These are some of my craziest thinks.
That I’ve never shared.
And you might not want to read them.
And that is okay.

And if you do.
You might want to feel sorry for me.
Or you might want to feel judgy.
Comment if you think it will be something helpful.
I make no promises to post them.


How do you tell someone something you knew they’d never understand?

(Loosely taken from Déjà vu– ah.  Denzel.)

Explaining my descent into Madness.
Why I can’t take compliments or read reviews.

I realized, early this morning.
During my emotional break down.
That I have not, very well, articulated myself.
To this point.
About what I call my madness.
My anxiety.
As I started writing this.
I realized.
Mini schizophrenia.
If I can use that?
I can’t.
Because it’s not.

Because I have voices.
And this post.
Will attempt to introduce you.
To the key ones.
And illustrate for you.
What I deal with.
This body.
This body that does not fit.

Last night was opening night.
And Little Self, Façade Self, Higher Self, and Wounded Self were all there.
Little Self.
Lives in the basement.
She is little me.
And she wants to be assured.
Façade Self is the one everyone meets.
Who appears to be together and relatively not broken.
Higher Self keeps me from committing suicide.
Because the word of Higher Self.
Is that even when Broken Self says I have no purpose.
Except to occupy ugly space in the world.
Higher Self will whisper.

“There is a plan for everyone.”

And wounded self.
Who talks most loudly.
And while your talking.

So let’s break down a few things that happened last night.
So you can put down my madness for a minute.

I screwed up a part.
And it broke my heart.

In the moments I was screwing up.
Wounded self was loud.
“You are TERRRIBLE.”
And wounded self likes to translate what others are thinking and feeling.
“They hate you.”
“Everyone is so disappointed right now.”

And my little self whispers from down stairs.
In a panic.
Oh my gosh.

“Oh yes,” Wounded Self says, “Yes. 
You Do.
You’re horrifying.”

Little Self begins to cry.
And feel constricted by the sad thoughts.

Granted, Façade self is still singing.
Because she’s really good at acting.
Like everything is fine.

Higher Self says nothing.
Wounded self is too loud.

Later, back stage, someone said, “It’s going great.”
Little Self asked, “Really?”
And Wounded Self growled, “That wasn’t to you.  They hate you.  You’re horrific tonight.  Why did they cast you?”
Little Self cries.
Façade Self smiles.

And wounded self does not quiet down for a minute.
“You are horrific.
You can’t sing.
You are so ugly.
And when those people talk to you.
They hate you.”

Little self slams the basement door and sobs on her bed in the basement.
After we wrapped.
With the entire show.
Going like above.

I exit to visit friends.
Wounded self was quiet when I was with Carol.
Because my Little Self understands she actually loves me.
And even if she DID hate the show and think I was horrible.
She still loves me.
And so – she can lie and say it was awesome and it doesn’t matter.
She still loves me.

The strangers.
Who have such kind thinks.
Were killing me.
Drowning in Wounded Self.

“You were great!”  {HORRIBLE.  They hate you.}
“Great job tonight!” {Ugly.  They think you sing and are ugly}
“Stole the show!”  {BIGGEST LIE}
Little Self piped in here and said, “But she held my hand and made eye contact when she said it.  So…?”
{So.  BIGGEST LIE.  She thinks you’re hideous.}
Façade self smiles.
Big and says Thank You.
{Keep saying thank you.  Pretend you accept it.  But know they just think you were horrible.}

Worst is when people use the word Beautiful to describe my voice. {YOU ARE SO FAT.}

And I know what you’re thinking – because I think it too.
Little self does.
What does that have to do with anything?

Do you know what it’s like to be drowning in what you can NEVER be?
What you WILL never be?
Even if a billion people say otherwise?
Painfully lonely.

It’s why I have a hard time taking compliments.
Because they feel heavy.
Jonathan Safran Foer writes about HEAVY BOOTS in Incredibly Close and Extremely Loud.

And when I have my heavy boots on.
I have no room for compliments inside my body.
Nowhere to keep them.
Because Wounded Self is hating.
And Little Self is crying.
And Façade Self is busying smiling and saying thank you.
And Higher Self just knows there is a plan.

And also why I’ll never need to read a review.
Because it’s already been written over and over in my blood stream.
Underneath the skin that I don’t fit in.

“You suck.”
“I know.”
“You’re ugly.”
“I know.”
“You can’t act.”
“I know.”
“You can’t sing.”
“I know.

But.  I tried.”

And to that, Wounded Self says, “Okay.  I’ll give you that.”  {Even though someone else could have done a million times better trying.}

And that folks.
It what I carry inside this skin.
Minute by minute.
Careful with the compliments.
And spare me the reviews. J
Keep up the love.
For every word I try to unwrite from the bloodstream level.
Underneath the skin I don’t fit in.



  1. I don't know whether you can act or sing....but you sure can write. You have an unbelievable ability to make me feel as though I am inside your head. I can hear the voices too, and maybe that is because I have similar voices in my head, although I have not differentiated between them the way you have. Whatever you do, keep writing. This is powerful stuff.

    1. I can take that compliment :).
      Thank you for your kind words.
      And the connection.

  2. Be gentle with yourself. There are many of us hiding in broad daylight.

  3. (((((Jami)))))...so many things I want to say, but I really just want to hug you. As I read this I realized that your wounded self is trying to protect you (in its own twisted way). If you tell yourself those negative things they won't sting as much if a stranger says them. In reality though those strangers aren't thinking those things. However I know I can't convince you of these things if I can't convince my own voices. I have the same ones along with some others. Thank you Jami... for being so brave to post your thoughts for all of us that aren't. We aren't alone and there is comfort in that.

    1. Oh Ms Carla! Such kind words. Thanks for the connecting and even more for being in B.I.G :) You rock! And we are NEVER alone.http://www.jamiwitherell.com/logout?d=http://www.blogger.com/logout-redirect.g?blogID%3D7354466944821130947%26postID%3D8576267454753204034

  4. Wow. I have all those voices I just never would have thought of them like that. Thanks for putting it in perspective. All I can say and wish for you is that you tune out everyone except your Higher Self because it sounds like they're the only one who MATTERS and the only one who speaks the truth. Plus you're lucky because some people like me don't even have a Higher Self.

  5. I had to comment on this one if for no other reason than to let you know that you are definitely not the only one that has crazy thinks! I've lost 159 lbs in the past year, but I think the emotional changes have been crazier for me than the physical changes. It's a roller coaster. I have all those voices too, and the worst one of all is the one that screams at me, "You are still not good enough and you will NEVER be good enough!" Even though I know in my heart that is not true, that mean little voice still works its way in. Jami, you are so beautiful inside and out and I want to thank you for having the courage to post about such a personal topic.

  6. Jami. Thank you. I see you. You are to me ... aside from all the compliments you will not take in ... SPECTACULARLY BRAVE. In men's groups over the past 10 years I have brought some of these same characters you're talking about out into the room with me to be witnessed, and held, and given space to rage and scream and cry and fight and collapse.

    My messages aren't exactly like yours - but closer than you might think.
    I'm so grateful for that higher voice. Yours and mine.


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