Perception vs. Reality

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Most people would consider me to be a fairly self-sufficient woman. I take pride in going in alone and handling my business. And, therein lies the problem. I’ve allowed my “perception of strength” to fool me into believing that asking for help is a weakness. I heard a quote once that knocked me on my behind, “If you are too proud to admit you are hurting…don’t be surprised if no one seems to care”.

Pride_Mom

22-months ago. But, who’s counting?

The week following my twins birth was the hardest time of my life. See, I’m not a fan of hospitals, which makes me a horrible patient. I had an emergency C-section on Wednesday afternoon, and, against my husband’s and families advice, I checked myself out of the hospital 36-hours later. After months of bed rest, hospital stays and near scares, I just wanted to go home. But, once there, reality hit that I wasn’t in good shape. The pressure in my head was so bad I couldn’t move my body without seeing stars and feeling searing pain shoot down my neck and spine. Every step I took I felt the floor shift under my feet. I couldn’t keep anything down, and the more I vomited the worse my head throbbed and my abdominal stitches stretched. Compounded by the physical pain, I was sleep deprived, my hormones were depleted, and I felt trapped by two screaming, fragile newborns, and a 2-year old toddler who was struggling to process the change. With all sincerity, I didn’t think I was going to make it; either the pain or the stress was going to kill me.

Two weeks later, my cousins expressed their disappointment in me for not hosting Thanksgiving dinner. A close friend responded to my text that she couldn’t visit me because she was in too bad a mood. And, then there were friends/family who either didn’t call me or called with problems.

My husband came home from work one afternoon to find me exhausted and crying while breastfeeding both twins. I was devastated that so few seemed to give a damn that I was struggling. No one cared that I needed to sleep, that I needed to eat or that I could use some friendly company.  No one cared because no one knew. Everyone assumed that I was okay, because that’s how I’ve always carried it. And, whose fault is that? Mine.

We’ve all experienced this in one way or another. Your friends think you’re in a happy relationship, when at home you and your partner barely speak. Your family has the notion that you’re swimming in money, but they don’t understand how hard you work to still live paycheck to paycheck. Colleagues swear you’re in a position of power, but they’re not aware of the daily struggles you face in your career. The world believes you’re so “put together” but it doesn’t see your missing pieces.

Well, not me. Not anymore. I am learning that people appear to us based on the light we throw upon them. I can’t afford to be blinded. My husband and my children are helping me to communicate my reality, so I’m not crushed by it.

My diary entry is this, “Perception is not reality”.

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