Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Death of Xena, Warrior Princess

<~ THIS IS ME. (LOL, I wish!!)
My good friend, J, is reading a self help book. Part of the book gives nicknames to different personality types. For instance, J falls under the heading of "The Little Girl" who struggles with insecurities and often turns to others for validation or help. She said she was having fun reading all the different types and matching them up with people she knows. And then she found my description.....Xena. The Warrior Princess. Swinging that sword....."keep away from me!" Tough, fighter, loner but only on the outside. The inner self is lonely and sad. Yep, that's me alright. See all that armor and junk she's wearing? It's quite a project to strip that down. I think maybe I've taken off the armbands so far but that's about it. :o)
I went to T last night, a follow up session from Saturday. We discussed what happened with my child support hearing. I told her that I was so happy I didn't go if for no other reason than just the way I felt when I heard HIS voice over the phone. It made me almost sick with discomfort. She asked me why, which I hadn't really thought about. (Someday, I will learn to ask myself these obvious questions.....) I fumbled with an answer, not doing well being put on the spot. Afterwards I thought about it and I think I figured it out. As soon as I heard that voice...which let me add is a very distinct, deep, SMOOOOOOTH voice which always used to melt mind created a slide show/movie of our times together. And as I was listening to him talk, I was watching the whole thing pass before me. And the feelings were coming up....the expectations, the hopes, the delusions, the disappointements. The fantasy. The reality. I haven't seen him or spoken to him in over 2 years and I think what just happened was the next step in "extinguishing the fantasy". (See prior post about that here.) I'd LOVE to say it was the final step....but in keeping with reality and avoiding setting myself up for disappointment, I'll call it the next step, just to be safe.
T & I spoke about my critical inner voice. It's been horrible lately. My homework after Saturday's session was to notice my inner critic. Here is just one tiny example. Monday, I was going to hand out invites to DD's bday party. Her party is still like 3 weeks away. I forgot to bring them. When I realized that, here is what my brain SCREAMED at me (pardon the language but it's necessary to convey): "Oh Shit, you Fucking Idiot!! What the Fuck is wrong with you. You are so Fucking stupid and worthless." And then I believe myself and I feel like scum. And I do this countless times per day for things as ridiculous as making a typo.
If one of my friends ever said something like that to me, I'd never speak to them again. If someone I knew forgot to bring Bday invitations and was upset about it, I'd say "Calm can bring them tomorrow! No biggie!" I need to remember to treat myself like a friend. Heck, even treat myself as I'd treat a stranger! Instead of as someone I vehemently despise. I said to T that I feel like this is a giant step backwards and she said it's just the opposite. I said that I feel like I've done this work before though. She said that maybe I had but it had been done as "Xena". She asked what I would call this part of me? I asked her to clarify...what would I call the harsh critic part of me or the cowering part of me who believes the critic? Boy I set myself up for this one when she answered "Both! Start with the part who believes the critic." I drew a blank, said I really wasn't sure. Okay then, what would you call the harsh angry voice? "My father", I answered, and then the realization......"Oh. And the other part is my inner child."
When I was in my early 20's and my brother had moved out already, he was at our house for a visit. He was wildly picking on me, sarcastically insulting on me in front of my mother and his girlfriend at the time. I was pretty new into therapy at that point and I remember being filled with anger and adrenaline as I put my pointed finger up to him and I said with 100% conviction "You are not allowed to speak to me like that EVER again." And you know, he never did. But it's that image and that phrase that I have to continue to call to mind now as I face that hatred inside myself. I have to talk back to my own inner critic and tell it "You are not allowed to speak to me like that anymore!"
I'll conclude with a sweet little story about my DD. I revel in her innocence. I'm not sure I've ever mentioned my father to her but a reference slipped out the other day and then I was questioned. Here's how the conversation went as we were driving home in the car and I decided to take a different route:

DD: This isn't the way home, is it?
Me: Sure it is. You know my father used to say "all roads lead home"
DD: Your father?
Me: Yes, I do have a father
DD: But where is your father?
Me: Well, he's around but I don't see him or talk to him anymore
DD: Why not?
Me: Because he's not a nice man and I don't want you or me to be around anyone who is not nice.
DD: But why is he not nice?
Me: I don't know, sweetie. I don't know why some people choose to be not nice.
DD: Maybe he pinched someone and he didn't say he was sorry and so he had to go sit in time out in the corner!
Me (with a smile): I think that could be it, honey.....that could be it.

How sweet that the worst thing she can think of that makes someone mean is to pinch and not apologize. I love seeing the world through her eyes.


Enola said...

That is a sweet story about your daughter. And it says a lot about you as a mother that the worst thing she can think of is being pinched and not saying sorry.

Now from one Xena to another - don't you dare gloss over that above paragraph - take a moment to pat yourself on the back.

Tamara said...

Oh the sweet innocence of kids!

I agree with enola - you are obviously doing a wonderful job with raising your daughter.