By Paula S. Robin
The pendulum of self-sabotage swings in many directions, my friends, duck. Duck, Duck, Goose is a game intended for children. Why would anyone think that walking around in circles until you want to slap someone in the head, then run for your dear life, is a child’s game? Let this be a warning to you: Don’t play head games with her. I stopped trying to persuade my own imagination and intellect that she wasn’t self-destruction walking, long ago, now you should, too. Tricky little hide and go seek, that is who she is. She hides the heartbreak she has in store for us, sneaks up inside, and sucker punches you. Don’t worry, it only comes out when she is intoxicated, triggered, stressed, not getting enough attention, or sleep, or enough of everything else that anyone could possibly give her. In the right corner, weighing in at ten tons of shame, in the left corner, me. I can take it; I can take it. These are the words I repeat to myself. There is just a shadow of a person left in each corner, each consumed by association. Well, you see what happened was, over time, the shame wreaked so much havoc on both of us. Is there a chance? Don’t even play dumber and dumber with me, there is always a chance, now get back in there. Let me open another can of low self-esteem. Is it just me, or does that go down a little more bitter each time? A brutal blow to my truest, most capable self. Not sure if I will survive this round. Why did I get back in the ring again? Why wouldn’t I? Never lose hope, there is always a possibility for change.
This really is a self-defeating pattern. Why is the starting point always in the self-work? Maybe trying to conquer and defeat this shame isn’t the right angle. I’ve tried to capture it, create it, and now I think conquering it is the right move. I’m standing toe to toe with this heavyweight champion, called self-defeat. I am my own worst enemy, or am I? I hurled the blame, it’s anyone’s guess. I am my own worst enemy, it will be decided. Don’t shrug those sad little pathetic shoulders. I have the capacity and imagination that it takes to create my own misery. I don’t need any help, thank you very much. I got this. Now that you are assuming she is really me, and me is she, let the battle begin. Me and me are going toe to toe and blow for blow. Who will win? I am never certain, but I am sure if I win, I lose. What are you thinking on and on about? Capture those thoughts. Am I pleased? You are such a little people pleaser, why am I not? Surrender? Never! Lessons to be learned later. Later, I think not, we finish this now. Wait a minute, do you mean lessons to learn without being a narcissist? Surely you jest, become comfortable with others disappointment, that is your big help. I think not. I am going to mind the gap between impulse and action and widen the gap between your two front teeth. Step up, I see the small reflection of you in the corner of my soul. Stop that crying, or I will give you something to cry about. Why stop? Keep it coming, I’m hydrated, tears can flow. Let’s go. Squandered procrastination will be served with every punch.
Changing from a left uppercut to a below-the-belt move again. Smooth transition. The only thing you need to be aggressive about is getting more treatment for yourself, and your playmate, or is it an opponent? Is this other person real or another imaginary friend? Not much of an opponent, more like an obstacle. Wait a minute, who tagged teamed in fear of failure? That’s impossible. I might be paralyzed with that blow to the esteem. I should have known if procrastination showed up, fear of failure would jump in this fight. No one likes failure, but I need everyone to like me. This is not my day. Here comes another powerful lesson for me to learn. What to do, what to do, what will I do? Thank God for the bell. I can sit in peace and think about all the things my negative peeps have said to me. It’s always the little birds that tell the tale. I’m a Robin, reporting in. Wait a minute, a new ruling by the ones that judge us. Wait, how is that unfair? Oh, because this is the lightweight round. If I swallow all of that negativity, I will surely be too heavy to continue. Don’t call me Shirley. Don’t three stooges me. I will exercise caution, get back in shape, and be prepared for round 13. Round thirteen, on Friday the thirteenth, what could go wrong? Life is what you make it, lemonade anyone? Did you hear the one about the dirty little daisy doubter? You should read it. Robin wrote it, too. Don’t throw should all over me. Should is a shaming word, and “them are fighting words.”
I want to be separated from anyone that knows their own potential. I can take down fear of failure. I have been dealt some mean blows from procrastination, survived those. Acting impulsively better not show its face around here. Better not mess with Jim. Who’s Jim? Jim is the Darth Vader in my life. Trying to please everyone. He is a pushover. You better have some more tricks up your sleeve. Self-sabotage is old news. I march all over that like a doormat. Don’t forget I am the most talented and skillful self-defeating champion of my world. Trust my gut, now that is some bad advice right there. My gut says I am always right. Float like a butterfly and sting like some rational, deliberate, decision-making bee? Aunt Bee maybe, there is a non-decision-making woman, “Oh, Aunt Bee,” and “Oh, Andy can I?” That is some weak sauce. I need to pull out the deadliest bee in the world, the Africanized bee, the killer bee. I don’t need Aunt Bee pampering me. Stop stalling. Come together in the middle of the ring, tap gloves, no below-the-belt hits, let’s have a clean match. This is the moment my brain and body are challenged. They must pull together to win. Oh, hell no, Envy. Why did you come here looking like that? Now I will be comparing myself to not only myself but others. This is a game-changer in the fourth quarter. I know it’s a fight, but I need a Hail Mary. I am the greatest person. I cannot be compared to everyone. This is cheating fair and square. There is always someone greater and someone lesser. I ain’t trying to fight the world. I was trying to get ready for breakfast.
Let me pour myself a glass of the forever half emptiness I feel. Pull up a stool for yourself. Look at all the unhappy people around. Here, there, better, you had a little egg on your face. You hanging around to hear some mean-spirited, critical, harsh words, or what? The fight is over. You lost. We will not be adding meaning or order to your world. We will clearly have to do some promotion before the next fight. Growth promotion, now that’s a great suggestion! I guess it is go big or go home. Guilt! That isn’t a new perspective. I do, however, have a strong desire to remain associated with guilt. I depend on others for my emotional and mental desires. Guilt is something I can come out swinging with. Pulling myself together would work for this strategy. No one can seek out the weakest and take it down. Belonging to a group increases survival rates. Okay, listen up, all you poor coping skills. We need to move together as one unit. We have to market ourselves effectively and successfully if we want to be the greatest narcissist of all time. I can hear the announcer now, “and the winner, and heavyweight champion of their world, Grandiose Narcissism.” The crowd went wild. You should have been there. You should have shown up. That is enough. Sit down and have some respect for yourself. I need my favorite sparring partner, anxiety, where did I put you? Oh, there you are, hidden in the poorly disorganized schedule I manage. I’ll need to clean that up before any new marketing or promoting myself. Wait, did you just accuse my coffee, blame my caffeine for my anxiety? Why I never, except that one time I did, but that’s another blog. Hand me the glove, I am challenging you to a duel now. Consider yourself slapped harder than any Duck, Duck, Goose slap.