Pearls and Dreams
I am percieved as a transparent person. When people meet me, they do not see me as being closed off, or private. They do not see me as the type to hold secrets or keep things bottled up. They see me as someone who is willing to lay it on the line and be seen for what she is. They see me as outgoing and willing to stick myself out there ...
What a mask !
I can remember when my doctor first told me that I had to go into treatment for an eating disorder. He'd been suggesting it for a while. Then I lost 80 lbs in 4 months ..and he laid it on the line ... Do it, or find a new doctor, I care too much, not only are you my patient that I can't watch do this to yourself, but your my sister in Christ, and I can't stand by and watch you destroy yourself this way.
He referred me to the Eating Disorder Clinic, where they insisted that I inform my whole medical treatment team, including my physical therapist ... I was floored. WHY HIM? He's not a doctor! But, I had to ...as part of compliance with the treatment.
I met him one morning, early, about 6. We were supposed to be meeting a vendor for a bracing for me. It was snowing outside ..the vendor didn't show up. No one else would be in the clinic for 45 minutes. My PT was a christian, he lived across the street from my pastor and we had developed a friendship in addition to the PT/Patient relationship. We got to sharing what God was doing in our lives.
There, in the quiet, super quiet atmosphere, I quietly told him what I was supposed to have told him 3 weeks before. Yes, it was technically him the PT, but in reality, it was him as friend that I was able to tell because of what he'd shared with me a few minutes before.
He was shocked. He stood up from the chair and just stared at me. He said "you're the last person I'd have expected it from. You seem so open, so real ... I would never have guessed you had a secret in your life!" I can remember clenching my fist under the table as I realized it wasn't the only secret, it probably wasn't the least of my secrets.
I have panic attacks, and people don't know ... I have melt downs, and no one sees them. I tell people about the chaos that goes on in my life ... mom's been sick, Don's been sick, I've been sick, the kids etc ..but I don't tell them the emotions behind the chaos. I don't tell them the hurt that goes with the chaos.
I don't tell them the fear that my mom won't be here in 5 years ... I tell them the frustration of dealing with my mom's declining mental state ...but I don't tell them the stark terror that strikes in my heart and that I'm afraid that I'm loosing the essence of the woman who planted the love of worshiping my savior.
I tell them I'm tired. I don't tell them that I'm worn out from trying to keep too many balls in the air ..that it's really more emotional exhaustion from trying to be the happy person they are used to seeing ... from being the strong one ... from being the one who doesn't need comfort. I tell them I'm in pain, but I don't tell them that the pain feels like it will never go away, and it scares me that I'm 41 and if it feels like that now ...what will it feel like when I'm 61?
I tell them Don doesn't feel good. But I don't tell them that it scares me when he doesn't feel good. Will he get pneumonia with his less than 50% lung capacity and will he be the typical male again and wait till too late to seek help.
When our marriage was bad. I never told until it was desperately bad, and then I only said it was bad. Even then, most people ...didn't know it was bad. They just thought my husband didn't come to church. When they ask about Don now, I can tell them he's good, but I don't tell them how afraid I am that I'll loose him now that I finally HAVE him.
When I talk about the kids, I tell them the facts. Benjamin had a seizure. Matter of fact, but it's ok because it was just caused by a fever (last November). I didn't tell them the fear that went with it ... does that mean the epilepsy isn't under control? What am I doing wrong?
When I'd talk about the frustration of Samuel not living up to his potential, I would talk about what he wasn't doing. Facts, just the facts ma'am ... no emotions or fear ...
Once I've had time to think about it, weigh it out, get some scriptures to balance myself out ... THEN I'll tell people how I got through it ... I'll tell people about the battle from the other side ... but I don't tell them when I'm IN the battle ... I don't ask for comfort in the battle ... I might ask for prayer ...but I'll never ask for comfort.
Because I tell people facts ... it comes off as being staight forward ... transparent ... my transparency is so opaque ... and no one really seems to know how to see through it.