I am the worst liar. Truly. There are many things I have wished I was better at. And, as strange as it may sound, lying is one of them.
Lying is a key part of parenting. Of marriage. Of life.
Think I’m wrong? The the next time your child asks you how Santa Claus gets down the chimney, let me know how the truth goes over. Hate how your husband spends all Sunday watching football? Why don’t you let him know. Think your boss is a raging idiot who conned his way into his position despite the fact he doesn’t know the first thing about being a good manager? Yeah. Put that in your next memo.
The point is lying either directly or by omission is a part of life. And for most of my life I have completely sucked at it.
My husband still laughs at how badly I do it… Even when my intentions are good. Lying is virtually impossible for me. It takes a well-heeled poker face I simply don’t have. So why, in my desperate hour of need and understanding, was I able to put on a pale-faced veil, smile and pretend I was okay when clearly I wasn’t?
After Vman was born, I spiraled into a terrible depression. The only problem — I didn’t know I was depressed. Sure. Having an SPD infant who screamed nonstop was tough. Getting bitten to the point of bleeding and daily head butts that left stars spinning in front of my eyes wasn’t fun. But I’m the kind of person who pulls herself up by the boot straps and marches on. Parenthood wasn’t going to defeat me. Little did I understand I was facing something bigger than me.
While denying what was clearly in front of me, I fell into a black hole of depression. And because I unconsciously was able to fool myself, I started fooling others that I was okay. From the moment I stepped out of bed and put my feet on the floor, I was lying. Lying I could reasonably make it through another day. Lying to the other parents I greeted at the daycare with my painted on smile. Lying to my marketing clients I was engaged one hundred percent while I was wrapped in my terry cloth robe and PJs. Lying to my husband that we were going to make the long haul.
I became the queen of lying without even realizing it. I wanted to believe these things and willed them to be true. However, lying takes more than just one person. It takes a village to listen and accept these lies. Or at least a village to turn its head and ignore the problems staring it straight in the eyes.
Eventually the dam had to break. But in the end no one could break it except for me. With a lot of counseling, I started chipping away at the inauthentic facade I had swathed myself in. My life was a horrifying roller coaster of isolation, misunderstanding, doubt and self-loathing.
Pretending everything was a-okay was exhausting and stripped me of what little energy I had left after the husband, house, job and SPD kiddos vacuumed me clean. I began to realize being true to myself could be the greatest gift I could give to myself.
Now please understand. I’m a work in progress. There are days when friends ask how I’m doing, and I say I’m just fine to make things easy. But more often than not, I’m learning how to present my authentic self to those I love, including myself. I’d much rather tell the truth to those around me, embrace my genuine self and dissipate those horrid feelings rattling around inside me rather than be the sucker who suppresses her feelings and blackens her spirit.