Dichotomy : a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.
Cognitive Dissonance: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.
First Rate Intelligence: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
My oppositeness has always puzzled me. It is hard to figure out who or what you are when the aspects of your personality are in such drastic opposition to each other. Or so they seem.
No one is all one thing or another, our personalities have myriad aspects but I think we tend to be more one way than another. Yes? No?
In an online comment exchange recently it was observed that I have a very strong sense of self. And that is true. I have realized/noticed that myself and it puzzles me only because I have always lacked self-confidence, a sense of self worth or that I deserved anything good.
At home, I was told constantly that I was a worthless piece of shit. Fat. stupid, ugly, useless. I was encouraged to commit suicide. I used to get terrible migraine headaches and whenever the mother saw me taking a boatload of Bufferin she always remarked “Why don’t you take the whole bottle and kill yourself, you’re worthless”
Outside of home, I was told I was smart, talented, pretty even. I won prizes. People praised me and were really nice to me.
I can’t recall how I processed these opposing assessments. I suppose I didn’t. I just maintained two opposing beliefs/attitudes about myself at the same time.
No point to this really, just thought I would like to articulate it. My inferiority complex seems to co-exist quite comfortably with my superiority complex. Perhaps someone knows the psychology behind my dichotomy…which kinda rhymes.