Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Greatest Lie...

Lies. We have all told one or two in our lives. There is no way anyone can get through life without ever telling a lie. If you deny it, you're lying. Seriously, don't even come at me with a "I have never told a lie" because I will call you out on that bullshit.

I am guilty of it. I lie quite often and about something people would find extremely important; possibly hurtful and damaging. Oh not to the person I am lying to. In fact, I'd be hurting myself but I can't help it and I am not alone in this lie.

Right about now you are probably making guesses as to what the lie is. Is it infidelity? Money? OMG what is it? Well.....

"I'm fine."

Or my other favorite:

"I'm okay."

I say these two sentences, or something similar, so often it's a knee-jerk reaction to that age old question..."Is everything okay?" 90% of the time it's not but I say it anyway. Why? Why do I, and a vast majority of everyone, repeat this lie over and over?

I can only speak for myself with any authority and very little at that since I can't seem to make sense of myself most of the time but, I think a big part is my not wanting to be a burden. You see, I view myself as insignificant in this big picture of life. My loved ones have far more going on, good and bad, than I and it seems unfair to foist my problem on them. Why bring them down or add to their troubles? They have enough of their own. As an adult, I should be able to deal with my own shit. Plus, letting people in too far means they can hurt you or let you down. I don't want my friends/family to let me down so why set them up for possible failure.

Add to that the fact I tend to be the one people come to for support or comfort, it's the perfect storm of isolation within a crowd. I also tend to get spiky and touchy when I am feeling lost or alone, so that tends to push people further away. I can't even find the words to explain myself and apologizing is all I can do. I usually make an excuse like I didn't get enough sleep or something similar.

A perfect example is when my husband asked me to come help him find a car. He's moving to Colorado soon because he's losing his position here in Ohio (company is shutting down). The kids and I will join him eventually but it will be an extended separation. He has to find a place to live, I have to sell this house, and I need money to actually move. Anyway, I told him no and that I didn't see the point in my going since it wasn't my car. I hadn't helped him buy his last few cars and I wasn't even there when he bought mine. He was irritated I said no and got snippy with me about it. Eventually he asked if I was okay and if there was a problem. True to form I told him no and that everything was fine.

What I couldn't tell him was that I couldn't BEAR to go with him. That buying this car means he's that much closer to leaving. My sadness and anxiety over this separation is eating away at my confidence and I just can't be a part of purchasing the thing that he will use to drive away.

Yet every time he asks, I tell him I am okay. Granted, in this instance I know what when I tell him how I feel I'll just get a "Don't worry, It'll be fine" which is almost as bad. He's coping too and this is how he copes.

But why do we, as a society, have such a problem discussing ourselves and our feelings? I was always shown that people don't talk. Unless you're discussing someone else's shortcomings, of course. I was taught no one wants to hear your problems, no one is going to help (trust me I asked for help from my extended family once when I was a teenager and I was flatly refused), and frankly no one wants to deal with the responsibilities that come with being helpful or a comforting person. Maybe its the way everyone is or maybe we start out thoughtful can caring but life makes us hard? We live with so much disappointment that we become jaded? Or in my case, I have always felt like a bit of a burden and now that I am an adult, I am even more conscious of how easily one can be seen as a bother.

At any rate, I am not okay. I am not fine. I will try to own that fact from now on.