My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Real Thing

Steroid use in athletes.
Plastic surgery.
Tanning beds.
Artificial sweeteners.
Genetically modified food.
"We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it"

Do you ever feel like we're suffering from a lack of authenticity in this world?
I get myself in trouble sometimes by being the Queen of TMI (too much information) but I'd rather put it all out there in hopes that the relationships in my life are based on truth.
It's part of my daily prayer each morning, "please God, let truth rise to the surface, let there be no dishonesty in our lives".

Living with a child with Aspergers (now an adult with Aspergers) has brought a lot of honesty into my life. He's missing the filter that tells you "you shouldn't/wouldn't/couldn't/might not oughta say that". I'm glad, in a way. He doesn't hold back. There are times that I grimace at the inappropriateness (is that a word?) of the context or content of what he says. But I still love his honesty.

Southerners have a tendency to wrap their words up in caro syrup sweetness and you have to have a special decoder chip in your brain to dissect what they're really saying. "Bless her heart... " comes to mind... or as my friend Kelli used to say when someone was completely pathetic, "God love him...".

I've raised my children that there's no reason to state the obvious - thus to avoid those instances of juvenile onset tourette's where they bust out with a "mommy, why is she so fat?" that could really hurt someone's feelings. I would always say, "fat people know they're fat, ugly people know they're ugly, dirty people know they're dirty, black people know they're black"... and so forth. There's no need to point it out.

I've always offered them the caveat that we can discuss anything they want - away from the situation - so that they don't blurt out, "why is that lady missing a leg?" in front of an amputee and ...similar situations. It's happened. I taught the kids that the car, when it's just us in it, is our place to discuss any questions that pop up. I think the last one was when my friend Misti adopted a baby close enough after the birth of her biological son that she was able to nurse the adopted baby. Austin got in the car after church with a load of questions, "how can you breastfeed an adopted baby".... and I had to explain a LOT more about breastfeeding than I ever wanted to share...

We have to straddle the fence between the worlds of being candid and being blunt. I try to remember when I'm blogging that it's ok to share things that are *my truth* and *my reality* and *my experience* but I need to be careful when describing things that impact others so as not to pull up the curtains on their life if they aren't ready or willing to share. And I need to avoid any subjects that might result in a cease and desist letter being sent to me. (It's happened.)

I just want to keep it real. If I'm hurting... I don't want to be a broken record but I want to be truthful. My (wonderful, amazing) office manager said that I have to let her know when I'm struggling with my working hours... they can't know that I'm in pain unless I tell them. The problem is... I come from a long line of folks who suffer in stoic silence. We (as a tribe) have a tendency to be completely compassionate and deeply concerned about others but avoid discussing the elephant in our own room. It's inbred in Southern women to not make a big fuss about things. I often wonder if all Southern women have Jewish ancestors. We have the martyr syndrome down to an art form.

Sometimes I just want to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So. Help. Me. God.

Except I fear that for many people... they can't HANDLE the truth.

We could start having "Truthful Tuesday" since I've been looking for a blog starter to use for that day... I have "Reasons to Love Monday" and "Whiny Wednesday" (although I try to avoid that) and "Thankful Thursday".... I think I'll give that a try.

One of my co-workers gave me a really precious compliment the other day. I can't quote her word for word but she basically said that I bring a lot of positive energy into the office when I come in every day. I do try. The secret about me is that the more pain I'm in, the more I try to overcompensate with being cheerful and friendly and outgoing. It's my mask. If I took it off, you would see a lot of pouting, whining and that bit from HeeHaw where they sang, "gloom, despair and agony on me... " It's not that I want to be dishonest, I just don't want to be *that girl* who always talks about her aches and pains and medical issues... to the extent that people avoid me.

I save that kind of stuff for y'all. *wink*

Time for me to put on my stockings to hide my hairy legs... my super duper support underwire bra to defy gravity and give the girls a lift.... time to pull out an outfit that makes me look more professional than I really am.... wear shoes that are deceptively dress - but have non slip rubber soles for folks like me who are accident prone... time to cover my puffy eyes with makeup.... curl my hair and hope it stays put today... time to paint on a smile and forget my troubles and fake like nothing hurts for the next five hours...

Until I can come back home, put on the soft/and fuzzy clothes... turn on the heating pad and take the pain medicine that helps me cope with my reality... dope that helps me cope... turn on Fox News and get back to reality.

That's what I'm thankful for today: the real things. Love and hugs, y'all.