I have this little voice in my head, a really awful, toxic bitchy voice who doesn’t like me at all. I like to call her Cruella. Well I don’t like to call her anything, but she’s there, so….
Let me tell you, she has taken up a lot of real estate in my head for a lotta lotta years, and she hasn’t paid a dime. She’s this miserable, gripey unwelcome houseguest who leaves towels on my floor and then tells me what a lousy housekeeper I am. Do you know her?
Yeah, I thought maybe you did.
So just the other day I’m doing this writing exercise and it tells me to, get this – let the inner critic have her rant for ten minutes. Go ahead, let Cruella scream and yell at you and write it all down. (Yikes!) Let her tell you all the ways that you are going to fail and all the ways that you should be full of fear and how much you suck, generally speaking.
So I did. I raised my hands over the keyboard, shaking with fear, and I let her rip.
This is what she said. (I’m warning you, she’s really awful)
Why the hell are you wasting your time blogging and writing a memoir? You’re not a celebrity. What gives you the right?
It is ridiculously self-absorbed.
Your stories are too depressing.
Your family will disown you. Well, even more than they already have.
Oh and need I remind you that you’re a college DROPOUT?
You aren’t a writer! Ha! You don’t even have an MFA!
You have failed at everything; your music career, your nonprofit, oh and the clothing line you had that bankrupted your family, remember that one?
You are wasting time writing while you could be working a day job and bringing some real money into the house.
What will you do when its done?
This is just another of your artsy-fartsy hare-brain projects that’s going to land you in the poorhouse. AGAIN. (oh, the patience of your poor long-suffering husband…)
You spend your time writing while your house is a pigsty, well, no surprise there. I always said you were a lousy housekeeper.
Thank God I only gave her ten minutes because believe me, she can really get going when she’s on a roll. I told you, she’s awful.
But there must have been a method to the madness in that writing exercise, because after I wrote it all out, Cruella actually lost a little power. The next time she started yammering away at me I just rolled my eyes and said yeah, yeah, whatever Cruella…. and you know what? Suddenly I wasn’t so afraid of her anymore. Whadda ya know. All that time I was keeping her secrets in my mind, I was actually protecting her and giving her free reign! Crazy, huh?
But now… I’ve outed her! And you are all witnesses. And I say we all go after her with pitchforks and torches….Yeah!
Or, maybe not. Cause the more I think about it I realize Cruella is just a scared, insecure girl that doesn’t want to let go of the woman I am now. So let me try it this way. Gray toxic mold can’t grow in bold sunlight, right? So I will keep this light laser-focused on her, continue to tell her secrets and expose her. Sorry Cruella, but you’ve had your day. It’s my time now.
I’m not saying she won’t keep trying to rear her ugly head, I mean, if anything that girl is persistent. But every time she starts up with me I will simply say “go into the light Cruella, go into the light…”
And if she ever comes to visit your beautiful minds, I hope you do the same.