I can’t, will not be of that … How’s that imaginary wall in your head keeping you away from…what?

Be humble, bow down, don’t speak up. That’s what I grew up with. Some I’m sure my parents believed in, and some; due to their fuckedupness might have actually destroyed them and me. The lying cheating alcoholic of a dad wanted me to be the best ever; smartest, quickest at all I do…just not want any affection or support or him being actually present, as he was, well, otherwise occupied. And the cold-hearted robot of a mom who was always there seemed to take pleasure in my emotional suffering. Oh you are getting good grades? “You aren’t as smart as you think” Oh, you made friends? “They will all leave you in the end” Oh, you are dating someone new “men in our family leave us”. Oh you broke up? “Men don’t like what you do”

Dealing with that shit. Dealing. With. That. Shit.

Restrictions. This shit builds complex, hard to break restriction in your mind. Walls that filter our any other messages. Silence the teachers, the friends, and more importantly the inner voice – that’s your parents ya’ll. That’s what counts as you “hear” – restrictions. There might be others telling you they like you, love you, appreciate you, but all you can hear is “you are not good enough. No one loves you. Stop trying”.

In fact, there’s a voice you hear if you go against their damage.

Let’s break that down. Voice. Their damage. It is their voice, about their damage. It is not a rando in a bar telling you their life story, it is a key figure in your life telling you their life story for years, decades. It is about them reflecting their shit on you; their experiences resulted in their shit – clearly you should expect the same experiences and therefore the same shit.  

What that does: Restrictions. It is in your head, your mind.

What you need to do: Question that shit. Question the shit out of that shit.

If you are like me you were conditioned to certain attributes with certain behaviours. It can be as stereotypical as “you are a girl/woman, you are supposed to, not supposed to xyz”. Or just more creative ways of telling you are not capable of it, and definitely not worth it.

Let’s have a more objective, oh-have-I-grown-up -chat with them …things I should have said…

  • “Stop crying, you are only looking for attention” – my mum to me after my granddad died –> yes, I’m crying, I’m sad. I’m fucking sad, and I’m fucking allowed to be. Hug me for fucks sake
  • “You are not as smart as you think” – my mum to me after I got first place in class  –> I see you hate my dad for whatever reason. Yes, I share some traits with him, one being pretty damn smart. That also means knowing when I’m not smart enough, and when I can kick a 4th grader in the ass. I am smart, I know the shit I’m talking about. I know my shit. Shut, the fuck up. Be proud of me
  • “They will all forget about you” – my mum to me with me making new friends in college –> not my damage, mum. It might have been your experience, and it might very well be mine. That’s life. No need to make a “all hate you” – performance about it. I have friends that understand and stand by me, few of them even for years and years. Should they leave me, I’d like you to be there for me
  • “He is too good looking for you” – my mum after seeing a pic of one of my exes –> really mum? I’m not pretty? Smart? Lovely? Not worthy of a good looking person? …the fuck you are a mum for? Ask me if he makes me happy
  • “Men don’t like what you do” – my mum to me when I found out the man I was dating had slept with another woman –> I cry in front of my mum and hope for a question of “what’s wrong”. The silence and coldness that pursued led for my comment “I had to break up with a guy”. Her comment, not a question, “men don’t like what you do” –> would love a hug on my side! …further questions, caring, being on my side no whatever what…acknowledge and support the crying child in front of you, you bitch! Seriously, Really mum? I’m not pretty? Smart? Lovely? …the fuck you are a mum for? Guess I’ll just hit him up for a random hookup and fuck his brains up. Love? Nah. Fuck off.

The hate, the fucked up mental models, and the sense of your own worth is too often tied up with mental models that aren’t yours, mental models that don’t support you going forward.

What you do? You listen. You accept. You build your base on what the fucked up people say. And then you fucking keep building.

What you do as of 10,20, 30, 40, 50 years from that is tell them, at least in your head, to fuck off.

What you aim for is for those 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now is to stand your ground. Be proud of your choices, whether a success with a happy ending or a complete clusterfuck; or a combination of the two. What you aim for is you owning that shit. You owning your actions.

So. Break those mental models and weird as “rules”. Fight the voices in your head that tell you no, cheerlead the voices that tell you yes – fight them all! Here are some examples:

  1. Crying. Cry your fucking eyes out if you want to. Do it! Share your hopes and dreams and vulnerabilities. If you are lucky someone somewhere will bring a bottle of wine and join you on it, the people online certainly will – We’re broken people now……
  2. Friends. Make them, make new, make millions. Reach out, touch, share. You are not alone. We got you – Don’t be creapy though….just. don’t…
  3. Success. Fuck aim for only whatever you need, aim for what you want. Get the money, the title, the reach, the happiness or the enlightment. The Hugo Boss in your feet is fine, you deserved it, paid for, worked for it. Don’t apolize for it.

Step 4 that should be1. Not the Hugo Boss, but the not apolozing for it. Free your mind, free yourself. Don’t let other people’s walls keep you out from your happiness.

Fuck other’s perfect – If you want to benchmark someone’s life, benchmark yours.

Feeling like you or your life is not matching up? Like it’s missing something? Like you are not as good as others? Not as fit? Not as pretty? Not as funny? Not as smart? Not as wealthy? Not as put together? Like your life is not as good as others’?

Fuck them.

People posting pretty pics on insta. Sharing stories on snapchat. Being all perky and perfect on tiktok. Being smart on twitter.

Fuck that.

It’s not them. It’s not their life. It’s a million times edited, tried out, planned version of them. It’s perfected. Or. Maybe it is their authentic self, just a lucky shot, a thought or video clip. Maybe. Maybe they are the 1 in a million who have their shit together, whose life is perfect. Maybe. The odds are they are not. There’s photoshop, apps,, and empty storytelling. There’s the image and there’s the reality behind it.

So. Focus on your bubble, your reality, your life, you. Think about you and your mind in your bubble. Do you.  You do you. You be you. Your reality, your possibilities, your challenges. You set your self to be better. Better you. Not others, don’t better others, better you. Others don’t know where you are coming from, what you are battling, what you want and why. Others don’t know. Others don’t matter.

You do you. You.

You do you. You.

Life inventory – take stock! We’re not where we started from

Stopping. The world stopping. Your head stopping. That’s heaven – part of it at least for me. I’ve spent my life running – not literally running, I’d be in a better shape if I had been, but figuratively running, running away from things and franticly running towards something. I’ve moved across continents to escape my problems and issues – but those fuckers don’t need a plane ticket or google maps to find you, they’ll ride along anyways. I’ve killed myself at work chasing deadlines, “unrealistic” goals, and a title I thought I needed – at the expense of a burnout a few years ago. I’ve been running. Not stopping. Not breathing. Not enjoying. Running.

I’ve been running away from my issues (got plenty of them, you’re smart, I’m sure you’ve gathered that already), trying to climb that career ladder (because validation), and dealing with anxiety, depression, and sooooooooooooooo many issues, so, so many issues. But hey, got a fancy title! I’m a global head of my function in a multinational organization as of last year. Like giving me global responsibility of anything is a great idea… Anyways! I started therapy a few years ago to deal with the forementioned issues, and I have come a long way. But I do still have fun chats with my therapist where I tell her what I’ve done and what I’m about to do and just see her shaking her head in her mind. Her words say “oh of course, I understand”, her eyebrows say “the fuck…again…haven’t we talked about this” and the voices in her head are probably screaming, SCREAMING; “the fuck’s a matter with you!”. …man, it must be tough to be a therapist. At least when I see an idiot at my work I can call them an idiot…

Anyways. Back to the original point. Life inventory. I have come a long way. Partly because of all the running. I did climb that career ladder. But also because of the therapy. I have worked a lot on my head – the harmful mental models, the unhealthy coping mechanisms, the self-sabotaging and the negative voices in my head. They are not gone, but I acknowledge they are there. I’m at a place where I’m living with my damage, still dealing with it and healing from it, but no longer neglecting it or denying it. I’m in a place where I see my life more clearly – what happened and how it impacted me, my behaviours, and my choices. I am in that place where I can stop for a moment, look around, and choose where to go next.

It’s a nice place to stop. A good place to take a breather. Also thanks to COVID – I don’t have my normal excuse of travelling so much for work that I can’t focus on my life. I’ve been able to stop. Breathe. Think. I feel like I’ve just climbed a mountain and I’m sitting at the top of it looking around. I wanted to stop there. I needed to stop there. I wanted to take a moment and see where I’m at, where I came from. I wanted to figure out what’s next.

Interestingly – I picked up a pen and my note pad. I started to write down what defined me – who I’ve always seen myself as. And that was easy. I could easily fill that paper with bullet points of how, and what, had defined me so far:

  • Daughter of an alcoholic father and an emotionally abusive mother
  • Best in class in school
  • Depression, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety
  • Overachiever at work
  • Burnout
  • Always smiling and charming as hell
  • Never felt like I belong anywhere
  • Proud of my capabilities – I’m determined, smart, and resourceful
  • Perfectionist, stoic, afraid to ask for help
  • Poor, barely getting by
  • A chameleon – I will adapt to whatever people or situation I’m dealing with and charm my way through
  • A mental mess – I will open my apartment door with my key, close it, and fall to my knees hysterically crying
  • …All that, and so much more, coupled with a nice selection of unhealthy coping mechanisms!

I do feel like I’m at the point of my life where I can, I should, leave all that behind, use this moment for figuring out what I want to carry forward – where am I headed next, what I want with me, and who I am going forward as. I was trying to write that down – what defines me now. I got stuck. Stuck! I couldn’t write a single thing down. While I can easily write down what I’ve been and where I’m coming from, I cannot define where I’m now or where I’m headed. I don’t know. I started crying. …I do cry a lot… surprisingly a lot…anyone who knows me would be shocked. Back to my point; I wanted to start doing everything else but writing. It took me a good hour or so to pick up that pen and start writing down who I am today. It was easier to live in the cloak of the former me, not easy to open it, break it, step away from it, leave it behind. What I am today, is not what I was before.


  • I can ask for help – I have plenty of amazing friends who know my struggles and support me, and a therapist who is getting way too comfortable with calling me out on my bullshit
  • I’m not a vulnerable kid anymore – I don’t have to rely on fucked up people to choose for me, I can make my own fucked up decisions, and own them
  • I don’t have to rely on others for money or food or other things – I make enough money to buy things I need and don’t need (my credit card agrees)
  • I don’t have to prove myself at work – got that fancy title that tells people I must know what I’m talking about (works out great in theory….in reality; mixed results)

Looking forward to discussing this particular gem of self-reflection with my therapist and hearing her words say “that’s great! I’m so proud of you” …and seeing her eyebrows say “…….duh…….”. Maybe the voices in her head will go with “there’s hope for this one yet”. And maybe there is?