Personal journal entrySeptember 28, 2016
There is a phenomena. This is the only word I can find to describe it. One where a person has held on for so long before asking for help, pretended all was ‘fine, I’m fine’. Personally I call it ‘faking it very well’. Smile, because everyone wants to see a smile. It’s all they want to see.
“Oh see you’re better now, you’re smiling.” As if it’s that difficult to smile. Everything must be okay because they are smiling now. To be able to smile, to seem happy in spite of body pain which cannot be imagined comes easy. ‘Happy all the time’ is not mental health. Having been stuck in this state of ‘happy’ because of brain injury I can say this with a lot of clarity. It is NOT normal to be happy all the time. To be unable to grieve, to cry, to sob, to be anything but perky and happy all the time is not a ‘happy place’. Even with bouts of rage, the easiest of emotions to express, the perky happy place is always the set point. Yet even when anger flares up, shows it’s colors? It is gone as quickly as it came.
I’ve had two friends die in the past nine months. Grieving their loss was something which I was unable to do. Those who also knew these friends called me unfeeling, or said ‘I must not have known them that well or I’d be more sad.” Thank you for those unkind words, really, I found them oh so helpful.
When terrible things beyond a friend’s death happens and I finally, finally share this terrible thing? It was to only find the mask I’d put on for so very long had been seen as the ‘real’ me. It’s a sad day to realize all the smiles are what have been believed. All the apparent joy and happy are all I could possibly be.
It causes me to question myself and think perhaps something inside of me is just missing. This inability to be ‘real’ except in a safe place, a protected space. One where I know, without doubt my sharing will be believed because years have created this trust.
Trust is not something forged over a few days, weeks or even months.
I share with others only what I’ve already posted online. Even what is perceived as ‘private’ has been written about in my blog, poems created about it, and my art shouts it out to the world at large.
Yet those are all the things I can share without worry or doubt. There are many other private things which never see the light of day. Are never spoken out loud to anyone. There is no trust in my life for any but the closest of loved ones to hear those truths.