Let me make one thing clear, I am not speaking ill of my mother here. I have inherited a lot from her that have made me the powerhouse that I am today.
But parts of her…yeah, I could do without.
I had a moment earlier this morning that was like Ann Hall on steroids. And not the champion for special needs kids and the intellectual giant she was.
But the neurotic, self-hater that she became.
After my uncle died unexpectedly in 2002, mom really fell into a deep depression. She let her drinking get the best of her which didn’t help the depression one bit. She couldn’t sleep. She didn’t eat healthy foods at all.
She fell into a deep hole and never got out. She never wanted to get out.
In a way, I’m grateful she passed away because her pain is no more.
After I lost my job with that little radio station in Eufaula in 2003, I had to move back in with my parents. What I thought would be a temporary setup ended up lasting four long years. This coincided with the deepest depression of my life.
But I never lost hope. Unlike mom.
When mom would go to the computer to check her email, here’s what she’d say.
“Let’s see if anyone loves me today.”
And if she didn’t get anything from anyone…
“Looks like nobody loves me today.”
Make no mistake about it, my mother hated her very existence. She hated herself so deeply and completely that she couldn’t see how much love that people had for her.
I mean, the mere fact that the thought even crossed my mind that I’d donate part of my liver to her to try and save her life (our blood types were the same) should speak to that. I’m not speaking about being a martyr here, but I’m just saying.
Sometimes I lash out at people who are trying to help and support me. I’ll snap and I’ll try to push people away.
I mean, when someone challenges a core belief about myself, it’s human nature that I’ll fight back. Even when that core belief about myself is that I’m a pathetic piece of shit who deserves nothing, gets nothing, and should accept it.
But wait, what the hell am I doing as a coach and client? I should have just stayed in Alabama and accepted my mediocre life.
This makes no sense. I mean, it makes absolutely no sense.
I had a moment early Wednesday morning that reminded me just how toxic that part of my internal dialogue really is.
Mom, I love you but I don’t miss this.
I was in Greenwich. And I was steady talking to myself.
And that conversation ended up turning into a “let’s bash Ryan” session. Keep in mind, that conversation was with myself!
Here’s a brief snippet:
“You really think people love you, don’t you? You really think people give a shit. Well, why should people give a shit about you? Out of sight, out of mind, right? You have said that time and time again. People don’t care about you unless you’re paying them. And then they only act like they care about you when you’re talking to them. You just don’t matter! You’re a sad, pathetic, little man with a tiny brain and — “
Reading this is just pissing me off all over again.
Again, I love my mom. I miss her every day of my life. But damned if I don’t miss this.
So, here’s what I did. Here’s how I responded.
“Would you shut the fuck up?! People love you, Ryan! People would walk through FIRE for you! People fight for you! People adore you! People want to see you win more than anything! What is wrong with you?! People love you, just stop it!”
I could go on.
Look, we all have these demons. We all have these traumas and incompletions in our lives.
When you look at these demons, we all have two choices to consider.
· You can suffer and wallow.
· You can accept and heal.
My mom will always be a part of me. And for that, I’m forever grateful.
But I do not miss this self-hating part of her one bit. The mere fact that the wounded little boy that lives inside my head wants to keep this alive is simply adorable.
It’s adorable, and it ain’t supporting or helping me anymore.
I’m sharing this for two reasons. First, I want to be a support to anyone who might have similar demons. But I also want to heal my own suffering and my own fear.
I’ve got too much at stake to let this drag me down. And I’m risking too much to stay still.
The world and my world deserve better.
Mom, I love you so much. You were an amazing human being. I acknowledge your heart and love for special needs kids. I will forever be grateful for your nurturing me as I was falling in love with writing and storytelling. And I will always be grateful that I was loved, supported, and protected. With food in my belly and clothes on my back.
But I never liked that self-hatred. I do NOT miss that one bit.
I’m a badass of love and being. And people adore me.
And it’s about time I start to shout that from the mountaintops.
People love me. And that’s pretty freaking awesome.
Because I am pretty freaking awesome!