I live with a bully I can’t escape. She whispers in my ear–every hour of every day, every month of every year. Here are some of the things she likes to say:

You are an idiot. Don’t fool yourself into believing you are smart, that you are worth something, that you can pull it off. Trust the doubt lurking around the corner, it’s there with good reason.

I am here to remind you that you know nothing. That you are incapable. What you do manage to pull off, honestly, is not remarkable. Most anyone else could do it. So don’t bother basking in the glory of your meager achievements. Those people who compliment you? They are just being nice. They all know, like I do, that you’ll never be as witty, as clever, as sharp or as smart as they are.

Are you kidding me? That idea is crap, shit, pathetic! Really? Is that the best you can come up with? How do you live with yourself? Don’t bother with your creativity and your writing. Definitely don’t send it to anyone. They will mock you behind your back. They will joke how they thought, for just a moment, that you might be funny, nice, with the occasional clever remark, but when it comes down to what counts, you just don’t have what it takes. You are the Christmas present under the storefront tree, no substance, just a piece of cheap shiny ribbon on an empty box.

You are unoriginal, untalented. You can’t write. You are lucky life dealt you such a shitty hand. That way you can hide behind it. You can use it as an excuse to cover up your mediocrity.

You are not worth the resources you consume. So keep letting those opportunities fly by. Don’t seize the day, don’t throw caution to the wind. Just hide away in the corner. Keep doing what you do best: making excuses. Why suffer the public humiliation? Trust me. I know best. I know what you are: nothing.

I want to shut her up. I want to stitch her mouth shut, Mafia the wench with cement shoes and a trip to the river. I’ve run away, moved across oceans and across cultures to escape. I got married thinking she’d move out. I underestimated her relentlessness.

The bully is me.


Cordelia is a researcher who has recently settled in Merida, Mexico after a decade spent chronicling her parenting adventures around South East Asia. When she isn’t homeschooling her children, she is usually found losing the battle against Herculean weeds while wielding a can of mosquito spray as Brienne of Tarth does her sword. Cordelia's eclectic and oftentimes regrettable past includes eco-innovation, sailing instruction and restaurant cashier. She is currently working on the upcoming launch of her new site Homeschooling for the Zombie Apocalypse.


    • Alison, thank you. I wrote this piece and needed some space after it so I am only getting to my comments now. Thank you for reading!

  1. I would also like to jump into your head and talk very quietly and violently to that voice in your head. Tell her she is no longer welcome here. Set you free. Because, oh Coco, you are worthy, you are capable, you are inspiring and you are deserving of all you have and want. xo

    • Thank you Shannon. I debated letting her speak out loud but in the decided to try to see if it would help but more importantly to let others know they aren’t alone. Hugs back at ya. xxx

    • Kyla, right? it boggles the mine what we are willing to do to ourselves. Hugs to you. Let us gag our inner witches together.

  2. Your bully needs to be taken with a grain of salt. She is entitled to her little opinion but what she says isn’t true. I only know you through your writing and I can tell you that you have a gift. Please tell your bully that you’ve had enough of her bullshit and replace what she says with positive truths. Go ask your kids and your husband what they love most about you and hear their words! Remember their words. Put their words in writing so you can read them when you need to.

    • Shannon, thank you. And what a great piece of advice! I am going to ask my kids and hubby, but not after I’ve just denied them ice scream as at least one of them will say I am very rude. LOL. And thank you for the compliment on my writing. It’s the bluntmom community and awesome editors who have really helped me get the courage to put myself out there, despite my inner bully-bitch.

  3. So many of us have this bully beating us down, day in and day out. You have given her form and life out of dust, and I hope that by writing this you can blow her into the wind. You are elegant, eloquent, and more than capable; you are beautiful.

    • Carrie, thank you. Writing this piece helped me wrangle this voice. I will continue to turn back to these kind and wise words in times to come. xx

  4. I love how you wrote this, and I hate that you are being bullied by yourself. It’s a horrible feeling, and I hope that your bully will scurry away now that she’s been revealed. You deserve all good feelings. I feed my bully ice cream. Don’t do that. xo

    • Ha ha Tara, I’ve fed mine chocolate molten lava cake. My arse shows my bully’s hold on me. But things are changing. Shining a bright light on her has helped me. Your comment and others here have helped me even more. Thank you. Hugs to you.

  5. I want to take that bully and hug her so tight. Tell her that it’s not her fault. That she is loved. That you are loved Princess Coco.

    • Pam, your words make me all teary and emotional-in a good way. Thank you. Knowing that I am loved and reading everyone’s support here has helped me mute the voice. I doubt she will never leave me entirely, but thanks to this platform and hugely supportive community, I can deal with her in a way I never new possible. Thank you. Love you Pamlet. xxx

  6. I do this too, but only recently noticed I was doing this a lot, like multiple times a day. It requires a lot of effort, but I manage to be kind and more positive to myself most days. Thanks for sharing this; shows it’s not just me.

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