Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Art of Pretending








there was a little girl. She loved to pretend. She’d wear her older sister’s prom dresses and turn them into lavish princess gowns, she’d stuff her baby doll up her shirt and have it there for all of twenty minutes and she got bored before she gave birth to it and became a mother. One of this little girl’s favorite things was turning the ordinary into extraordinary. Spinning exotic tales and making her life less boring and less awful than it may have been.

This girl needs to learn how to do that again. For it is vital for her health, as well as those around her. But when you grow up, pretending isn’t so easy anymore. The optimism and awe you have for life fades right when reality gives you a swift kick to the left ovary and leaves you winded. You forget how to thrive, only survive. You realize you aren't a princess; you never were.

I think I’ve learned the trick to my own survival, in particular: to thrive, I need to pretend. That everything’s alright. Pretend that we have enough money to pay the bills and our staggering medical bills. Pretend like I don’t cry about that on a daily basis. Pretend like I’m not sick. Pretend like I am a decent mother. And a decent wife; even a decent person. I think it’ll be easier that way. I no longer have my dress-ups, or my barbies, or my best friend that I used to spend hours with, weaving tales of magic and mischief and unbelievablity. But I have a family who needs me to pretend I am a strong Queen, a ruler over the household, who can clean and cook and laugh like it ain’t no thang. A queen who no longer wears her husband out with her ill health. Or cries for half a day. A Strong Queen.

I can do this. I used to have an excellent imagination. It’s just a bit rusty, is all. It’ll come, I keep telling myself. It’ll come.

The End.

14 comments:

Krista said...

Perhaps there maybe some truth in the "fake it till you make it" statement. I hope you realize that you already are many of those things you feel you need to pretend to be, but if pretending is all you can do right now then I think it's a step in the right direction. Kind of like reading affirmations even when you don't believe them, eventually they seep in.

Laura said...

For your child, yes, you need to fake it a bit. He needs to know that you are reliable, you are strong, and happy to be alive, because you are HIS MOM. And who knows, maybe it will help you in the long run.

But stop there. Bills, crying, relationships being worn down by the drama, etc only get worse when we pretend. Trust me. I "pretended" all the way to filing for bankruptcy. It aint pretty!

Something about being a little girl, and able to escape, and dream...and when we are mothers ourselves, we not only lose the ability to dream that way, but even worse, we find that these dreams never stood a chance of reality in the first place.

Life is hard. I don't know why, for me, it is such a surprise, at how difficult EVERYTHING is. Life, marriage, family, growing up...shouldn't it all be easier???

You can pretend to get YOU through the day to day, just know that with me, there is no need to pretend.

And I think you SHOULD put on a prom dress today...just for the fun of it.

xoxox

HAFC said...

Oh Brie.....I think that whatever coping mechanisms you can use to get through this hard time is totally good, and maybe even healthy. If pretending enables you to get through the day and night, then that's perfect. I think coping through pretending is what many of us do, without even knowing it. Sometimes though it can get to the point where the pretending becomes so strong, that you really can't see reality like one should, but you have support from all around you, so that will help.

I also cope through pretending, and avoiding, and placing a grin on my face while acting "great", even though many times it's just a huge facade.

In difficult times, I guess we just have to do what we can, to keep our head screwed on properly, ya know? Watch Cade....see how he pretends, just please don't get lost in this "never-land."

I laughed at your comment of having your left ovary kicked, or whatever......because my left ovary actually dropped down to the bottom of my the outside of my uterus (obviously, not where it should be), and it's caused so much hellish pain I've missed a lot of work b/c of it. It's hard to pretend when you hurt, that's for sure, but if you (or even me) can try, we'll get through these trying times (even if it is through pretending in order to just make it through the day).

I loved this entry, by the way. Did you really stuff baby dolls in your dress? : )

And like Krista said, you really are all those things you mentioned in your post. : )

Tanya said...

I believe in you B. I know you can be that queen. I see it in you. You are a queen elizabeth...or Queen B as we will say not an Ophelia. You will survive. That may or may not make sense. Its referring to a painting I did...

anyhow...just wanted to say I believe in you...you can do this. Thats all.

Lisa said...

I used to think the "fake it til you make it" mantra was feel-good BS ... until I tried it and it actually worked.

I'm pulling for you, your highness.

brie said...

testing, testing...

brie said...

damn. it worked.

Krystle said...

You will have your "happily ever after." Inside, we are all princesses, glorious in our own right. Keep up that imagination, Brie, and you will find the strength to be a strong and happy queen... xoxoxo

Sarah said...

Brie, you ARE a decent wife, mother, and person. If you weren't, you would be selfishly wallowing in your AN instead of trying to recover.

I know it may be hard to believe that, but it's true. Your son and your husband love you. Your family loves you. They all know you are trying. What more can you ask from anyone? You are doing your best.

Kara said...

I definitely believe in the power of positive thinking. However, no one is strong enough to be positive all the time. Strive to be better, but give yourself some slack too.

kristin said...

I have been told that if you pretend to be happy long enough that you eventually will be. I don't remember the exact phrase. Maybe using your imagination will be a good thing.

Brie, no matter what, you are a strong queen. You always are.

love, kristin

zubeldia said...

I may disagree with everyone here, but I am not a huge fan of fake it till you make it... I don't know, there is something a bit unsustainable about it. At the same time having a negative mindset helps no one... But I don't think that we're talking about that with you, my girl.

I think you can cry about these things, and reach out, and hold onto people. I think you can sob about unpaid bills and mounting debt, and I think you can weep for all the things you have lost in the battle with your health, and I think you can do all those things without falling apart. I think you can do all these things and still work on being happier and more contented.

I would hate for you to shut up, I would hate it if you felt the need to hide and lock the unhappiness up. See, I think that leads to more anxiety, sadness, self-loathing... to more anorexia.

Baby, I don't know how to help, but I am here. I was hoping to hear from you today. Touch base when you can, okay?

Love you

Penny said...

Brie, i believe that your family is not looking for a "strong queen". They are looking for a woman who believes that she is needed and that she is loved and that others need her love. Worries and fears and troubles are all just speedbumps. They slow us down and give a big BUMP but they do not stop us or cause our defeat. Defeat happens when one just gives up, quits trying, or thinks they are no longer wanted or needed. There is no need for me to go on because you do not and will never fit that definition. So, my princess, get up (like you did tonight) and just keep going. You have your kingdom already,and someday it will be "happiness ever after."

Telstaar said...

I've been thinking bout what to write all day and I cannot communicate it in words but at the end of the day...

I love you and I love that you write so honestly...

I don't think you need a million pieces of wisdom this moment from me (lol partly cause you got it in email form) but mostly cause, I think you just need space to be able to dream and you'll do what you gotta do anyway...

Love you hunni, VERY much

xoxo