My Brain is Also an Asshole

24 May

I think a lot of people fall into the category of “I am my own worst enemy.”

In fact, I think I could probably be their leader, I am so good at sabotaging my own happiness.

Women, as a whole, over-analyze things. We’re constantly assaulted by images of how we should look, what our behavior should be, and how we should live our lives.

Add in a little bit of anxiety disorder, and you have a recipe for disaster.

For instance: I have never, ever seen a picture that I feel I look “good” in. (What the fuck does “good” look like, anyway?)

There’s always something wrong. God, I wish I hadn’t tilted my head that way. Fuck, are people gonna think I’m expecting twins in that shirt? Seriously, what is going on with my hair?!  Don’t get me wrong, I know every single person on earth, with the exception of the Victoria’s Secret Angels and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models, hates something about their body. The thing is, I hate just about everything. From my flat feet that make me knock kneed to my ridiculous hair that is never straight enough when I straighten it, or curly enough when I let it do the curl thing I inherited from my (incredibly gorgeous, former model) mother. And the anxiety only makes it worse. It makes every pimple (seriously, I am 27, when does acne end?) bigger, every quarter inch of root three shades darker, every bruise, scrape, or bump a cause for outright alarm (or possibly a trip to the emergency room and/or plastic surgeon).

And it doesn’t stop with my appearance.

I absolutely CANNOT listen to myself in any kind of recorded fashion. Because of my job, I’ve done radio & TV interviews all over the place, and I CANNOT STAND TO WATCH/LISTEN TO THEM. Every time I hear myself talk, I cannot believe how I sound. How does anyone take me seriously? I sound like a five year old. I will literally run out of a room if someone is watching or listening to me in a pre-recorded manner.

In college, I took a public speaking course. (Disclaimer: I am a pro public speaker. I was a four year member of my high school forensics club, was in every theater performance I got a part in, and tested out of said public speaking course with a B. I took the class anyway because I knew I could get an A. I have no idea how anyone with anxiety enjoys public speaking, but I would rather give a presentation to 500 strangers than have a one-on-one conversation with anyone but my closest friends.) We had to bring a VHS tape (hi, I went to a state school) to record our speeches on, and then review them and critique ourselves after class.

I didn’t watch a single one. I couldn’t bear it. The embarrassment was absolutely too much. I made review everything up. (I also have a degree in Public Relations, which I tell people means I have a BS in BS, so I got away with it pretty easily.)

In addition, I cannot stand any kind of criticism when it comes to my writing. In fact, when I used to hand in essays, I would look at the grade at the top and not the comments.  I probably wrote close to 200 essays in my college career and never managed to read any of the constructive criticism.

(PS: THANK YOU to everyone who has reached out and said what a great writer I am. I don’t believe you for a single second, but I appreciate your sweet compliments. If I was capable of accepting a compliment in any fashion, I would be over the moon with all the love I’ve gotten.)

Which leads me to my next point. I cannot accept a compliment, and it’s probably one of the (actual) least attractive qualities I have. Normally, I deflect them with either an eye roll or a joke, which never scores me any points with the person giving the compliment. When you truly, truly believe that you are never enough, you are incapable of letting the positive stuff in. I’m working on it. Slowly. And I’m sorry to everyone who has ever said something nice to me and gotten a joke or eye roll in return. It’s not that I don’t appreciate it. It’s that my brain is an asshole. Are we sensing a theme here?





4 Responses to “My Brain is Also an Asshole”

  1. Pam May 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Love this, Shan. This is so great what you’re doing on so many levels. Helps you, others, and you get to share the wit and charm that everyone loves about you 🙂

  2. Senor Feliz May 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    you’re no john grisham with his prose and delivery but everything i’ve read has always been more stephen king-ish…you drop in lil side bar comments, cuss at the right time (which in my mind is all the time…maybe you don’t cuss enough) and i agree with Pam, you are helping out someone very close to me, too

  3. Mary Sennhenn Patterson May 25, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    I cannot take a compliment as well, I always seem to think that it is a secret sarcastic joke…

  4. Wendy Featherston Little aka the udder mom June 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    A bad scifi book you’re too young to have read had a line that sticks with you – “Fear is the little mind killer” – that’s so true, anxiety is just another permutation of fear.

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