"You're ugly" my internal monologue tells me hundreds of times a day. "You're stupid." "You're bad."

I try to address it as it comes up. It's a lot like trying to hold off the tide, but I try to raise my tiny, feeble voice of resistance to say "I'm not" to these voices.

At my local Kaiser mental health center, some doctors have termed this voice "the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee". I try to keep this in mind, A surreal take on "consider the source".

Feeling nearly powerless against these internal voices, a fan comments on my webcomic. I know s/he is trying to help, but they've been becoming more and more comfortable telling me what to do. Giving me directions. Finally, they tell me what the 'problem' with my art is. Doing so, they completely miss the point. What they see as error is actually lovingly crafted. My fellows in the artistic community recognize this quality as one that breathes life into my work, one that makes the art dynamic and vital and exciting.

I tell them what I think, without pulling punches. Firmly, strongly, but without abuse.

Having fans, they often expect that I am a well of patience, and whatever they say I will nod and smile. Others offering critique are often met with acknowledgement of their point. But this one who tells me "the problem: with my work is what makes it wonderful and original found me giving a firmer opinion.

So…. I defended myself. This could be seen as a seed of self esteem, something sorely lacking within me. But stll, I wonder if I oughtn't have ignored the point.

It's so hard, having to defend myself constantly to my inner monologue that spews hate at me several times an hour, every hour of every day of my life. It feels validating to find the constitution to defend myself against something from without.

Was I better off letting it be? Would that have been the graceful thing to do? Or is my asking simply the voices of guilt entwining to make me feel guilty over expressing a sense of valuing myself for who I am through my art?

Questions, questions, questions.

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