There is a Bully in my Head

March 7, 2018 jennyrain

There is a Bully in my Head

Photo courtesy of Anna Magal: Creative Commons

There is a bully in my head and she is mean. 

She taunts me with things left undone and reminds me that in every area of my life, I need to be doing more, or I need to be more. The bully’s internal voice pokes at the extra layer of weight on my hips, shows me the long list of to-dos I failed to complete, and reminds me of the wake of failed relationships in my past.

Her merry-go-round of verbal attacks are a constant drone that hovers over my days.

The rat-tat-tat-tat of her voice awakens me out of a deep sleep. She carves divots into my grey matter that redirect thought impulses to the conclusion that whatever I do, whoever I am is…

  • Not good enough
  • Not strong enough
  • Not capable enough
  • Not enough

My bully is a liar, but sometimes I still believe her.

Her nagging presence often appears more real than the truth I see with my own eyes, hear with my own ears, and touch with my own fingers. She has made me believe in a transcendent reality that exists beyond my senses—a reality that she controls, so that she can control my responses.

The few times in my life I’ve been able to evict the bully from my thoughts, she appears in the voices of people who stream through my life like a hurricane, leaving a path of verbal destruction behind when they leave.

Her words are reinforced by messages I’m saturated with daily like…

  • The religious fundamental zealots
  • Our current president
  • The sensationalized media (both conservative and liberal)

My bully is a crazy lady, so a few years back I decided to name her Mabel.

Somehow naming her helped blow the puff out of her verbal sails. It identifies her as a clanging bell. A cymbal ringing in my ear. Naming her is making her start to deflate.

I can tell Mabel to “tuck in” when I catch her caterwauling and piping up. When she shows up in other people, I ask if I can “name their Mabel” too (if they don’t agree, I still find a name).

Mabel still demands residence in my head. She escapes eviction by digging her claws into my grey matter and refusing to let go.

But somehow knowing where a bully resides gives you power over them. Choosing an identity for your bully gives you a sort of divine naming power.

I can choose to erase Mabel when she becomes inconvenient, too loud, or overbearing.

Who is your Mabel and what do you do when she or he or they show up?







I break things and trip a lot. I like to chase things like dreams, goals, ideas, and raindrops. I create things with words. Writing has been an outlet since I first discovered the magic empty space of a journal. Words dance around in my brain and often land amidst scraps of paper, find their way into journals, or etch themselves into blinking pixels. I hope my words fall like rain on tender souls in need of refreshing. Finding photos in random moments helps me share stories. During a trip to Africa the perfect trifecta of my first DSLR, mission trip, and dream-location happened and my love of photography became a reality. I'm currently writing my first book, "Will They Laugh if I Call You Daddy: Growing up with 2 Dads in an Evangelical World," I'm a board member for One Million Kids, and I believe that every kid of an LGBT parent should have an opportunity to #ChangeTheConversation with their story. My bio remains in process because I am.