Monday, December 8, 2008

Tell me the truth....

Sometimes when I say "oh, I'm fine", I want someone to look me in the eyes and say, "tell the truth."

I came upon this quote the other day and it really got me thinking.  Why is it that we always put on a "brave face" and tell everyone that we are fine when clearly we are not?  Is it that old saying of never air your dirty laundry in public?  Or is it that society has taught us that we should always appear perfect and together when in company?  Personally I think, why can't I talk to my friends about how I am feeling?  Why do I have to pretend that I have it all together all the time?  Why can't I fall apart in public and it be ok?  I mean if we can't tell our friends our innermost feelings who can we tell them to?  Our therapist?  Friends are free and you don't always need an appointment.  I thought the whole idea of friendship, true friendship, was that you could tell them your deep dark secrets and vice versa.  What is the point of having friends if you can't be authentic around them?  This comes from me, a person who has grown up in an emotional family, and always wants to talk about everything.  I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and usually can't hide my true feelings from anyone.  I don't understand keeping your feelings to yourself.  It tears me apart when I have no one to talk to when I am feeling horrible.  When I say talk to, I don't mean that I am looking for someone to solve my problems.  I am looking for a shoulder to cry on, for an ear to just listen to me fully and someone who will acknowledge that how I am feeling is normal and O.K.   I guess maybe I am looking for acceptance to be a complete basket case, an emotional roller coaster wreck.  It seems to me that from listening and talking to other girlfriends of mine that I am not the only who needs to break down every once in a while and be assured that I am still loved in spite of it.  I just had a conversation the other day with an old friend about how I have been handling life since I got pregnant for the second time.  Life was great for the first few weeks until I got sick, really sick.   Now that I am on some meds I am not so sick anymore but still don't feel as elated with pregnancy as I did with my first.  When I said those words out loud it sounded horrible.  How could I admit, much less have the gaul to actually feel this way, that I wasn't 100% happy and joyful of the fact that I was creating life inside my belly?  Do I get the worst mother of the year award or what?  But to my surprise I didn't get that response from my friend.  She told me that it is totally o.k to not be as excited this time around.  That how I was feeling was normal.  Normal. The word I felt never described anything about me.  Really?  You mean it's o.k. to wonder if I made the worst mistake of my life by getting pregnant again?  YES!  When you have one kid already (mine just turned two) you have a lot of responsibilities to that child. I am a stay at home mom, so my job is to raise my son.  It's a full time, 24/7, 365 days a year job.  I also have to make sure the house is clean, the laundry is done, the dishes are put away, the grocery's have been bought, and the bills have been paid.  The list goes on.  It's not a shock that I am not enjoying it this time around because my situation is different.  I am not the only person I am responsible for anymore.  I can't just take a nap when I want because I am so exhausted, or eat when I want because I have to feed my son first.  I'm not taking care of myself as well as I could the first time.  And I'm tied down a little more so I have restrictions.  If friends invite me out, I have to find a babysitter.  My relationship with my husband has changed.  I am not seen as just his wife anymore.  I am the mother of his child.  My role has changed.  I went from earning a living outside the home, to staying at home and raising the baby, no income.  We don't get to out much anymore.  We don't get to just be "us."  He's busy earning the money and I am busy raising our son.  We have grown apart with these differences and long for the days of old.  These things take their toll and it is totally understandable that I am questioning and doubting and upset.   I had been secretly crying these past few weeks because I felt that my marriage was failing, that I was failing as a mother to my son, and failing as a friend to all those I haven't kept in touch with or rejected an invite from.  Trying to explain to my parents, my husband, myself what I was feeling and going through; and all it took was one casual conversation with an old friend to bring me out of the darkness.  I had been grasping at anything, desperate to make it all end.  After that conversation I felt as if a weight had lifted, that I had been released from prison.  I was not the only one who felt desperate and alone.  It was a relief and a comfort.  So now I ask the question again.  Why do we not confess our doubts and fears, our mistakes and embarrassments, our flaws and faults?  Wouldn't we all feel better knowing that there are more people out there in the world just like us?  Feeling the same things?  Don't we all want to be reassured that we are not alone?  It seems silly to me to hold things in, to pretend to be and act like someone you are not; to falsify your self, your true feelings for fear that you will be persecuted for being the one who spoke up.  But what if you actually spoke up and were not persecuted but praised for it.   We need to learn not to live with such fear.  We are all the same if we just take the time to open our eyes and be honest, to look each other in the eyes and demand the truth; good or bad.  To live fearlessly.  

Since that conversation I can smile.  My mom took Mason for the day yesterday so Fred and I decided to not work on the house or just sit around.  We went to the movies.  For the first time in a very very long time (months I think) we spent the day together.  It wasn't perfect, but it was a start.   The movie we saw was Four Christmases with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaugh.  Totally hilarious.  I recommend seeing it. We went to Benihana for dinner afterwards.  Never been there before and have been dying to try it.  We are huge fans of japanese steak houses.  Our favorite is Kobe's in Leesburg.  We used to eat there almost every week before Mason was born.  I have to say though that I was disappointed in Benihana.  The prices were way too high (we didn't have any alcohol or extras) and the food was average.  The fried rice was very good, but I personally enjoyed the food and entertainment much better at Kobe's.  Fred agreed.  Guess we'll be heading into Leesburg next time we want japanese steak house.   

Well it's about time for the munchkin to wake up from his nap so I better end this now.  Remember, LIVE FEARLESSLY!!!  You just might improve your life and someone else's.  
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