Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tuesday Thursday Talk: Lying Lips

From the time I can remember, I lied about stuff. Yeah. I'm admitting that to the few people that read my blog world. I lied to kids in school about what toys I had, I lied to the neighbor that I'd taken gymnastics since I was 3, I lied to my teacher that I read my books to get coupons to McDonald's I've always hated reading. My memory specifically goes back to when I was 6 y/o and I wanted to win a Bible in Sunday School. It was a new, shiny, white Bible with gold trim and I wanted it to be mine so badly.

The way to get this new, shiny, white Bible with gold trim was to bring the most visitors to church with you over the next month. So what did I do? I lied. For the next four Sunday's I had visitors in every other Sunday School class except, conveniently, mine. There was Julie, in the 4th grade class, Todd in the 2nd grade class, Sarah in the 9th grade class and of course Jason in the 7th grade class. I'd have 4, 5, 9 visitors every week in different classes and I just thought I was so smooth because my teacher believed me. How did I know she believed me? Because at the end of the month I was donned with a new, shiny, white Bible with gold trim. It was all mine because I'd earned it. Sure.

My memory then flips to what was likely just a few months later when I found that same new, shiny, white Bible with gold trim soaked and soiled with red Kool-Aid in the trunk of our 1980 station wagon we called Bessy {or something like that}. I remember being so upset and yet knowing really why it was destroyed. I haven't thought of that Bible since.

As the years went by, I'd lie about bigger things like when I moved to a new town in 6th grade and I told the kids my name was really Samantha because there was a popular girl in my old school named Samantha that everyone liked. I lied about someone stealing money out of my locker because it got me attention. When I moved in 11th grade to another new school, I lied about the activities I did in my previous school because it made me feel accomplished and I wanted the other girls to feel jealous.

Writing all this down is making me feel really ashamed and silly. Yet, I risk sharing these horrifying truths to help you understand why we may lie about our marriage, within our marriage or to ourselves regarding our marriage.

I asked my dad about a year ago why he thought depression was at such a high level in our society today and not 30, 40, 50 years ago. He said something to me that I'll never forget "With every year our society grows larger, the more pressure we each feel to have more money, own more things and be more accomplished. So with every less dollar, missing thing or failed accomplishment, we feel more depressed." The point is that growing up with one parent having left me, I did everything in my little power to convince others I was worthy of love, attention and acceptance. I lied.

Our society puts so much pressure married couples to have the perfect little home, the handsome-sweep you off your feet-understands all your feelings-provides your every need-cooks dinner 6 nights a week husband, a job that pays 3x's what your parents earned, a car envied by every neighbor and clothes that the Sex in the City women would want to borrow... and if you don't have all these things? You're nothing. You're insignificant. You're life has no meaning. You might as well give up.

So what do we do? We lie. Maybe not with our lips, but with what we don't say, what we don't reveal, what we don't deal with honestly. We lie to our neighbors. We lie to our friends. We lie to our co-workers. We lie to our family. Worst of all, we lie to ourselves so we don't even know we're lying. We walk around with this pressure on our shoulders like we're carrying the weight of the world and for what? To impress a society that doesn't care about us anyway? To feed the powerful hand of marketing that's behind all this garbage? To feel better around people you don't even like?

I'm so incredibly grateful that starting in my early 20's I worked hard and honestly to resolve my issues of fear of rejection and abandonment so that I could speak the truth about my life and find freedom in that. If you've been reading long, you know that the whole reason behind my blog is to expose the wicked facade society requires us to live up to in order to feel normal. I thank God I no longer feel that need to live up to a standard set by someone I don't even know.

My point is that you can let your guard down. You can be OK telling the truth about your fear that you're not where you want to be career wise. You can flaunt your sexy 1998 Honda, knowing that you've been savvy with your money. You can be proud of who you used to be because of who it's made you today. You can adore your husband/wife regardless of his/her downfalls. You can know that you're normal for having fights with your spouse and not always feeling in love with them. You can be confident that you're not the only one who feels lonely within their marriage at one time or another. I'm hear to tell you that you can be honest with yourself and not fear that your world will fall apart around you...

My defense against the world was lying... What's yours?


Sara said...

Very well said. Personally, I think I put on a happy face. One thing I've hated since I got married is all the people who ask, "How's married life?" and, being a terrible liar I feel like they know I'm a fraud if I don't always gush about how wonderful it is. For the most part it is wonderful, but I think nobody wants to hear about what an adjustment it is too. Thanks for your honesty.

MissBliss said...

powerful post!!! i can relate... after just attending a family wedding with all kinds of smiles for the cameras and so much else unsaid in the immediate family... because that's just the pattern...

it's extremely liberating when you realize you don't have to buy into marketing and have the latest and greatest that will just be yesterday's trends while the interest grows on your credit card...

sharing what is really going on with each other is so important... instead of saying we are all just fine, as in, "freaked out, insecure, neurotic, and emotional," yeah, sure, everything is fine!

i think making things up showed a creative imagination, too... ;)

i love your blog and you for the honesty!!!!

Lil' Woman said...

Love this true!

Sarah Danielle: Jeune Marie said...

Wow. This was intense. While I never feel the need to lie to anyone about my life, or things, or stuff, I used to always steer away from the topic of education. Prior to getting my business degree, with just a semester left I dropped out of school to move to a new city with my then boyfriend, soon fiance and now husband. I took my time planning the wedding of my dreams, I have an amazing career that allows me to branch out and use my creativity and I make more than some of my friends with degrees but it always intimidated me. That little piece of paper. Now that I'm married, well taken care of and adjusted, I don't care. When people ask where I graduated from I say "I left school to be a successful wife and insurance broker" and no one can make me feel down about that.

Erin said...

I was a liar...sometimes I STILL am :(

You get used to doing it and gets harder to break yourself of that. I will admit that I don't lie nearly as much to other as when I was younger but I tend to lie to myself more.

It’s hard when your friends are clearly lying to your face about their marriages and relationships and then ask you how everything is going with yours. Who doesn’t want to sound better?

I must say though...reading your "Tuesday talks" makes admitting to things/not lying about this a bit easier. Its nice to know that I am not the only one who feels lonely/sad/tired and so one sometimes about marriage. It has made it easier to fess up and deal with it (which is what I have been doing this whole time instead of wallowing in it) when you know you aren't alone!

Thank you!

You are awesome!

Krystyn said...

I think we all "lie" in our own ways. It might be allowing people to perceive us a certain way or actual lies.

Good post. Thanks for your honesty.

Mrs. D. said...

I feel like you could have written this one for me! LOL. Very true. I hope I find the courage one day to let down my guard and reveal the truths in my marriage and life.

Katie said...

Hi! I'm a new reader and I just felt compelled to comment. I've been hopping around from post to post on your blog (there's a list of "recommended" that I keep getting sucked into) and I am constantly astounded at your wisdom and insight. But really I'm commenting to thank you for it. Thank you for sharing your blog and essentially your life with random people like me because I think it was truly fate or a blessing that brought me here--I seem to have read at least three posts in a row that were exactly what I needed to hear at this moment in my life. I'm young, unmarried and having a pretty bad time of things at the moment but just reading some of your posts has made my burdens feel lighter and given me some beautiful perspective.

Thank you! I'm so glad I've found this blog.