In many of my earlier posts I have made reference multiple times to the Gremlin in my head. Well, meet the Gremlin. I didn’t draw this but it’s pretty close to the way I picture him. I wish I could capture his voice for you. It’s eerily familiar. It’s soft and low, yet has a screechy quality to it. When it laughs, it has a maniacal cackle that just ripples with derision, delight, and desecration.
I guess most people would picture that whole angel/devil on the shoulder bit. Same idea roughly but this little dude doesn’t poof away when I make a good choice. He keeps whispering that I’ll just mess that up too. I’ve had the Gremlin my whole life and from what I’ve seen, everyone has one to some extent or another. I’ve just chosen to personify mine more than most people. To be perfectly blunt, it makes it easier to deal with the little bastard.
No, I am not on any meds and I am not schizophrenic. To simplify, I use the image of the Gremlin to come to grips with my own self-doubts and self-punishments. The Gremlin is that nasty, little voice that says things like “You’re fat” and “You’re a screw-up” and basically questions every move I make. I take a new job. The Gremlin says, “You can’t handle it.” I’m doing well at the new job. The Gremlin says, “You’re screwing it all up and they will fire you sooner or later.” I meet somebody and the Gremlin says, “You aren’t good enough for him” or “He’s soooooo out of your league, loser!”
This same Gremlin talks about other people too. My ex is a favorite topic lately. “He’s trying to screw you over stupid,” whispers the Gremlin and I will fly off the handle over something minor. I will get my Irish up & get stubborn only to figure out later it was over something that was no big deal and now I look like a psycho bitch from hell. The Gremlin finds that hilarious.
The Gremlin used to have free reign in my head and he weaseled his way into every thought I had. I reacted to every situation instead of responding to it with a clear mind and heart. Through learning to recognize his voice and his motives, I’ve managed to lock him into a little cage that he doesn’t like very much. It isn’t soundproof so he’s still chattering but it’s easier to ignore him now.
If it weren’t for the grace of God, I’d still be listening to his cruel commentaries. I once asked my therapist, “How do I deal with this crazy little voice telling me I’m such a screw-up?” His answer was so simple, “You need to find another voice.” I started asking God to let me hear His voice and to shout down the Gremlin for me. God doesn’t work that way. He won’t shout down the Gremlin, but He whispers lovingly to my heart, while the Gremlin stays locked up in the cage in my mind screaming in rage. More and more I’m learning that anything nasty I think about myself or someone else is probably coming from the Gremlin. I’m learning to ask myself why I’m thinking this way. Am I reacting to something other than what is really there in front of me? And when I need help with the answer, I try to remember to go to God first. Keyword – TRY.
I mean, honestly, would you want to trust the Gremlin for advice? Scary how often I did listen to him. The best advice I’ve gotten so far came at a Healing Mass with Fr. Roy. He said, “You know that voice, not God’s voice, but that other little guy? Yeah, you tell that little guy to go straight to Hell.”