I've perfected the art; the art of lying...of pretending...of saying the right things at the right time with a convincing smile to make others believe. They believe that "I'm ok"; they believe that "I've got it under control"; they believe that "We are all fine". I sell my story very, very well...and almost everyone buys into what I'm selling. It's such an easier "truth"...for them and for me. Nobody really wants to hear my woes, my trepidations, my scary emotions that I hide behind a comforting smile, strong shoulders and a clenched jaw.
But the truth is...I'm barely functioning, barely getting by, barely holding it all together. I cry at the drop of a hat...during the playing of the National Anthem, at church, at an out-of-the-blue hug from a friend, at baseball parent meetings. It's ridiculous, really. But, nonetheless, it is what it is...and I can't seem to change that. I feel as if I'm carrying around a quiet heavy burden that I just can't seem to shake...and every day it gets heavier.
My heart feels injured...as if I have to protect it. I dread leaving the house for fear that someone will want to talk to me. I avoid eye contact because tears constantly threaten to escape. And I keep all of my big questions, fears, and looming conversations hidden. I don't want to burden my husband, family, or friends...no one can honestly help me with this path anyway. This burden is mine to bear.
Every day is one day closer. Some days I struggle to breathe; most nights I struggle to sleep; daily my thoughts are out of my control. I don't know how I'm going to say goodbye to my husband...I don't know how I'm going to help my kids say goodbye. I have no idea how I'm going to juggle everything. I've been so focused and concerned about the health and stability of my kids in this process...that I've neglected my own thoughts and emotions. And now they are relentless in their determination to be heard. I'm sure that a month or two after "the goodbye" we will find our own new normal. But how do I cope in the interim? How do I convince my head and heart that "it is ok"?
So I smile; I say "We are all fine", "We don't need any help", "I've got it under control", and "I'm ok". If I say it out loud enough my heart will surely be convinced...and my head will most assuredly follow. I'll tell my husband, "I'll be fine", " Don't worry about me", "Everything is ok" with a convincing determined voice. I will smile and laugh when things go wrong.
But in the quiet of the night, when all the kids are safe in bed, and I sit in the loneliness of our empty house........I struggle to be a convincing liar.