My ego was developed quite early. She came in on the defense, occasionally switching to offense when required. A lifetime of trauma induced triggers allowed her to flourish with ease and without parameters. This is what she was built for, to step in when attacked. But to also break me down when I got too big for her comfort. An audio sound track on repeat letting me know I wasn’t good enough to be more than what was deemed necessary.
Here’s the thing that is infuriating about this beautiful ego that was built to protect; it destroys as well. A toxic relationship at it’s finest, and one we rarely realize we’re in. Not only are we deeply in bed and intimate with our ego, feeding it strawberries hand to mouth, but she beats us afterwards for eating. I call her the narcissistic jerkface roommate that has no place in my life other than to fluff my hair.
Her name is Fran. And she overstayed her welcome too many times to be let back in. The incessant mosquito while sleeping. I laid in wait for years with my fly swatter. Practicing my swing until the time was right.
Fran was going down.
As a child of the 80’s (maybe you can relate), I wasn’t taught how to properly feel my way through life. I was a child meant to be seen, not heard. I was too dramatic, too emotional, and later on in life, told I was too cold, and alternatively too intense. These words, these identities, Fran ate up. She didn’t even use proper cutlery. She just shoved all of that language in her mouth without the slightest care for manners. Fran is a binge eater, feasting on negativity, regurgitating only pain and suffering when I was at my lowest. She could read me like a comic book, point out a trigger and stuff her face with bemusement while I self destructed.
And I did. This is one part of life Fran taught me well in. A bulldozer in the face of self defense. Destruction as a pretense to defending my inner child that was being hurt by someone else. Yet here I was hurting myself more. I don’t like Fran very much, but she’s just trying to protect me … right?
My abuser. My own self. My ego gone rogue.
So I laid in wait. I practiced my swing. I dove into researching the ego. I became a 007 spy of my own mind. Here’s what I learned …
Our ego was built upon the stories of our environment. It’s incessant need to protect us, to guide us, is to enable the only measurement of our self worth as equitable fortune. Or lack thereof.
So I got straight with my own equity. My identity can only be determined by defining the momentary relapse of a roque ego. Fran is obnoxious at best and understanding her was my only way to swat her like the mosquito she proved herself to be.
I started to talk back. When she tried to keep me in my place, I literally spoke out loud and told her to shove it. When she reminded me of the awful things that ‘so-and-so’ had said 11 years ago, I reminded her that I was the only one who can determine my worth and I choose to believe I’m worthy.
There was a time when she was the parent to my thoughts. Fran was in control, and I was just a child, fearful of the exchange if I didn’t listen. She created labels, she created refuge, she created a space to wallow with comfort. She regulated my identity with the thoughts my parents, peers and society implemented. And truth be told, my parents, my peers and my society are a mess.
So who do I turn to when in need of defense? Who do I turn to when in need of a boost? Who do I turn to when I’m in an argument or conflict and feel unheard?
I turn to my ability of mindfulness. I turn to compassion for myself and my peers. I step out of my patterned ego and realize that her defense is my self destruction. I forgive myself. I release myself of the narrative. And I meet myself with love in the moment.
Fran is cool, but she needed to know her place. Her place is to remind me of where I came from. And my place is to tell her where I’m going despite where I’ve been.
So I sent my self-worth to school. I got a good tutor called mindfulness, I listened to her through meditation. I moved with her through yogic breathing and super hero posing. And then introduced her to my ego.
We’re still working out the kinks. Sometimes Fran goes on a power trip and needs to be checked. But for the most part, she listens. She respects the process.
And when she doesn’t …. The fly swatter comes out.
Written by: Lea Morrison