There’s a phenomenon called “internalized oppression”, defined thus: “The process by which a member of an oppressed group comes to accept and live out the inaccurate myths and stereotypes applied to the group.” from urbandictionary.com.
Unless you grew up on the moon, you absorbed various negative stereotypes about various kinds and groups of people – including people with disabilities or with chronic illness. Internalized Oppression is when you turn those negative judgments against yourself.
In general, your Internal Oppressor is going to reflect cultural attitudes that people who are not “fully able” are somehow less than. All you have to do is look at how we (as a culture) treat folks who live in nursing homes, who use wheel chairs, or who can’t see or hear. But this ain’t about “we”. It’s about YOU.
To get a taste of your self-trash-talk, carefully notice the stories you tell yourself the next time you run into someone “worse off” than you – say at the doctor’s office, or at work.
Because whatever you’re telling yourself about “them” to elevate yourself above them (“I’m not like that!”), is quite likely a version you’re telling yourself about yourself – and it’s something about being “less than” everyone else. And I’m guessing that if you’re sending those messages to yourself subconsciously, it’s contributing to some kind of self-sabotage.
Maybe you’re not advocating for yourself? Maybe you’ve slipped into fear, anxiety and/or depression? Maybe you’re giving up on fighting for something that matters? That job you want? That sexy single colleague or neighbor?
If this sounds familiar, consider starting with the stories you make up about others. See if you’re repeating a version of them to yourself about yourself.
Think up a new story that is TRUE about you. Repeat… ~Z