Dear Inner Voice, You’re Fired!

Dear Inner voice,

Your employment with me, as discussed during the termination meeting earlier today, is terminated, effective immediately, because you are a complete f#%king a$$h*le.

As your employment file reflects, you were originally hired as an entry level Internal Risk Management and Communications Adviser, primarily to protect me from danger, to help me with big decisions and perhaps prevent me from embarrassing myself in public. And while I have made it nearly four decades with no major tragedy or physical injury, and even ended up with the right guy, your approach to your work since I hit puberty has escalated and as I enter midlife it’s become tantamount to bullying.

You have gone well beyond your original “trust your gut” responsibilities to providing an incessant critical commentary on every waking moment of my life (and even the occasional overnight, sweaty, panicked wake-up call to let me know it’s too late I’ve missed my chance and will never amount to anything.)

This separation shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Your file is quite thick and I have been more than understanding. Just in case you think I am not serious and really, really, really mean it this time, here is a sampling of documented incidents and warnings that support your termination:

Warning #1, May 23, 1985

In the middle of a happy birthday celebration you reminded me of the time I was thrown down the hill in 6th grade and everyone saw the red shorts with the stars and moons that I was wearing under my dress. When I refused to acknowledge your presence, you added the day in 5th grade when I cried in front of the class when I didn’t understand what a Native American travois was, and then continued going back deeper and deeper until I was forced to run from my own party and hide in the bathroom.

Warning #32, September 5, 1998 

You were warned to refrain from saying “your mother dresses you funny” every time I was getting ready for an important event. We acknowledged that It may have come across as witty the first time you said it, going off to my first adult job interview, but now that it had become a weekly occurrence it was just plain mean. We discussed the consequences, how it was destructive and had cost us hours of time feeling painfully uncomfortable in social settings thinking “Don’t look at my shoes.  Please don’t look at my shoes. Why did I wear these shoes?  Crap they’re looking at my shoes. I’m such an idiot.”

Warnings #73-75, December 19, 2006

After thousands of warnings to stop, you continued (and still do to this day) to say “you’re fat” every time I pass a mirror or plate glass window or just gratuitously if you hadn’t said it in a while. Throughout 2006 we addressed this issue and put action plans in place to remediate it, including:

  • Excessive drinking—while you acknowledged I was kind of hot when tipsy, you cajoled me that I would feel even better if I drank more, and then doubled down the next morning with “You’re a lush and a loser.”
  • Emotional eating– You set a new record with 562 “You’re Fat’s” before noon after a particularly intense session.
  • Compulsive exercise—you convinced me to wear double Spanx underneath my spandex exercise leggings causing me to pass-out during Zumba class, and then denied any responsibility.

Warning # 98 July 28, 2013

A grievance was filed against you for saying “you suck as a parent” every time my child asked for advice. It was noted in your file that you put my child at risk by making me fear doing anything at all. On this particular day she just wanted to know if I liked skipping or jumping better. Your response, “You’re too fat to do either,” paraphrased and repeated aloud “I’m sure I’m too fat to do either, sweety,” assuredly has left a permanent scar.  As documented in your file and initialed by both of us, you do not have jurisdiction to hire interns and assign them to my children.

The Final Straw

Your turnaround the last few days when you suspected the pink slip was coming is too little, too late.  Your “You’re pretty’s” and “You’re smart’s,” appear more mocking than sincere at this juncture.

Telling me “you’re a sh*tty writer” in an effort to derail me from finishing writing this letter won’t work either, especially since I’m simply paraphrasing from the one I myself received yesterday. Your final moment of glory, your one minute to shine, going from inner to outer voice for just one minute, had to be the exact same overlapping moment that you gave me a new nickname, “F#ck Face” and my boss asked for my feedback about his performance. “F#ck Face!” “You’re Fat!” “Your Mother Dresses You Funny!” All shouted, out loud, with the full force of passion and commitment to being constructively helpful.

So, this is it, my dear inner voice.

I’m afraid that you, and now we, have gone too far.

You are fired, effective immediately.

This termination is final.

Do not provide a forwarding address for your new host, even if I recognize her, walking down the street, sucking in her stomach and making a grimace, as she sees her reflection in the shop window.

(Open Letter Assignment, Online Writing Satire for the Internet 2 from The Second City)