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The Voice of Self-Condemnation: Mental Arguments and The Encroaching Chokehold of Small Town Opinions

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J.S. Park

 

I often imagine what other people say about what I’m doing and it’s always the people who don’t really like me. I mentally argue with them until I’ve finally proven I’m not who I used to be.  I’ll spend hours inside my own head explaining my side of the story and why you need to know I’m not a bad guy and that I’m sorry for the person I was before.

Seriously.  Hours.  I can’t seem to do a single good thing without the strangling voice of condemnation cutting into my head.  It squeezes the value of any good I could do.  Even when I win the argument in my angry fantasies, I’m not at peace; I’m more mad than when I started.  It’s terribly exhausting.

When someone aims a harmless joke at me, I repeat that phrase in my head over and over, rotating it like a dirty…

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