Yesterday I was for no apparent reason having a bad day. I woke up feeling teary and couldn’t shake the grim feeling of my own inadequacy as a human being. I made breakfast but put it uneaten in the bin and just cracked on with some work for the morning, trying to focus on other tasks thinking that would help, it did for a bit but the gloom overtook me and I needed to get out for some air.
I went for a walk to one of the local parks. My friend has a cafe there so I went to drink coffee and try and shake my dark mood. That worked for a while and he made me laugh which was great, but as I walked home the gloom returned and I started crying. I got home and curled up in bed for half an hour, the blackness had taken hold now and a truly felt dead inside. I indulged myself for a bit, sometimes if I let it take hold it passes naturally, but yesterday it didn’t.
The boys came home so I threw a smile on my face even though tears were running down my cheeks, fooling no one. The boys gave me cuddles but knew I needed some space for a while so they left me to ruminate. I chatted online to a couple of friends, friends who I go to when I have a dark day. They spoke sense and helped a lot. One of them said to me “You might feel crap today but it’ll feel better as soon as you forgive yourself. xx”
Forgive myself. Forgive myself? What do I need to forgive myself for?
This morning I’ve started a new round of therapy. The therapist was talking about how my critical voice bullies me. She’s right of course, the voice which tells me how ugly and terrible I am and all the other awful things it says is just me bullying me. If anyone spoke to someone I love the way my critical voice talks to me I’d struggle not to slap them silly. So why do I let me talk to me like that? I guess the next few weeks of therapy will tell me.
Walking home my mind wandered back to my friend saying I needed to forgive myself. It’s just him saying I need to be nicer to me, to stop the bullying and the guilt for everything, for every sin I have committed, real and imagined. I’m no angel but I am a good person, full of love and good humour, I try to do no harm.
I’ve always blamed myself for everything, I have massive amounts of guilt hanging over me from my childhood, guilt about not being the person my parents wanted me to be, for failing to be the kind of successful they would approve of, failing to have more than one child, failing to be the daughter they wanted, failing to please them, just failing.
My failure, my consistent failure to live up to other people’s expectations leaves me with a weight of guilt to carry with me. And he’s right. I do need to forgive myself. I’m not sure how, but I do.