What does that mean exactly? Well it means to live out loud – the good, the bad, and definitely the ugly! Most of us (the human race in general) live our lives according to a picture – a picture or image we have in our minds of what we are supposed to be. Anything that wasn’t part of that picture that somehow makes its way into our lives, well we simply stuff it away out of view. I think for women it is even worse than for men. Then, if you become a Mom – oh crap!! Remembering back to that movie I just watched (Bad Moms), for those of you who saw it, how many related? There was SO much truth in that movie! I think we call them “Pinterest Moms” – you know the ones that make all the perfect crafts, always making cool crafty snacks, house is always picture perfect… You get the point. How many of you have ever (even for a brief moment) tried to be that woman or mom? I know I did! EVERYTHING HAS TO BE PERFECT or else people won’t like me. How many of you rush to clean your house (or at least push everything in a closet or under something lol) when you know guests are coming over? The truth is, nearly every single one of us has a messy house when no one is looking!
Now let’s dig deeper into the UGLY. This is me. So in 2014, my life seemed to be going pretty well. I finally had a job that I loved and things seemed to be going in the right direction. I met a guy (yup – that’s usually how the story begins lol) and for some reason decided to jump right into marrying him. Why? I have no freakin idea! Well, a couple of months into the relationship I found out he was addicted to Crack and had been diagnosed as bi-polar. SERIOUSLY?? Yes, for reals! I could NOT let this get out! My daughter had several very close friends and I was close with their moms. What would they think if they knew a crack addict lived in my house? They would never let their daughters come to my house again or play with my daughter!! At least that is what was going through my mind. So I kept it secret for the most part. I minimized the damage that was being done – mentally, physically, and financially. I withdrew from all my friends, and my wonderful group of sister veterans. What would THEY think? How would it look if the leader of the group was married to a crack addict that spent all her money and disappeared for several days? What would people at work think of me – because you know, as a woman I thought I had to put on this really professional persona in order to be taken seriously. Who would take me seriously if they knew all of this? So I disappeared for several months. Some of you reading this probably remember my disappearing act. Now you know! I finally got him out of my house and out of my head – then got my own head out of my rear end! I called an informal gathering of the Sisters one night at Applebee’s. You know what? That night several of us opened up about things that had been going on in our lives and come to find out – YUP! I wasn’t the only one with some “Jerry Springer” stuff going on at home! And you know what else? Those mom’s of my daughter’s friends – well they didn’t disown me either. It was all in my head that I had to keep up my perfect charade. You know what else? I had been so riddled with guilt, anxiety, depression, and whatever else for so long, however, once I opened up and ‘fessed up about everything, I honestly felt as though the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I have many other “dirty little secrets” from my 43 years that I had really never shared with anyone. After this whole awakening, I decided to go balls to the wall with it. I began giving a speech in this motivational class to help people trying to find employment. I get up in front of an audience of folks and I tell them my life’s story. Starting with the molestation as a child, being raised by an alcoholic mother, getting knocked up at 17 and giving my child up for adoption, 4 ex-husbands (2 of them drug addicts and felons + 1 that I had to get a restraining order for stalking me), 1 failed suicide attempt, and much more. WHY on earth would I do that? For one, it is very empowering to know that those secrets don’t have power over me anymore. I am no longer ashamed of any of those things. I will happily and with a laugh tell you about my Jerry Springer life! Every single time I’ve given that speech, I could see the spark in at least 2 people in that room because I just spoke of at least one of their secrets and let them know they were not alone in it! I am proud of the struggles that I’ve endured because they’ve made me the strong person I am today. God doesn’t give us struggles to break us. He gives them to us to enable us to better relate to others and use our struggles for good. Think about them beans….
Secrets are BAD!! How many of you battle depression, anxiety, PTSD, were sexually assaulted either before or during the military, wasn’t always the best mom? And how many try to keep those things secret from family or friends? What will people think if they know I have PTSD? Who the F&*K cares??? We must stop basing our self-worth on what others think of us. We are some pretty darn tough cookies!! It’s about time we started acting like it!! If we stop hiding and making these things taboo, the stigma will always be there. I’m a people watcher. NO, NOT A STALKER LOL! But what I have noticed is that people with problems that are open about their demons, live in transparency about the taboo issue – well those are some of the happiest and most at-peace women I’ve met. Then there are the ones that I know have things going who live in denial about their problem (addiction, domestic issues, mental health issues) and they live in such seclusion from the world. You can just see that they are not happy and most of the time they are actually kind of a pain to be around or quite unpleasant. SECRETS ARE BAD!!!
Here is the truth. MOST of us women have mental health issues (depression, anxiety, PTSD, you name it). Blame it on our hormones, blame it on our family genetics (or just the family period!), blame it on the men who made us this way, blame it on whatever you want but it is what it is. How about blaming it on the million things we must do each day from getting up, caring for everyone in the house, the house itself, the bills, shopping, dinner, kids, competing with each other – all of it!! Yes, it is inherent that we, as women, will all become a little (or a lot) crazy at some point. Deal with it. Your “crazy” doesn’t make you special lol!! Nearly all of us that are in relationships have had or still have domestic issues. Who reading this has a spouse or significant other that drinks too much? Is selfish and doesn’t appreciate you?
Ok, I think I’ve gone on long enough with this topic. The point is, the longer you try to hide the truth about your life, the longer you will be miserable with your life. Embrace who you are!! We are not in competition with each other!! Be proud of the struggles you have because they’ve made you who you are. If you don’t like who you are – well I say to you this – “the only thing permanent is death” – so get off your self-pity ride and get the life you want! You really are the only person getting in your way!
Oh, one last thing (yes, Dorie is in high gear tonight). One thing I do notice that almost ticks me off (I say “almost” because I no longer allow others to decide my mood) is people who constantly complain about those who are always happy or those who are really living their life to the fullest. I hear comments all the time from women that I know are in a bad place (mentally) and its like they can’t help but focus their attention (in a negative way) towards another woman that is living in transparency and focusing on the good in her own life. If you are that person, that should be a clue that you need some work!
Ok, that’s all for tonight…for reals this time 🙂 Good night all and Happy Monday!