The Voice of Insecurity

“Nobody will ever love you if you act like that.”
 
This was the phrase I always heard as a child. Whenever I tried to express my inner fears, anxiety, worries, concerns, hurts, pains, insecurities, abuses, or upset in any way, some variation of it would come out.
 
My father didn’t know how to deal with my emotions–so he denied me and shut my emotions down. I became a master repressor and suppressor thanks to this. The poor man was gifted a daughter who feels emotions at very intense extremes, it made him feel like he was failing I’m sure–but it’s just who I am.
 
Unfortunately, his inability to sit through or help me through my emotions when things got rough led him to being cruel to me, telling me my emotions were out of line– burdensome– and that the expression of them would someday make me unfit to be a wife or lover to anyone. I heard the words all the time in a plethora of variations; “No man will want to marry you if… No man will love you if… Nobody will want to be your friend if… nobody will put up with…”
 
I now find myself trying to open up about my insecurities, to be honest and vulnerable, and every time after I do it, I feel worthless and undeserving of love after. I feel like a burden. I don’t see why anyone would want to be in my life, have me around. I see no benefit or profit that I could provide to those around me. I feel truly shamed and worthless, simply for expressing myself–simply for existing. I recluse into myself and my  mental prison, convinced I’m making everyone’s lives worse and they’d be better off if I wasn’t around.
 
The annoying spiral of this is that usually the things I need to express are insecurities. I need to express them so I don’t project cruelty onto people I love. (Another wonderful perk of being raised by a narcissist–my learned habit for dealing with repression is projection). So I try to be vulnerable sooner rather than explosive and cruel later. Then the guilt of having expressed myself comes on, and my father’s voice rings through my head, “Nobody will love you if you act like this.” That triggers more insecurities, which I then express and feel guilty and shameful about, and eventually I self sabotage everything good in my life.
 
The script runs through my perception of every interaction. “Nobody will love me if I disagree with them, if I have a bad day and can’t smile at them, if I don’t like how they’re treating me and ask for better treatment, if my depression or anxiety is acting up and I need someone outside my mind to ground me back to the shared reality.”
I can’t help it, the script plays silently in the background of my mind (because I’m so good at the repression) and before I know it, I’m stuck in hours/days/weeks of shame and self hatred mode–dissociated, emotionally distant–feeling abandoned even though I’ve chosen the prison for myself at this point.
 
I’m finally hearing this voice that I’ve suppressed for so long, because I’m opening up my mind and becoming more cognitive. I’m hearing it and it’s so painful and so strong and so overpowering and overbearing I just want to scream. But the person I want to scream at won’t understand or hear me–he can’t see past his own defenses. I want to run away, but the voice lives inside my own head and so I cannot run from it. I have to fight it. I have to go to battle, over and over again, with this voice that I just wanted to get away from forever. I keep trying to get away from it.
I distanced myself from my father, and those who project his words and will onto me through expressing things on his behalf. The distance from my father doesn’t make his voice disappear from my head, unfortunately. Also unfortunate, I literally cannot be around him anymore because he adds to and exacerbates this voice in my head and makes me literally want to die by ripping my body to shreds with my own bare hands. I wish I could fix this–but until I feel heard by him or I can overcome this voice entirely I can’t take it. I literally want to die when I’m around him. As awful as that is to say about one’s own parent, dealing with my father literally makes me want to kill myself.
 
I understand the voice is wrong. What its saying is not true. I understand I am deserving of love. I bring a lot to my relationships. I am empathetic and supportive an helpful. I am smart and creative. I am beautiful and stylish. I am talented and hard working. I am worthy of friendships, relationships, love, life, happiness, experiences, and otherwise living out my dreams. I understand those things, I do.
But I don’t believe them.
Hell, sometimes I find it hard to believe that veggies are good for me and eating them can improve my health. In fact, most of the time I don’t believe food has any purpose but to make my stomach stop growling, even though I know thats not true. I just can’t find the will power to believe in things that are good for me being possible or true.
 
Anyway… my brazen expression and sometimes overdone vulnerability (like now maybe?) is a result of my fight against this voice. The voice says a lot of things–but really its always giving the same message. I don’t deserve a good life, a happy life, a lover, a family, a career, success, friends, etc. It’s always a variation of that horrible sentiment. So yeah, I come off as fearless or confident because I am vulnerable and outgoing in my expression…. but that’s because I am actively fighting my demons pretty much every second of every fucking day. My demons are mean af and I can’t fight with violence, so I’m fighting with words and logic. Its exhausting and terrifying and constant lately. 
I’ve fallen in love. I want to allow myself to trust in love and let myself work toward and have a future with this person. I am having a hard time even allowing myself to be emotionally present though. I am having trouble not isolating myself. I’m having trouble reaching out. I am having trouble with this fight against the voice.
I’m exhausted.
But I really want to believe that love is possible for me in this lifetime.
So I fight.

Ending the Debate on Abortion Rights

Pro choice vs. Pro life is not a political debate, and we need to stop allowing it to be. It’s an ethical debate, which does not have a place in politics–at least not with situations as specific as abortion.

Let’s go through the reasoning, because as much as we think of this as a complex debate topic, it isn’t in the context of our laws. It may be a complex ethical debate, but in regards to legal right, there is no debate here.

Allow me to elaborate…

If you’re “pro-life” because of religion, that’s cool. But also, your religion is yours and not mine or anyone else’s, so my choice is still mine and your religion does not get to make laws that take that choice away from me. Separation of church and state. That’s it. That’s where your God arguments end. You do not get to put through legislation based on individual beliefs that counter our collective laws and shared reality. We can talk ethics and morals all day, but as far as law goes—you’re done when you bring up god and religion. It has zero place in politics. Done.

Take God out of it and its still super easy. You say its a life and to abort is to take a life? It’s killing someone. Let’s completely skip the debate on when life begins for s fetus. Whether it is at the time of conception, the moment of birth, or anywhere in between is completely irrelevant to the logistics of legality. Again, this is a debate of ethics, which could go on forever. However, one thing makes it irrelevant–body autonomy.

Body autonomy laws protect us and are already in place in the medical field. I can refuse a dying person my organs because of body autonomy. It may not be easy to watch them die, but I have a choice to say, “No, you cannot use my body or my body parts to sustain your own life.” If my own mother needed a piece of my liver, I have a the choice to say no and live with the consequences of that choice–even if the consequence is the death of my own mother. It is legal for me to refuse. The ethical and moral dilemma of whether or not I could sacrifice a piece of my liver to help my mother live is entirely my own, but legally I am in no way obligated to give her a piece of my liver.

Same principal applies to the medical procedure and choice of abortion. If a fetus cannot survive outside of my uterus and I decide not to allow it to live there– it doesn’t matter whether or not it is a life. It’s still my body and I get to decide who uses parts of it for their own survival. Just like the person who will die without my liver, I have the right to refuse another being the use of my body for their own sustenance and survival if I so choose. Think me a horrid person if you will–I still have the legal right to my own body. A fetus will not live outside of a uterus. It will die. A person needing an organ transplant cannot live without a new organ. They will die. I am not required to give them my organ, even if it is my fault they need an organ. I am not required to give an undeveloped baby my womb for the same reason. Body autonomy.

The reason for becoming pregnant is irrelevant. My body, my choice. It doesn’t matter whether I was raped or just have a really promiscuous sex life and am irresponsibly about protection. Your personal opinions of the reason behind someone getting an abortion, those reasons are not relevant to the debate of legality. Not relevant at all.

Body autonomy is not a privilege of the sexually responsible. It is a natural right of all body owners. I get to decide who touches me, and who uses my body for their own survival.

It’s not a hard debate. Its just difficult ethics and morals–which you don’t get to decide for any other human on the planet but yourself–not even your own children. So you cannot, should not, and will not take away someone’s legal right to their own body because you disagree with their lifestyle, morals, or ethics. That’s manipulative. That’s narcissistic. That’s abusive. When it’s being done on as large a scale as an entire society, it is oppressive.

Also, everyone needs to stop assuming people who get abortions don’t understand the gravity of their decision. Estrogen, a side effect of owning a uterus and ovaries, makes us uterus owners very deep feeling, very self aware, and very empathetic. We understand the gravity of choice. Stop shaming people who already understand the gravity of their life decisions. The only different between the hurt they cause and the hurt you cause is that they have to acknowledge it and you write yours off with your ignorance and privilege. You’re not pro life. You’re not fooling anyone. Get off your fucking high horse and come back down to earth. Your morals don’t make you any better than anyone else. Not even a little bit.

Nobody ever said getting an abortion was an easy choice, but it is now and should forever remain a choice for the uterus owner which takes away the biological inequality of responsibility for the consequences of sex.

This is not a debate of legality. It is a debate of morals and ethics that has been mixed and confused into our laws and politics. When you take the emotions of individual perspective out of it, pro-choice is the only legal reality.

Denying Science in Politics=Abuse of Power

I heard a politician say something that was very important. When approached by a reporter about the science of climate change, this politician said, “I believe that coal is a necessary power source and does not hurt or pollute the earth.”

He started the sentence with “I believe”. Generally when people do this it is because they know what they are saying is not a shared belief with the person they are speaking to, or the general populace they are speaking within. They say “I believe” so as to not push their beliefs on others, so as not to start a fight but simply to express their beliefs. Its a polite thing, really.

I hung out with a lot of LDS believers when I was in high school. One family in particular always said, “We believe” which was a super nice way to hear about their beliefs. It didn’t feel like they were saying their beliefs were unavoidable fact for everyone, it was like they were just offering their beliefs to the conversation as fact for themselves, and giving the listener a choice to believe or not.

In debates where people are simply speaking on morals, ethics, and personal values, this is a fine strategy that allows for the ego of the listener not to feel defensive or attacked or trapped and so it allows the debate to continue in a less confrontational way–which is always more productive to understanding and allowing diversity between friends.

However, when the person saying “I believe” has power over the lives of the people/person he says it to–that’s not ok. That is a severe abuse of power. That person is saying, “I believe this, and even though I don’t want to hear what you have to say or get you angry or make an argument out of it, I’m going to impose those beliefs on you and make it seem like you have a choice, but you don’t.”

So in the case of this politician, he is using his personal beliefs about coal and pollution, which contradict science, to make decisions that affect our entire planet.

The importance of separation of church and state, in our modern world, is not necessarily the separation of organized religion and organized politics. It is a separation between the beliefs we hold as individuals (church) and the beliefs we know as a collective species (state). I like to refer to these things as Individual reality and Shared reality. The truth is that we all hold individual opinions and opinions that can be held to the collective, and we need to stop thinking those individual opinions are only held by organized religions and those collective opinions are rightly reflected in our government. That is not the case.

Our individual reality is the reality we exist within as individuals living our own lives. This reality is lived, hopefully, from your singular perspective, understanding, and belief. It is dogmatic in nature, even if you have cleansed yourself of societal dogma, because it is a construct in your own mind. It is the routine of your thoughts, the motivator behind your life decisions, the roots of your expression of Self. It is based in a series of personal, subconscious beliefs held by the individual which affect the way that person experiences the collective or shared reality. Individual reality is your spirituality, your morals, your values, your beliefs about yourself in the world, other people and the way the nature of the world functions. These beliefs can come from anywhere. They can come from fear, experiences, upbringing, nature, manipulation, society, personal exploration, etc. But they are not always shared or acknowledged by the whole of existence. Individual reality is abstract. It can be understood from the outside, it can be empathized with, but it cannot be experienced by anyone except the individual to which that reality belongs.

Shared reality is the reality we all collectively experience. It is our physical world, the laws of that physical world. Science is the study of our shared reality. Science is an undeniable fact for us all. We cannot deny that the sun rises, that things fall when you drop them, that people’s physical bodies die, etc. Some individuals may deny pieces of it, but the evidence is tangible. You can see it, measure it, and know it to be true. We all can, and not based just on a feeling.

While Individual and Shared reality affect each other, and are certainly interconnected, they are separate entities, separate ideas and should be seen and acknowledged as such.

Moving on, anyone using their personal beliefs to limit the freedoms of our shared reality is abusing their power. My father did it to me growing up. Many parents do it to their children in our society, because our society does it to us and people gain the habits and beliefs of the society in which they exist implicitly if they aren’t careful. My father would impose his personal beliefs on me. His beliefs were based in his own experiences, which were scary but not mine. I did not have the choice or option to disagree and so his individual reality became mine, except while he was very comfortable in that reality, I hate myself and everything I am in his reality because of how he believes. This is called narcissist abuse–and our politicians have been doing it to us for thousands of years.

This politician, who used his personal beliefs on coal to override the collective reality of science and fact, he is abusing his power. He is bringing his personal beliefs, his personal dogma, his personal reality into consideration when making laws that affect the whole, collective reality. He is doing this, not based on facts or things he even dares to say out loud, but based on his personal dogmatic views which are clearly influenced by his own agenda. This happens all the time, actually. It’s manipulation. It’s abuse of power. It’s narcissist abuse, actually. It’s costing people their well-being and lives. It will eventually cost us all our lives and the planet we live on.

Your personal reality is valid. But you do not get to use it to deny the shared reality and impose your personal beliefs on others.