I am a pretty judgmental person. I do not discriminate in my judging–I judge everyone freely, harshly. I do it without thinking, without wanting to. I do it without waiting for my own permission. I hate it.

I learned how to judge others from my mother, who was swift and cutting. She watched me constantly for any indiscretion, and made them up when there were none. I was judged and punished for any infraction, big or small, and the rules were always changing. I recently related to my therapist how she became irate at me when I cut the brownies in an unacceptable way when I was maybe 8 or 9. I mean, who cares? Brownies are objectively delicious at any size or shape. They weren’t for a party or to give away–they were just for our family. If they were too big, why couldn’t she have cut them smaller? If they were too small, just give out two. If she wanted it done her way, she should have just done it herself.

I learned from my mother to be critical of everything. And then, I went into a profession (music–performing, specifically) that begged for criticism. Competitions and auditions, constant juries in front of an adjudicating panel. And later, peer evaluations, CD critiques, concert reviews. It is hard for me to accept that most things can be–and maybe even are–just OK.

It is hard for me not to evaluate everything that I see around me. Things aren’t done fast enough, carefully enough, precisely enough, good enough. If it’s not done my way, it’s wrong. If people aren’t productive enough, strong enough, capable enough, I find them weak. It’s not hard to see how I found my way into an eating disorder. Even now, when I’m not active enough or when I don’t think I deserve the amount of food I ate, I struggle with this black-and-white thinking.

Most of the time, I hold my tongue. It is not as easy to hold my thoughts. They are harshest to me. Day 33.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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