I am going home in about 47 days. I am afraid. For the last month or so, going home has been something to look forward to. It was so exciting to be going somewhere that pretending was no longer necessary. Recently though, it has become apparent that I must continue to pretend. I must continue to put on my mask. Everyone does this to some degree everyday. My life is not any worse or different than the life of anyone else.

There is much fear though. Home was the one place I could be myself. Now that is gone. How long can I fake it? How long can I pretend to be something I am not? I see other people being themselves, doing what makes them happy, and they are doing ok. They are successful. They have husbands or partners. They are happy, at least that is how they look.

For years I have been the “good girl”. I have two sisters. The youngest is just sprouting wings and learning to fly. The middle one has always been the rebel. She is living with a man outside of marriage. She drinks. She cusses. She wears what she wants to. She does what she wants too. She could have a baby if she wants. I can’t do any of that. If I rolled up with a low cut top, dressed in all black with much leather, people would die of heart attacks. If I pierced my nose like all the cute girls do, it would never be acceptable. If I cut my hair as short as I actually want it and spiked it, and colored the tips bright red, people would freak out. I can’t love who I want to love or how I want to love them. I am seen as perverted by my family quite often. Maybe I am. I don’t know. I can’t have children without a spouse. Spouse material runs from me, very quickly and never looks back. It is not that my life is that important to everyone, but people would be shocked to say the least.

Contrary to how it appears, I am not whining. I chose this life. I choose to do what I do. I just wish I could merge the two, who I want to be and who everyone else wants me to be. I can see how they will never cooperate though. About once a year or so I have these kinds of thoughts. It becomes clear to me every time that if I do what I want to do, everything will change. My job, location, family dynamic, church life, love, and future would change completely. I can’t lose all of that. Each year I come to the same conclusion, that I must get over it and move on. Then all is well, for about another year or so.

It is kind of interesting to me. Last year when I finally forced myself to see a doctor for depression, I was in the middle of one of these “episodes”. A year and one month later, same kind of episode, need new medicine. Is this what every year will look like? How long can one person go without giving into the demons screaming inside? What if I could taste life with the other side of me for a time. Would I like it? Would it be worth losing everything? Probably not. Once you go to the other side, there is no coming back.

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6 thoughts on “

  1. Hi Nicole, I don’t think we can live well if we are always pleasing others at the expense of our own dreams. Are you sure it must be one or the other? One thing I’ve become aware of in therapy is how often I take a black and white approach to the world. They world is full of different shades and while we may think we know how others will react, it’s not necessarily true. I don’t know what the right answer is for you, but I think it comes from really listening to your heart and your true self.
    Take care! xxxxx

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  2. I don’t think you have to get over any idea of living life the way you want to live it. I think that continuously living based on what others want from you only leads to more angst and depression – or at least it certainly has in my case. For me a lot of tension arises when there’s a big difference between how I’m behaving to please others and how I want to behave for myself – call it my authentic self. I still have much more work to do, but I can say that even so far, I’m much happier when I act more like my authentic self. Sometimes it has been painful to do things differently from what my parents expect. And in all fairness, I haven’t made huge, obviously dramatic steps from my parents’ expectations. But I’ve made some choices that they would disagree with. And you know what? Maybe they haven’t been thrilled, but I haven’t given them much opportunity to comment on it, and most importantly, the world hasn’t fallen apart. Life has gone on – for me and for my parents. Except with one big difference – that I feel more at peace with myself.

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    • So glad to hear that you have had some success in this area! Not sure what it is going to look like, but I must start living more to my “authentic self” as you said. Don’t know what that means or what that looks like, but one cannot act forever. This should be interesting. πŸ™‚

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