I’m living a lie. Gritting my teeth and trying to pretend that this is manageable. That is why I haven’t been on here for so long. Recently I was reading Sash Milne’s blog, Inked in Colour, and she wondered “how people can present such perfect lives without any real blemishes” on social media. The internet is clogged with so many shiny presentations of seeming perfection; all those blogs filled with pictures of happy couples and cute children and home-baked goodness. And it makes me feel nauseous – a little like when I walk through a giant shopping centre, so many promises and so much shine but so little substance. So that’s why I don’t write. As Sash wrote, “somehow on social media we can be whoever we want the world to see us to be”. But how much energy that must take, energy I just don’t have.
“But who are we when noone is watching? Isn’t that what really matters, who we are at our very core, the essence of ourselves without an audience, the way we are in our communities, the way we talk to our families, the way we parent our children, the way we live our lives outside of a spotlight. Isn’t that what’s really important?
I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am when no one is watching.
Who are you?”
Yet, we do have an audience when we are with our families, our communities, our friends. We can be just as false and equally as well hidden in those realms where we should be most authentic and intimate. If I am only authentic when I am alone, what is the point? So many of my actions are a fraud; my true self is in hiding. I choose not to write. To write would be to own up to the truth—to make it public, even if only to a few people—and to necessitate action. I am stuck. I have chosen to embed myself in a deeply dysfunctional relationship. We are going through the motions of counselling, but it is so evident to me that we will never have true intimacy and connection. We make each other a little less every day. I stay there because of my son and because of all the drama and hurt and messiness that change will bring. I stay because he wants me to, though I don’t really know why. But there is no other option than to initiate change. No other option than to break this destructive cycle. I want to breathe again. I want to live – for myself and for my son. I feel compelled to write—I always have—but am unsure of the point of blogging about sadness and unhappiness for an audience of virtually noone.
I started this faltering blog with the idea of documenting my quest to rid myself of stuff. That effort has been as spasmodic as my writing efforts, but perhaps it’s always been more of a metaphor anyway. I want to simplify. I want to learn to be content with little. I want to fall on my own resources and find them adequate to the task. I am living a lie and I have to speak the truth. It is as simple as that. That truth is there, right in front of me, poking and prodding and nagging me to listen. Last night I held my son and he kept putting his little boy monster hands right in my face and growling and poking and tickling me. He is so in your face, completely unencumbered with a sense of ‘personal space’. My space is his space. My body is his body. That’s what my life feels like – the truth is hectoring me constantly, wanting to be acknowledged and acted upon – and soon it will start up a constant yelling.