“Have you ever lied to your husband? About what? Do you ever think that telling a lie is okay?” – Lydia I.
Lydia, this is an interesting question, and one I was almost afraid to answer, because my husband does read this blog. However, my mood today has sort of prompted a little guilt regarding dishonesty, and maybe this is the best way to approach my issues without freaking Jackie out.
I do not lie to my husband. My husband knows me better than anyone else, and in fact, he has accepted me for exactly who I am. He has not tried to change me or “better” me. Even with all of my drama and issues, I am enough for him, and I find a lot of comfort in that.
What I can say is that I don’t think my husband understands the severity of my anxiety or depression. I think I haven’t shown him how bad things are/can be, because I don’t want him to think I’m a nut job. Granted, I don’t show anyone how sad I am. But sometimes I feel like Jackie doesn’t know the “dark” me, because I try to spare him the hurt of what I go through almost every day. I am a sad, clinically depressed individual. I have been in therapy for more than half my life, and sometimes I feel as if that therapy hasn’t even made a dent in my real problem.
And honestly, the real problem is that I hate myself. It’s not an appearance thing or a regret thing or even a guilt thing – those are just symptoms. I’m talking about a deep, dark, almost profound hatred of myself. Everything about me.
On mornings that Jackie is home, I keep quiet, wandering around the house, getting ready for work. To Jackie, and to anyone else who might see this, I just look like your ordinary mother, going through her morning routine – bath, bra, hair, clothes, jewelry, car.
But in my mind, even if I’m having a conversation with Jackie or one of the kids, I’m repeating hateful things to myself. When I look in the mirror while I’m doing my hair, eyes so piercing that it may one day break the glass, I silently utter insults at my reflection.
What I do on lonely mornings and evenings, however, takes the cake. I figure that saying the thoughts out loud must mean more than just thinking them, and so I stare at that same mirror and say, “You’re nothing. You’re loved by no one. You’re a stupid, fat, disgusting middle-aged woman who has never and will never serve a purpose in this world. You’re a waste of space. You’re a terrible excuse for a human, an even worse mother and wife, and you don’t deserve to live.”
I do not cry myself to sleep on nights when Jackie and the kids are home, because again, I do not want to expose them to this sick side of me. But I am sure that our dog has seen more than his fair share of tears and heard more than his fair share of meltdowns.
Depression is not a weakness. It is an illness. It’s an illness that can be very well-hidden. On the outside, people probably think I’m doing okay. I smile and converse normally. I work and do my chores at home and stay somewhat productive. I may even have fun every once in a while. But that’s only who I want to be – not who I am.
Who I am is a very sick and sad person, who contemplates suicide on an almost daily basis. Who I am is a mother who just can’t get it together most days. Who I am is a 30-year-old nobody, who has never, and probably will never, find her place in this world. Who I am is a victim of my own thoughts, fears and anxiety. And no amount of therapy, medication, venting, journaling or even blogging has helped up to this point.
My therapist says that I should challenge those thoughts by saying nice things about me. But how can I do that when every bad thing I say about myself is 100% the truth? How can I accept myself, knowing all of the horrible things I’ve done? How can I appreciate the love that I get from Jackie and my kids, when I can’t even love myself? How can I forgive myself when there are about 6 million people who cannot forgive me? I am no better than they are. What do I have to do to learn to be okay with who I am, while also trying to better myself?
No, Lydia, I don’t think it’s okay to lie, ever. Even if the truth hurts, a lie will hurt worse. My Daddy always said, “Your lies will find you out,” and no lie I’ve ever told has ever ultimately helped me or anyone else.
Having said that, I am obviously a big hypocrite, on top of all of the other bad things, because I don’t think I’ve ever expressed the magnitude of this depression from which I suffer.
Jack may hate me for posting this. He may even realize that he can’t help me and decide there’s nothing in this for him anymore. Or maybe he’ll think he can fix this and put forth that effort. I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s never okay to be dishonest, no matter the cost.
Meg / cC