Faking It–One Girl’s Way to Freedom
This place. The place where I am all cried out, after I’ve punched the pillow into submission and it has permanently surrendered. It. Is. Done.
I realize I am done. There’s nothing else to mourn, nothing left to uncover, surely there can’t be any more surprises, and if there were, the blow wouldn’t hurt because there’s nothing left. Waving white flag then going to bed for at least three years.
These were the days that felt like carbon copies of the one before. I ran on autopilot. Get up. Make coffee. Drink coffee. Wake up kids. Make kids’ breakfast. Clean up. Get self ready for work. Brush teeth. Brush hair. Get dressed. Locate matching shoes. Grab kids’ lunches. Check kids’ backpacks for everything that accompanies them to school. Load kids in car with best mustered smile possible. Drive to school. With kids. And backpacks. And lunches. Kiss kids goodbye. Drive to work. Take deep breath and prepare to work like a bandit and pretend like personal life is not terrifying hot mess of crumpled question marks. Pick kids up after work. Drive home. Empty lunch boxes and cook dinner while kids do homework at the kitchen table. Talk about their days. Do general evening thing where life feels as normal as possible. Put kids to bed. Hide in bathtub.
I pulled this off for a while.
I have no idea how I did it. A few years later, someone I work with commented that people were worried about me because I seemed completely fine–genuinely fine.
I was not fine, but I faked it really well. I did this for my kids and because it was the only thing I knew to do to survive. I literally could not believe this was happening to us. To US! How was this happening to us? It’s literally The Thing I swore I would never ever do. Everything was solvable.
Except apparently this.
When I got to the place where reality set in, the tears were all cried out, and there just didn’t seem to be any anger left, there was nothing else to do but survive.
People numb their pain in a million ways. Some drown it, some fight it, some eat it, and some exercise it. Some date it to death and end up hurting themselves and the people they use become collateral damage. I only wanted to survive it without becoming someone I couldn’t look in the eyes in the morning. So I put one foot in front of the other and did the things that looked like the life I wanted to create. I didn’t feel happy, but I did things I thought would bring happiness to someone I wanted to be. I didn’t want to leave my house, but I took myself places I thought someone I wanted to become would go. And in time, the numbness subsided, making way for happiness and joy and adventure and a feeling of freedom.
Numbness doesn’t come with a timer. And for me it didn’t just suddenly disappear. I just didn’t notice it because I started to feel different things again. That positive momentum pushed me to want more of it, so I did more of the positive, life-giving things that lightened my heart and lifted my soul. It was a much better, gentler place to be.
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