Let me preface this by explaining that due to a pregnancy complication, I ended up with a C Section cut about four inches above the normal spot. An even more rare C Section complication required that the original incision be reopened and a tumor removed last summer, 5 years after the birth of my child. This has caused me no end of back pain and core problems. I’ve been working with a trainer (Molly Galbraith from Girls Gone Strong fame) to help strengthen my core and work on a number of other fitness and health goals. We’ve been looking at different things to engage my core since those muscles don’t seem to respond to the usual stuff anymore.
At one point in our conversation I asked her if I was her biggest train wreck client. She answered, “…continually identifying with that term will only perpetuate it further.” That statement shocked me into contemplative silence. I was stunned and surprised that someone had called me out on it, especially another woman. Usually other women respond with some self-deprecating remark instead.
This got me thinking and counting. How often do I really do this? How often do I just do it in my head and how often am I doing it in front of my impressionable six year old daughter (gasp)?
I discovered something. I do this kind of self talk as pretty much a constant stream of negative feedback. ALL THE TIME. If I pass a mirror or a window, I don’t look in it. If I do catch a glance, I don’t think I have ever thought anything like, “that’s a pretty blouse” or “I’m really liking these sandals.” It’s “Lord, I’m so fat” or “geez you need to learn to stand up straight” or just “UGH!” When I’m walking through the house and I see something that needs to get done I think “Jesus, I’m such a waste of oxygen, I can’t even get XYZ done.” And worst of all, I do it in front of Squirrel (my lovely daughter).
I grew up in an environment where that kind of talk was a steady stream that ran 16 hours a day from the most influential people in my life. My adult relationships for the next 15 years were the same way.
But I chose to leave those things behind ten years ago. Or so I thought I did. But Molly (my trainer) has made it apparent to me that not only have I not left those thoughts and words behind, I AM PERPETUATING THEM. My husband doesn’t say things like that and my daughter doesn’t either. So why do I continue to do it to myself? And what kind of effect does it have on my ongoing battles with PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
These are probably longer term questions that I can answer in one post. But I do know one thing, I have to stop talking to myself that way.
Am I train wreck? No, I’m a work in progress. Am I a lost cause? No. I have issues and challenges, probably more than the average person, but I’m working through them. Yes, I have a disability. But I don’t have to learn to live with it. I can learn to thrive with it.