages trying to sneak back into my head. But they are no longer welcome friends, just reminders of a time better left behind.
multiple personality disorder MPD dissociative Identity disorder did therapy