This weeks version of ‘In an Alternate Universe There’s a Happy Version of Me Somewhere’ comes the story about one of our community users (David H.) and the fear of artistic expression. It’s a story about repression and positive/negative reinforcement and how it set the tone for his life or lack there of.
When I was little, once a month, my older siblings and I would gather in the basement and have a contest night. These nights would always involve drawing and singing and everyone would be a judge. At the end, someone was always declared a winner and that was never me.
My siblings themselves, by all conventional standards, were terrible singers and drawers too. However, they always liked to point out that I was especially awful at both disciplines which made me feel judged, inferior, unloved, and worthless.
These were the ways I was expressing myself and I was being told that my expression wasn’t a good expression. So I did the only thing a little kid could think of and that was to never be put into that position again.
I didn’t want to share anything for fear of being ridiculed. I stopped drawing and singing because I didn’t realize that practice makes you better. And what was the point if that’s how my family was going to treat me. I just wanted to feel safe and the safest thing I could think of was to bottle it all up, to never see the light again.
This evolved into never putting myself out there as I got older. In relationships, at work, I would never speak up. I didn’t want to be unloved or judged. I’d just go along with things and I’d never take chances. It’s taken a long time to get to where I am now. To see that I need to start taking chances and that doing the things that I love or loved is my way of breaking out of what has become a very mundane life.
The drawing I made is of me as if I were still a teenager and belting out a song like I didn’t care if anyone in the whole entire universe was watching. And my eyes were closed and I was feeling every second of it all. Good or bad voice, it didn’t matter. I was happy doing what I loved to do.
We’d like to thank David H. for his story which probably resonates with many other of our community members or new guests to this website. And now for the big reveal. We hope you enjoy David’s drawing as much as we did.
Belt it Out by David H.
If you or a loved one you know battles with Low Self Esteem, or Mental Health Issues, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.