Joni L.

The Committee   5/1

My Committee consists of my Mother & Brother. I have been aware of them for a very long time.  Their voices rear up in my head .  My mother:  ‘Why are you doing this anyway?  Don’t you think you are doing OK just the way you are?   Oh girls don’t do that (this is a very old one that I have gotten basically over but it still pops up every once in a while)  Shouldn’t you be getting something else done. ‘

My Brother:  ‘You can do this if you want, but its not really as important as what I do.  Seems so elementary, anyone could do it.’  It can be a constant barrage of you are not that good enough or you shouldn’t put yourself first or just plain doubt.  When I first came to NYC after grad school, started a business where I did painted fabric for theatrical costumes and was doing very well & making a name for myself, my brother asked “if I was any good at it or was I just the only one who does it?’

Sometimes my mother & brother are interchangeable.  Sometimes they meld together & become one voice. 

I have gotten pretty good at noticing when it is them inside my head. And telling them to shut up or at least get their voices down to a whisper.

But in thinking about this assignment I have discovered that

sometimes I find that my committee disguises themselves in other people. For instance, communication with a colleague at work has not been as good as it had been.  I am her superior, but sometimes it does not feel that way. I feel inferior, while I know that I am not.  I often find myself renting too much space in my head thinking about her & situations.  I have noticed that when I am renting space in my brain, having mental arguments with this person, I am actually arguing with my mother/brother committee.  This revelation left me smiling, imagining my colleague with a beard like my brother in which she looked ridiculous.  Things have gotten better again.

My husband sits on my committee at times, but he is in the positive seat on the other side of the table, except when he sounds like my brother.

My Committee can get especially loud when I am on Facebook when I see others’ work that I compare mine to and just now I saw a fiber show that I could have been in but knew nothing about even tho I am a member of that group and guild.  Or if I get the courage up to post my work and only a few people ‘like’ it.  (I love/hate FB.)

I have been successful in getting my committee to be quiet, and I can accomplish a lot.  But when I accomplish things, my committee will then shout out “do you really deserve this?” And it can take a long time to get that out of my brain and get them to be quiet again. 

I want them off my committee, not just quiet.  I want a committee, if I have to have a committee, to be made of positive comments.  Does one even need a committee?  Maybe they could just move to the other side of the table.

In the last 4 years my mother & my brother both have past away.  They have faded a bit and I have replaced some of their negative aspects with more positive thoughts when I think of them Hope they will be off the committee soon.