“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”
–quote from positively positive website
in therapy, i’m reprocessing and reprogramming what was said and done to me as a child. the self-hate i internalized was the hate my parents directed at me and at each other. the guilt and punishment i inflict on myself began with my parents blaming and punishing me for their incapacity to love, nurture, and care. the way my parents spoke to me became my inner voice. even though i’ve been grown up longer than i was a child, my mother’s voice inside my head continues to tell me i’m selfish like my father. my father’s voice tells me i’m a cold-hearted bitch like my mother. in reality, i’m not those things, because i’ve spent my life consciously choosing to be generous and warm and as angelic as possible, trying to prove them wrong. but i still hear them. i harshly criticize myself in the most judgmental tone, focusing only on things i’m ashamed of, things i’ve screwed up, things i should have done better (and by better, i mean perfectly), because i’m not allowed to be less than angelic, less than perfect, because if i make a mistake, i deserve punishment and blame since a single mistake proves that i’m unworthy and unlovable. yes, i know these ideas are unreasonable, impossible, unfair, and untrue. but those false beliefs are the ones hissing in my inner voice that came from my parents.
please be careful how you speak to your children. please be careful how you speak to yourself. no matter how old we become, the little children we were still live inside us. please speak kindly. be patient with your mistakes. gently guide that inner voice to praise rather than criticize, to love rather than judge, to teach rather than punish. it is okay to screw up, make a mistake, or do something wrong. in fact, you’re going to screw something up, make a mistake, and do something wrong before the end of the day. forgive yourself. learn from the experience. please speak tenderly to yourself, to the child you were, to the children you are parenting.