I recently learned that not everyone has inner dialogue running through their brains.
What??? How is that possible? Mine is relentless.
Can you guess which one of the Posse has no inner dialogue and is therefore free from the energy suck that is arguing with yourself? Yep, you guessed it… Ashley – our unicorn.
I find it fascinating, the possibility of having silence instead of running commentary. I have absolutely no frame of reference for what that would be like.
I’ve worked hard to find grace for myself, to ask the chiming dialogue to be kind. I’m starting to have compassion for myself, though it’s a daily request. Still, sometimes the doubt, shame, bitterness, and unforgivable nature of my inner thoughts plague me.
Ashley and I were discussing what it was like in this beautiful brain of mine and we discovered she has no experience with which to understand. So, I shared an exchange with myself that I put on paper one day recently. This specific exchange was actually more kind than some I have, evidence of my tireless work on compassion for myself.
Even so, her two-word response after thoughtfully pouring over my dialogue; “That’s heartbreaking.”
I share it here with you, not as a plea for sympathy or understanding, but as a way to show that maybe you’re not the only one who struggles with inner dialogue that's unforgiving.
We need to have a conversation. It’s not an easy one, but we can’t keep going this way. We just can’t.
I’m tired of having the same arguments every day, feeling helpless, feeling like my concerns and requests are dismissed – tossed out with the daily garbage. I desperately want to make you happy. I want you to see yourself as I do; beautiful, intelligent, valuable, enough. Your health is important to me, so important – both your emotional health and physical. You have so much to give. So much love and joy, caring and compassion to offer. It oozes from your pores when you’re whole. But you don’t seem whole, and I can’t fill the void even though I try with all I am and all I have. I try.
I try every day. I go to sleep at night thinking about the ways I could save you. I wake in the morning and find myself so frustrated, my brain running away in silent argument about all the things that haven’t changed from yesterday morning when I was yelling out in the same internal fight. I try to strangle the thoughts, stop the frustration, make the shouting stop so I can breathe. The arguments continue throughout every day. They never rest.
I can’t do this anymore.
You assure me you can change.
I can! I can change. I know what I need to do.
But you DON’T, you won’t.
I promise, this time will be different. I will start today. I promise. I promise I’ll fix it. I’ll make it better.
You make these commitments to me repeatedly, and every single time you break them almost the moment they’re uttered. I feel lied to. Not just let down, but degraded by the fact that you don’t value me enough to follow through, and because you continue to lie to me.
I will change. I can make small changes every day that will fix this. I do love you and value you enough to do this. I love you more than you could possibly know.
I know that’s true – you CAN. You can come to bed with me every night and lay in my arms and help us both feel connected and whole, together. Then you wouldn’t wake up tomorrow and feel exhausted as you have every day for nearly 14 years.
I also know you can take care of your body. I don’t want this for you because I think of you as fat or ugly or lazy. I don’t. But because I want you to see yourself as strong and beautiful, like I do. The rowing machine, you like the rowing machine. Long walks with the dog, bike rides, hikes, lunchtime motivation walking home and back from work – you’ve told me time and time again how much you truly enjoy these activities and yet there you sit in your chair.
Night after night you sit in that chair and write or watch some mindless show. You put in your earbuds so you don’t have to engage with me. You check out of our life as if you just can’t stand another minute of being here with me, interacting with me. As if you’re completely disgusted with me and the life we’ve built.
I’m not! I love our life and I love you! We’ve worked so hard for this life, this love, this family. I feel so grateful and blessed. I’m trying. I really am. I promise…
STOP! STOP LYING. Stop making promises. Just stop. I can’t do this anymore. But… I can’t be without you. I won’t survive. So, fix it. Just… fucking... fix it. There’s absolutely nothing standing in your way here. Nothing. Nothing but you.
Love me again. Love you again. Stop the lies, the broken promises. Be whole – with me.