So it’s a quarter to three in the morning and I just had quite the thought.
A couple weekends ago I took part in a Journal Jam Retreat with the ever awesome Effy Wild. At one point we were discussing the Inner Critic, or that little voice that tells us we suck, our art sucks, our hair is bad, whatever.
I don’t have that voice.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get fucking depressed and anxious and all sorts of other fun BS. But it is not so directly tied to my self-esteem. I don’t think there’s anything (beyond the average) wrong with me. I just think people are assholes.
Hear me out.
I’ve been thinking about this. What has been different for me? I was bullied to the point where I first wanted to kill myself when I was 12. My family and home life was traumatic in ways I couldn’t describe to you, and if I could you might not believe me. There was a lot of bad. But I never thought any of it was my fault.
Because I have Cerebral Palsy. That (and my Mom, but that’s a whole other post) is the difference.
When kids bullied me, when people treated me like shit, sometimes when I didn’t get jobs, or when I got cut off at bars, it wasn’t because of who I was as a person. It was because I was disabled (and poor but again, another post). Being disabled wasn’t about me. It was about my body. And there certainly wasn’t anything I could do about it.
So unlike kids who got bullied for other reasons, I didn’t turn it inwards because I had something “external” to blame it on, my Cerebral Palsy.
That is not to say that CP is the cause of all my problems, or that I was even right to blame it for the way I was treated. Maybe it *was* me, lol. But it’s too late now.
I kept my self esteem because I was disabled.
(And my mom, lol)