Reality is rough for many. It doesn’t make sense, even though it is real. Living in reality is hard. You have to pay bills, work, take care of others, look happy. Yes, you just have to look happy, because in most peoples reality you are happy when you smile. What is behind that smile is your reality.
My reality is not that smile on my face, the cleanish house, the laughing on the phone with friends, or the career I am trying to become successful at. Behind the smile is what no one wants to talk about or should I say, what no one wants to hear. The untold story of the secrets in my childhood. The monsters in my head. The snakes that wriggle in my stomach causing nausea and anxiety.
My reality is pretending that life is fine. Life is how it should be. My reality is not reality, it is the fiction on top of the non fiction. Reading between the lines isn’t what most people want to do, they want to only see the words on the page. If it is too hard for them or if it causes emotion, then people don’t want to talk about it. This attitude makes it hard for family or friends, they must tip toe over any subject. We as humans have made it very easy to lie to one another, because we do not want to confront any subject that may involve emotion. It has made it very easy for me over the last 35 years to continue on with the fiction over top of the non fiction.
As a child my life seemed fantastic, I had a mom and dad who loved me. I had a roof over my head. My parents were strict. Although I was also taught that what I thought didn’t matter, I was to do it their way or no way. Even as a child there was fiction over the non fiction. My childhood created my being, the emotional person that I am. As hard as I have tried to overcome this feeling, the feeling that I am not worthy, that people don’t want to hear what I have to say, the “I am embarrassed to be who I am.” feeling, I can’t overcome.
Nature vs. Nurture is a real thing. Yes, you are born with your genetics, but you come into this world a clean minded little being. People start to teach you what they believe, you then take from that and make it yours. People love you and hurt you and that is embedded in you. As I grew I was taught that I was to follow not lead. Kids were mean to me, I was the last to be chosen for kick ball, I was called names, I was picked on, there was one girl who made it her daily ritual to take my fingers and bend them as far back as she possibly could, just because she wanted to be mean. Not once did anyone do anything to stop any of this from happening, because we didn’t live in 2018, we lived in 1978. It was a good thing to be bullied, it made you strong, right?
Being bullied didn’t make me stronger, it made me sadder, less likely to succeed, more likely to be indecisive in my life choices. Yes, some people are more prone to the emotional warfare that happens after being bullied. Some people are more prone to depression due to “Nature” Let me put it straight, I am a grown woman, who has had a few different long term jobs, all which caused anxiety and at some point depression. Only recently have I made a few friends. I’m sure these friends would say that I seem fine, not depressed, not sad, not anxious, but they can’t see inside of me. They have no idea that the laughter is a form of anxiety, that I don’t say what I am always thinking, because when I do I feel chastised about my beliefs. I go over conversations in my mind 100’s of times, I don’t sleep at night. Things that were said months ago still bother me, as much as I want these conversations to disappear they don’t.
Who am I? I am the one who walks into a room and is invisible. I am the one who cries herself to sleep at night, because she feels she didn’t achieve anything that day. I am the one who wakes in the morning to the thought of, “Oh I’m alive still.” I am depressed. I am sad. I am indecisive. I am a painter. I am a mom. I am a wife. I am a failure. I am a panic attack waiting to happen. I am a baker. I am a cook. I am a realtor. I am a social worker. I am a ball of emotional chaos.
You say, “Wow, you’re a lot of things.” No, I’m a mess. I have difficulty approaching people. I look in the mirror and realize that I haven’t accomplished much of anything, because I get side tracked with small things here and there. I am the person who will try any job, only to get bored, to feel unappreciated by employers and managers and then think there must be something else out there.
I am currently trying real estate. I am not great at it. I’m not great at talking to people. I am great at the paperwork. I am great at talking with people I have ALREADY met. I am terrible at marketing. Door knocking makes me anxious and panicky. Calling people makes me feel as if I am imposing and I don’t want to impose on peoples lives. I sit in the corner at our meetings or I don’t go, because I feel incapable of reaching my goals. No matter the inspiration from others in my office, I know that they have a different mind than I do. I am unsure why I chose real estate, in the beginning I thought that I would love working with people and I do, but getting those people to work with me is difficult. Again another job I feel as if I have failed at.
As I look back on the parts of my jobs that made me uncomfortable or anxious I look back on my childhood and can connect the dots to certain events that are embedded in my brain. These events have caused chaos. I am obsessive compulsive about many things in my life, this causes more anxiety, the anxiety causes more depression. It is a wildly sad circle that my mind goes through. Prescriptions have made me suicidal, finding what works has been terrible, nothing works. And honestly no one cares. Most people don’t even know what to say.
Back to reality. The reality is that mental health is a subject no one wants to talk about. Reality is that if something bad has happened to you by someone else, no one wants to hear about it, because it would mean having a conversation about things that make people uncomfortable. It you are a child and something happens to you, going to an adult is hard, because as a child you are made to feel inferior. Children don’t always have someone they trust and children who already are bullied don’t have friends to go to either. So those feelings, those memories get pushed down and as we grow older they start to percolate until one day they overflow. Sad thing is, it won’t be talked about, because people will say, “Why didn’t you say something when it happened?” Their thought is that you must be lying.
Sad that this is our society. We are made to hide in the shadows. Live life in fiction with non fiction percolating beneath.