Friday, 17 April 2009

Do Not Believe The Hype.

All my life, I have had this overwhelming sense of stupidity. Lingering self-doubt has plagued me right back to my earliest childhood memories. My father had a profound impact on my confidence, my self-worth, indeed, he instilled in me that I was not very intelligent. As an all too impressionable youngster, I believed he must be right.
All my life, I have mostly lived in fear. Fear of being involved, fear of letting people down, fear of being loved. Based on such childhood trauma, I have always waited for the day when the new group of people in my life, would come to the realisation that I was an incompetent fool. Why oh why would smart people want to be involved with a stupid person like me? This imposter lived in a state of intense anxiety, waiting for that dreaded day when I would be caught out.
When people become familiar with me, to avoid those awkward moments of revealing the truly stupid person that lurks within, I go back, once more, into my self-imposed reclusive state. This cycle of becoming involved, becoming scared and going back under the duvet, has happened too many times. The cycle must be broken. The pattern of the inevitable must finally be addressed.
In recent times, I have been involved with a mental health charity. With my own fragile confidence, it took a tremendous amount of inner courage to try and interact with folks who I hoped needed me as much as I needed them. Yet somehow, as much as I tried, I did not feel that my contributions, my sincere empathy was being recognised. I so much wanted to be a part of something, to be empowered. I started thinking: "Maybe my involvement is not worthy of acknowledgement. Guess they have worked out how stupid I am." Bizarre thinking, I realise, but I became disillusioned. Time to go back to my world for another rethink.
The positive aspect to this has been that each time I have started over, I have become that little bit stronger. Instead of giving up, I have kept myself busy working out new ways to become involved. I am determined, once and for all, to break the cycle of despair. I visualise the new dawning of my life, will be wondrous and enriching. It will be so.
The negative hype created by my father, that I was so convinced was true, will soon be laid to rest. The negative hype that talks to me will be silenced. I know that those who saw my insecurity as license to exploit my frailties; will never again have the opportunity to devalue my humanity. They will never again take advantage of my good intentions. Do not believe the hype, it is time to understand, that like you, I have validity and those who would undermine our worth, will never again be given permission to erode our right to a happy life.
Through my new found transparency, I begin to see that little bit clearer.


  1. How wonderful to see you fighting back! You sound an amazing person.

  2. This is an excellent post Gary. Your self-evaluation and transparency send a message that is courageous and encouraging. You always have a wonderful way of giving positive thoughts and affirmations to others.
    Your kindness in sharing has helped to undo the many lies we’ve been expected to believe about ourselves. The years teach us not to question the lies, but continue the ‘self-talk’ that re-enforces those lies within us. The word, ‘stupid’ in no way includes you. A ‘stupid person’ could not understand this post, much less compose it. “Don’t believe the hype.”
    Breaking the loop becomes the goal. I offer you what’s known as the doubting disease; that’s what obsessions are; a SINGLE DOUBT caught in an endless loop of thoughts.”
    I am not alone in thinking that your intelligence and wisdom have often made my life a better place of understanding; a more truthful, and thus more rewarding arena for recovery. Thank you for sharing this post, with its various complexities.
    In peace and love, Dixie

  3. Childhood experiences often create problems for us later in life. Your ability to 'settle' your fears within yourself is a testament to your strength, Gary.

    I've always found you very wise in thought and word. You've suffered, and yet you've stood firm in believing there's something brighter on the horizon. That shows your tenacity and abundant will to survive in an often difficult world.

    My hat's off to you, my friend...with great respect towards your work and inner strength.

    Stay strong,

  4. Did your dad know mine Gary?

    I grew up thinking my name was "Can't you do anything right?" The impact a parent can have on a child is incredibly profound. I spent years thinking just as you.

    In the time we have interacted, I would say that most of you has learned not believe this crap. It is, by the way, not true. Still the habitual thinking we have learned throughout our lives still likes to keep repeating the same cycle.

    Even though this hurts us, it is a hurt that we have become accustomed to and shaking it off is not easy. I think that some of it is a fear that if we release it, and we find that it is true, we would have to start the pain all over again.

    Remember that you can leave this all in the past. You are not the same person you were yesterday, let alone when you were a child. You can choose a different path.

    I have reconciled with my father somewhat in the last couple years. I was estranged for nearly 30 years. Recently I asked him about his childhood and discovered that he learned to be critical from his father who was also an alcoholic. He had never spoken of this before.

    Forgiveness is easier knowing that poor parenting is normally a multi-generational problem. I just hope I haven't damaged my boys like this. So far so good on that front.

    Remember also that when you are helping others who are at a low point in their life that you may never see the impact you are having. What you must understand that the empathetic ear you give is a gift beyond value. You may just have time to plant a seed of hope but what a person does with that is up to them.

    Believe in yourself and know that there are others who do as well.

    Namaste my friend,

  5. Dear Carole,
    Thank you very much for your encouraging comment.
    I continue to maintain a positive focus. No matter what life throws at us, I know that inner strength and resilience can see us through the darkest of times. I battle to suppress the 'hype' that I know tells me lies.
    Thanks Carole. Your positive interaction is much apppreciated.
    Peaceful regards, Gary.

  6. Dear Dixie,
    Thank you for such a kind, warm response.
    I firmly believe that empathy and being here for each other is a vital key in understanding that we are all worthy of being recognised for the decent people we are.
    Although, 'breaking the loop' has been an ongoing struggle for me; I have come to the realisation that negative influences, such as my Dad's rather sad attitude towards me, are to be contested. I know, just like you, that we are better than those who would have the audacity to undermine us.
    Dixie, thanks for being here and your reassurance is a gift I cherish.
    In peace and love, Gary.

  7. Dear Mattie,
    Thank you so much for your thought provoking response.
    At such a tender age, it is amazing how much the reactions of someone we consider must be right, has on our own attitude towards life and how we approach it.
    If we are praised and encouraged, we most likely will grow up as confident adults. However, if we are subjected to negativity that erodes our self esteem; that can have devastating consequences on ability to social network.
    Thanks to kind people like you Mattie, I shall remain resilient and continue to grow in strength.
    Thanks Mattie, total respect to you. I send you positive wishes. Keep smiling, Gary.

  8. Dear Roger,
    Thank you kindly for your well thought out, articulate response to my blog.
    Indeed, I know that my 'inner critic' lies to me. But like you say, a parent can have a profound impact on a child. Being so young and so fragile, it was my conclusion then, that what was conveyed to me, must be true. Adults know all and are wise. Well that is what I thought. So if I was labelled stupid, then stupid I would be.
    I have tried to move on from such a negative influence. Trying to convince myself that the pain of being considered worthless was not really true. I shall endeavour to be strong and embrace positivity.
    I have tried to reconcile with my Dad, to try and work through why he was that way to me. I never got the answers to my questions. I have to accept that.
    Sad really, I would have liked him to have got to know his Grandson. My Dad saw my son once when he was about three weeks old. My son is now twenty.
    Thank you Roger for being here and such an important part in this positive interaction. I send you peaceful blessings, Gary.

  9. Overcoming your fears and realizing your own self-worth is one more testament of what the human spirit can do. It is awesome that you are able to rise above your past personal problems to become what you are now: a person of strength. Bless you and your work...

    Thanks for visiting my site. I am just curious, what does Klahanie means? pardon my innocence.

  10. Dear Gary,
    Believe me, stupid is something you are not. Anyone who can write as you do, often with wit and wisdom, cannot be a stupid human being. Maybe it was your Dad who was a bit on the slow side, not to recognise such a warm, articulate, giving individual as you are.
    Indeed, me amd my Dad have been through some hectic stuff what with my own illness and all. There was a time when I believed that he actually thought of me as a "bad" person, which no doubt took its toll on my own mental health. It is only now, that I think more clearly, that these feelings can be put behind me and I realise that my Dad does, in fact, in his own way, care very much about me.
    So, perhaps, don't get dragged down by the negativity of all your Dad's stuff, because after all it is/was obviously him who had/has the problem.
    One thing I do kinow is is that you remain a positive influence on all who read your blog and I hope, one day, you will get all the happiness youn truly deserve.
    Yours With Very Best Wishes,

  11. Dear Jun,
    Thank you very much for your comment.
    In the face of adversity, I do believe we can find the inner resilience that tells us that, despite any negative hype, we can understand that our self-worth is to be cherished and nurtured.
    I greatly appreciate your positive interaction, Jun. It was my pleasure to check out your site.
    'Klahanie' is a word from the Chinook tribe who are located on the Pacific Northwest of North America. The word 'klahanie' is generally considered to mean: 'the great outdoors'.
    Positive, peaceful wishes your way, Jun. Kind regards, Gary

  12. Dear David,
    Thanks for such an encouraging comment, David.
    I know that we can be so impressionable in our childhood. It can have consequences that mould our personality. Yet a negative mould can be broken and reshaped into a positive aspect.
    Like you, my friend, I think more clearly about past events. I realise that my Father may have had issues and used me as a target to deflect his own insecurities.
    There has been a most positive result from all of this. As a single Father, I have tried to raise my son with the knowledge that I respect him and praise him for his accomplishments.
    So, instead of letting a negative past overwhelm and control me; I have embraced positive possibilities.
    Thanks again, David, for your continued positive interaction. Helping each other, we help ourselves. Warm wishes, Gary

  13. Reading your blog and the comments on it so reflect my early life - my ex-husband once said that he was frightened that when he first meet me that I might have been more intelligent than him. But by the time he had finished, I had no confidence whatsoever. However the first thing I did do was re-take a MENSA test and go to the invigilated exam as ex-husband ripped the invite I got to a previous exam. I passed and kept membership for a while until MENSA's infighting put me off renewing it again. My dad too is out of my life - a decision he partly took when he last saw my son at age 4 and my son is nearly 12. I shut the door on this, three years ago, as I could no longer think of positive ways to explain my dad's absence to my son, despite me regularly asking if we could see him up until then. Well done on re-thinking and re-wording your life. I've learnt that often the names we are called show the fears that the name-caller has about themeselves, xx

  14. Dear jewel,
    Thank you kindly for your comment which clearly demonstrates that our blogs can also highlight the power of empathy and positive interaction.
    You have raised an interesting point. The perpetrators who would undermine us with negative comments, may well indeed be using us as ways of covering up their own insecurites.
    Thanks for your reflections. I wish you well in your ongoing positive journey. Stay strong.
    Warm wishes, Gary

  15. Based on the what you're feeling on this post, I suggest you write a memoir - it's very rewarding. Take a memoir workshop and you'll know what I mean. Also get the book LIVING TO TELL THE TALE by ____.

  16. Hi 'Chowjobs',
    Thanks for visiting my blog. It is very much appreciated.
    It has been suggested to me before that I should consider writing my memoirs.
    I thank you for also suggesting it. Perhaps, at a later time, I may get around to it. However, there are many tales through my blog archives that are actually memoirs.
    Kind wishes and thanks again, Gary


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.