Taming Our Inner Critic

If you are coming over from my guest post on Joe Bunting’s The Write Practice.com site, welcome. This is a new blog and I hope you find it helpful. We are beginning to look at how we see ourselves in the mirror of life.  Is our perception the truth or have we believed lies our abusers have taught us?

Do you tear yourself apart? Second guess yourself? Compare yourself to others and find yourself wanting? Your inner critic may need taming.

Photo: National Media Museum

There is nothing wrong with an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses with the goal of discovering areas of improvement. But, if the assessment is debilitating, and leaves you feeling hopeless it is a clue your inner critic is working overtime.

Many of the abuse survivors I’ve spoken with feel they have a heightened sense of shame. They either blamed themselves for their abuse or they felt inferior as a result of the violation they received.

One of the largest struggles I had to deal with was feeling like damaged goods. I believed there was something wrong with me because my father abused me. If I had been nicer, kinder, smarter, or (fill in the blank), he would have loved me and not abused me. The truth is, my feelings or sense of self was not important to him. He wanted his lustful gratification.

The problem was him, not me. But the damage he did went deep. It is difficult to shake the feeling of being damaged. It takes hard work and perseverance. I have to remind myself who I really am and counter each and every negative thought with two positive ones.  It takes more than one healthy thought to counter a negative image.

As a teenager I wrote the a snippet of a poem:

Help me to feel the feelings I should
So I can be real and be understood.

That was the start of my inner critic. I didn’t believe my real feelings mattered. I wanted to blend in, be a human wallflower in the crowd of life.

My abusive parents taught me that control was necessary and that I needed to respond the exact way they wanted me to respond to preserve my life.  Yes, they tried to kill me several times for wrong reactions to their desires.

This inner critic grew until it dominated my life. I had to replace the negative self-image and negative criticism with more positive thoughts. Sometimes I had to repeat these thoughts over and over until sheer repetition helped me to believe them. Never forget that words have power. We need to watch what we speak, think, and write about ourselves. It must line up with the truth.

What truth do you need to speak over yourself? One that I keep repeating is, “You are God’s beloved child. Abba loves you.”

Have a blessed day.


About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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