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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hard question, and I'm not sure how to phrase it.<br>
I feel like I walk around with a social mask on-and a lot of times I feel false and see through.<br>
I guess what I want to know has layers.<br>
Does everyone do this?<br>
Do you expect that everyone has problems that they just don't talk about? Meaning, is that a given?<br>
How open are you about what is going on in your life?<br>
Who do you discuss these things with?<br>
Would you be turned off say if someone you knew had problems, or would that be considered part of lifes struggle?<br>
Like for me, I have a hard marriage and sometimes hard kids. But I don't ever uncover that part of my life. kwim?<br>
It leaves me feeling like a liar sometimes.<br>
Like I have friends who don't know what my life is like at all, or who I am. I don't really need to talk about these things most of the time. I just want to socialize in a normal way. But does that make me weird or does everyone do that? Am I misrepresenting myself. I think that's what I'm trying to ask.<br>
Everyone around me seems totally stable and normal. Are they or are they doing what I'm doing? Deep sigh.......<br>
I'm a very honest person by nature, and this dosen't sit well with me-though I don't really want to run out and tell everyone how miserable I really am lol.<br>
Is this normal-should I not be beating myself up? Or do you think I'm more closed off than the average person?
 

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I think everyone does this to a certain extent, but it may be a matter of degrees, know what I mean?? If I had an issue in my past and someone I knew was having the same problem I'd be a little more likely to talk about it, but otherwise I wouldn't go around broadcasting all of my issues.<br><br>
I do run into people who have no sense of what's appropriate in a social situation and will lay it all out there for everyone. I don't care for this kind of thing, it weirds me out and I don't need to know about it. Then you get people who you may chat to but know absolutely nothing about and getting any kind of info from them is like pulling teeth.<br><br>
I think what really matters is whether or not you want to discuss any of your business with other people. I don't think you should feel like you have to tell anyone anything about your life unless it's something you're comfortable with. I like to be more private and keep my business to myself for the most part.
 

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that's a lot of good questions <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I really think the answer is that it completely depends on the specific relationship you have with that person. I certainly don't tell an acquaintance about my marital problems or my stress levels with my child's special needs. I don't tell EVERYTHING to anyone, even my best friend, simply because she wouldn't understand- she's not married (or in a long term committed relationship), she's not a mother. Some day when she is those things, I might. I do find that some people, mostly people I'm not close with, are comfortable sharing stories and experiences that are <i>personal</i>, but not <i>private</i>, if that makes sense. For example, DH's bosses' wife may tell me something a little embarrassing or odd about her pregnancy, but I'm SURE she wouldn't tell me if she were having marital problems, so again it's about the quality of closeness.<br><br>
I will say that I think there is some element of respect in a marriage by not confiding every single detail of the problems you're having. I wouldn't really appreciate it if DH was doing that. But sometimes it really helps to be able to vent and complain a little.<br><br>
Yes, I assume that anyone I know has a lot, lot, lot going on that I don't know about. I assume that my best friend of 17 years has plenty she hasn't told me. But she definitely confides in me. Recently her boyfriend of 3 years did something really hurtful and horrible and she's given me a ton of details, and really wanted to talk about it and sort of lean on me a bit for strength and love, which is great, in my opinion. I know she only told her mother and a couple of other friends about the situation.<br><br>
I find it odd that NONE of your friends talk about these things with you. I really do. If anything, I find my friends almost *enjoy* bitching about their lives! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> to a certain extent. I mean, it's impossible that literally everyone you know is totally stable and normal and has no serious problems unless you live in Pleasantville.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I find it odd that NONE of your friends talk about these things with you. I really do. If anything, I find my friends almost *enjoy* bitching about their lives! to a certain extent. I mean, it's impossible that literally everyone you know is totally stable and normal and has no serious problems unless you live in Pleasantville.<br><br>
See that is sort of what I'm talking about lol.<br>
We DO bitch about the little things. I love to complain about how my kids are stressing me out whilst at playgroup, as do all the mama's there.<br>
I just sometimes sit around and wonder if they are all really happily married as they project that they are- or if we all walk around with some level of hidden saddness.<br>
And the weird thing is, when I was younger we DID talk about this stuff all of the time.<br>
Now that I'm older, I find that I don't really want to. I don't want them to, and I don't want to.<br>
Not all the time-not as a hard and fast rule. But for the most part, I like to keep my distance now that I"m in my 30's. I have a very private life.<br>
Then I start to wonder if I'm projecting myself in an untrue light.<br>
For instance. I homeschool, I cloth diaper, I nurse etc etc....perfect perfect perfect. But I'm so not. I have really human struggles and lots of pain-and I'm fine with that. It's almost like hidden art. If that makes any sense at all.<br>
But really, we just seem to talk about the mundane-all the freakin time.<br>
And I wondered if I was the only one with a very "rich" spiritual and martial life.<br>
I also wonder how society contributes. (I think too much)<br>
SHOULD we be supporting one another more in these ways-does our society almost force a lot of this privacy? If that makes any sense.<br>
Ah-I'm just really in my head a lot tonight lol.<br>
And as far as me living in Pleasantville goes- I truely feel like I do.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
On the outside anyway. EVERYONE seems so together and happy. Are they?<br>
Did I miss the boat.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I'm still full on finding my way.<br>
I just remember the good old days when everyone I was hanging out with had REAL problems- but maybe that was back in the days when we were dating people, and everything was up for examination. kwim? But those were some close friendships-and some great playgroup discussions.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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that's true- it seems like when you're just dating, it's fine to talk about much more private stuff. like it's up for debate and input. but once you're married, everything is so damn serious. you don't want to tell your friend about problems because you're afraid they'll think you're going to get divorced or something. for me it's like tit for tat (what an awful phrase)- but if someone is open with me, I'll try to reciprocate and tell them something about myself that is equally personal. but it's hard to be the first one.<br><br>
actually I'm glad you started this thread <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> maybe I will be more open with my bf even though she isn't married. I've noticed sometimes that when I say something out loud that I've kept inside for a while and felt badly about, suddenly it doesn't seem as bad out in the open, especially when the person reacts really calmly.<br><br>
you're not the only one who thinks too much! what do you think would happen if you asked one of them if they are truly happy in life?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think if I asked them if they were truely happy they might drop dead lol.<br>
We don't talk about such things.<br>
I may just be hanging out with prudes- maybe THAT'S the problem.
 

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This is a very interesting thread. I also often wonder about the potential disparity between the lives that are presented to me and how they really are when no one is looking. I have to tell you that I apparently am a bigtime faker. I went through <b>years</b> of major depression and suicidal thoughts and attempts. And it's only been in the last year that anyone in my family either knew about it at all or knew the extent of it. One of my sisters was hospitalized, first for clinical depression and later for a suicide attempt, and it wasn't until I called her up and left a message after the first hospital stay: "You need to call me. I know what you are going through. You are living the story of my life." that my sister ever had any idea that I had been experiencing such pain all those years. My sister! I thought I went around in life with a label on my forehead, "Depressed. Suicidal. Unstable." and that it was obvious to everyone. But my sister said I was a damn fine actress then because she had no clue, and she is pretty sure most of our family/friends had no idea either. My sister thought I was the same outgoing, happy, confident person she knew me as as a kid, and was even a little envious of my joyous, carefree life. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The fact that I talked to my sister about my own experiences has really enriched my life and our relationship. I found a closeness that I had longed for and not thought possible because I was so sure everyone could see the truth about me and just never talked about it because they didn't want to get involved in that kind of messiness in my life; frankly, I thought I was being rejected.<br><br>
So, if you have long-time friends and your relationships with them have taken a rather surface and mundane turn, my thought would be to just start this kind of conversation with them. I'm starting to think that my experience, of appearing like I have it all together but really falling apart inside, is not unique. And like I said before, I thought it was obvious to everyone what my problems were and I felt rejected because no one reached out to help me through them. So I'm wondering if everyone is walking around thinking that all their problems and weaknesses must be so obvious to everyone and they don't share any of themselves because it's apparent that no one else wants to talk about it or else they would have brought it up already. So everybody smiles and everybody fakes it.<br><br>
I could be way off the mark though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay- so THATS what I was asking about.<br>
Thanks rosidox.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:<br>
You can't really waltz into playgroup and lay down your hell, but I really feel see through sometimes. And the rejection thing is a big thing I deal with too.<br>
Wow. Glad you could relate to that. I think I've gotten so used to faking it that even I believe my own lies.<br>
For the record, the only people who have checked in on this are the ones who know what I'm talking about.<br>
If this is not something you struggle with or can relate to, speak up.<br>
I'm trying to determine how common this is.
 

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I used to not talk about it. Now I talk about it.<br><br>
No one can love you for who you really are until they know who you really are.<br><br>
Is it normal not to want anyone to know? Sure. Is it healthy for your self esteem? No. Because the funny thing is, we all have skeletons, and our skeletons are never as scary to ther people as we expect them to be. They're too busy being scared of their own to give two hoots or a hollar about yours...
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amris</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7916399"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I used to not talk about it. Now I talk about it.<br><br>
No one can love you for who you really are until they know who you really are.<br><br>
Is it normal not to want anyone to know? Sure. Is it healthy for your self esteem? No. Because the funny thing is, we all have skeletons, and our skeletons are never as scary to ther people as we expect them to be. They're too busy being scared of their own to give two hoots or a hollar about yours...</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/truedat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Truedat"><br><br>
I feel bad now that I didn't have the courage, or the language really, to forthrightly share my weaknesses and challenges with my family at least. (Of course, this gets back to that, "I thought everybody already knew" thing, so I'm not sure how I could have done anything differently.) I think I would have saved my sister a lot of shame and grief, not to mention the amount of time she suffered in silence, because she would have had someone who understood to hold her hand through that dark time from its onset and thus it might never have got as dark as it did.<br><br>
At this point, she at the age of 40 and me at 30, we are both trying to start over in a way and attempt to live as authentically as possible. It might save someone else some pain.
 

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I used to be a witholder. Heck, I called my parents the day that I walked out on my ex and told them I'd be staying with a friend until I figured some things out. We'd be married for 5 years and no one knew that our marriage was in trouble. Now that's pretty good faking if I do say so myself!<br><br>
I don't know why I didn't want to share things except that I have painful memories of friends betraying my confidences. After awhile I think it was easier to just pretend that I didn't have any problems.....except that every. single. person has problems.<br><br>
I think as I've gotten older and less concerned about what people thought of me it's gotten a little easier. It is cleansing to be authentic with people that you care about. And if by telling them something bad about yourself makes them care less about you, then they probably aren't good friends in the first place - KWIM? I have about 4 friends that know the good, bad and the ugly on me. I can really relax and be myself with them....and that's a darn good feeling.<br><br>
How common is the faking? IMO it's way too common, unfortunately. We are all more similar than we are different. There are some people, for whatever reason, I just couldn't seem to develop a deeper relationship with. Could have been me, could have been them....could have been the weather....who knows? Maybe you could approach it in a different way. Instead of complaining about this or that, maybe say "I have a problem....." or "What would you do if you were me?" or "Have you ever had this happen?" Maybe you'll get the ball rolling in a different direction.
 
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