Sunday, 20 September 2009

Lightbulb moment: guilt

LL calls little behavioural epiphanies "lightbulb moments". I've been having a few since I started so thought I'd record them.

Earlier I noted that I felt guilty about whatever I put in my mouth; I've since noticed I feel guilty about everything I do. Or don't do. Yesterday I had a little play on my neglected piano. I don't indulge my hobbies like playing music because it never feels like play. I constantly monitor myself for mistakes, and chide myself when I make them. I haven't played properly in years and I want to learn new pieces and relearn old ones but I avoid it because I spend the time telling myself off for my technique, for not taking the time to practice, for not learning the new things and constantly playing the old things.

It is as though my childhood piano teacher is standing over me, having a go at me each time my fingers wibble. He did that a lot. A lot. It was years before I actually realised I was good at playing the piano, and by then all enthusiasm for it had ebbed away because all I got when I tried was grief.

So while I was playing yesterday I deliberately turned off the telling-off voice, and found that I really enjoyed what I was playing, even though it "didn't count" because it was an old piece and I hadn't learned a new one.

I feel guilty about everything. Today I ordered a taxi to take me to my LL meeting and it was horribly late. I had some really unkind thoughts about the taxi woman on the phone (even before the taxi was late) and I felt guilty about that. I still feel guilty. I even had to "own up" to the Boyfriend.

I'm feeling guilty about writing such a long blog post, even though it's my fricking blog and, to be quite honest, this is mainly for me, not you.

As with most things, I think this goes back to my childhood. I was always being told I was up to no good (even when I wasn't). I was quite bright at some subjects and, if I had trouble with other subjects, the teachers used to accuse me of 'troublemaking'. And it seemed the better I did in one class, the more grief I got in another.

When I was a teenager I was, like most teenagers, a little shit. But I was also really unhappy, and being summoned to account for every minute of the day by the adults ("What are you doing over there?" "Why the long face?" "Make yourself useful and help me with X, Y and Z", "You're lazy", etc.) didn't help. I, again, as a lot of teenagers, thought of my household as 'Nazi Germany'.

The point is I've inherited this Critical Parent (hello LL psychology) voice and I'm always telling myself to pull up my socks, that I should do this, I should do that, I should push myself at this because you know what I'm like, I'll never get it done and I'm always making excuses.... Every day is an exercise in failure, and the Critical Voice saps the pleasure from almost everything... hence the guilt.


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