Just as Dumb had attacked my emotional well-being, Stupid used similar tactics to assault my intellectual self-confidence. Dumb, Stupid, and Ugly worked closely with one another against me.
I have always loved games – playing cards or anything that has to do with words or numbers. And I was smart in school, a good student. I made good grades and was consistently at the top of my class, though I did struggle with Physical Education. (Can you hear my husband laughing?) I enjoyed school. There were some classes that were more challenging than others, of course, but, without fail, learning has brought me great joy throughout my life.
But somehow Stupid always tripped me up. As I look back now to my high-school days, I can see it so clearly. Regardless of my academic success, I would sabotage myself or otherwise defeat myself. I never even tried to pursue awards or scholarships that would have helped me continue my education beyond high school. I was in the top 10% of my graduating class at a large high school in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but I felt stupid.
I had no plans or goals for college. Stupid froze any ambition I might have had. I did attend a commuter college for a year and took summer classes at a junior college, but then I fell in love and got married and never again pursued formal education. My husband encouraged me to take some classes, but I always made some sort of excuse.
As the years progressed, my sense of stupidness increased, especially when so many of my adult friends had college degrees and worked outside the home. Being a stay-at-home mom allowed me to dispel Stupid for a while, but he reemerged when my children were older and I began to spend more time among adults. I had not watched much television or really kept up with world events and popular culture, so I found that often I did not know what my friends were talking about. I started feeling extremely stupid again.
When I started going to counseling, fighting that ugly trio, Stupid would bombard me just as Dumb had done. I found myself rehearsing in my mind how stupid I was. “Why don’t I know this or that? Why don’t I know the words to that song? Why don’t I watch the news and know what’s going on? Why do I even associate with these people with their college degrees and important jobs?” I had to yell at Stupid to make him leave me alone. I felt like such a failure, and I was so depressed that it became a chore for me even to get up and go anywhere.
Somehow Stupid had to be eradicated from my life so I could have peace of mind. I felt as if I were going crazy. Next week I will share the showdown with Stupid, but, until then, don’t let a Stupid take control of your mind. Get help. Do not live your life believing a lie.
Blessings – Lisa