Instinct vs Instinct

(Content Warning – more of me musing on my mental health which is pretty poor right now)

I’ve mentioned before my struggling with the way Laura Richards signs off from Real Crime Profile, her sign off is ‘Always trust your instincts’ and I’ve written before about how I was taught not to trust my instincts, both explicitly and not explicitly. Socialised out of it as all women are, except that’s not the only thing that’s going on here.

Therapy has been talking about dealing with your inner critic this week. I already got on top of that a while back, RuPaul’s Drag race is honestly very very good for watching between therapy. My inner voice is buoyed by the Jellicle Cat, M-i-L and just the whole happiness of last year. I very rarely think that I am worthless or acting on some evil instincts hidden in my subconscious – that would be how I spent my teen years and several sections of my twenties.

However, no one bothered to mention to me that the voices inside my head (I use this mostly descriptively I’m not trying for a DID/Schizophrenia diagnosis) were not all my instincts. A long time ago I named them all, there were five of them, The Jellicle laughingly told me that I mapped very well onto Freudian theories (Ego, Id, Super-Ego, plus two more divisions I forget). Actually, I’m not an argument that Freud was correct, those five voices map much better onto myself and my problems. Traumatised child and ASD were the prominent ones, ADHD is right in there as well and then the two sides of what feels like my actual self in some vague manner separated from the diagnoses are in there too.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been very deliberately and methodically fucking up the delicate balance that has previously worked in the name of my mental health. Or that I’ve been consistently told that all of the voices are wrong. Which instinct is correct and which wrong? Of course none of these are my instincts they’re learned behaviours based in my own experiences and my slightly skewed (in the sense that neurodivergence and neurotypicality are both skewed just in different ways) perspectives on the world around me.

I’ve been getting better at trusting my instincts, and figuring out what they actually are – hence my growing realisation that I can recognise certain abusers. I have blind spots of course, not as many as you might think, but still. I’ve been talking on twitter lately about self-diagnosis for autism and ADHD. The thing is, self-diagnosis is valid to a point, it helps you work out what might be going on in your head, where you start needing a professional is to help you untangle what bits are what, because different treatments do different things, for pertinent example assuming something motivated by ASD is motivated by Anxiety. Of course tht’s not strictly speaking pertinent, as that was down to professional (likely) misdiagnosis.

So ok, my instincts are pretty good, my trauma responses are the ones I should be suspicious of and question. And I’d say that the inner critic is built up by trauma, in my case backed by professionals trying to be helpful and really not succeeding in that endeavour.
Therapy doesn’t just tear your skin off it makes you analyse which bits of yourself are in bits and then gets your hands in there so you don’t reform willy-nilly.

I hate it.

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