It happens all of the time. Walking by another human being, and the inevitable weirdness of the question, ‘how are you doing today?’ From a random stranger, my automatic response is ‘Good.’ Because spirit only knows; random stranger does not want to know how I am doing. That social nuance, I know.
What I don’t know is, when a friend or someone I do know asks me how I am doing, do I tell them the truth? Do I let it go with a ‘good.’ And leave it at that. I automatically respond to ‘Good.’ To any question about how I am doing. In part because I don’t know if they are asking because they genuinely want to KNOW how I am doing or if they are being polite because that is what you do when you see an acquaintance.
I know that I have those people in my world who really want to know how I am doing when they ask me that question. Those are my rare friends who know that they ask me that question; they will get the truth. And when I ask them, I want to know how they are doing.
Everyone else, thus far, I put on a smile and say, ‘good.’ Because good is the most neutral word in the human language. It can mean many different things, but for most people, the response of ‘good’ seems to be, well, a good enough answer to their question. And then it’s onto the next topic. And that is okay.
I may struggle with how best to respond sometimes. Most people don’t want to know all of what goes on in my head. They don’t WANT or NEED to know that most of the time, I am not good.
I am so far from good on an average day that it is almost suffocating. But I put on that smile, the proverbial lipstick on a pig, and I tell people that I am ‘good.’ It is the polite thing to do after all. Put on that cover, ring the bells of happiness, all is well in the world.
Perhaps shout from the rooftops, the world is GREAT! My WORLD IS GREAT! If I repeat it enough times, maybe it will be true? Eh, maybe someday, with a lot of hard work. Here is the thing, my life is AMAZING. I mean, I have a hubs, a special person in my world who loves me.
It is the first time I have known unconditional love. His love for me is not based on me doing anything. That is amazing.
I have other people in my life who unconditionally care about and love me too. That is a unique situation for me. I have to remind myself of that many times. The unconditional care and love bubble that I am surrounded by is new. I am so used to conditional care and love.
My abusers taught me to put on an act for the world of love and caring. You will wear that lipstick and LOVE IT. But behind closed doors, it was nothing like what others thought. It was something else, something dark, hidden behind the façade of love and caring.
That was the lipstick that I fought so hard not to wear in public, but I had to. I had a role to play back then, and I did the best job I could. It is so exhausting to play that role. And I didn’t want to, but that is what happens in abusive families. They put lipstick on their ugliness, on the ugliness that exists behind closed doors.
Amid the darkest times in my life, I wanted to throw that lipstick away so badly. I wanted the world to see what was going on behind that lipstick, that mask. I wanted someone to see what was happening. I wanted help.
Then I left that situation, but I took that lipstick with me. I brought the idea that if you put on that lipstick, everyone will know all is well with the world. I tell myself I had to keep that façade going. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been allowed to live independently from my abuser.
I had to PROVE that I could do it. And putting on that lipstick, keeping that façade going, was crucial to my survival. I look back now, and I wish I hadn’t brought that lipstick with me. I needed help. Spirit knows I needed help. But no one knew because I kept that lipstick on and covered up what was happening within myself. I carry it with me now.
That is why I write. I am trying to throw away that lipstick. That lipstick, anything used to cover up abuse, does not have any place in this world. It has no place in MY WORLD. By throwing that away, it opens a doorway, letting in the light. Abusers do not, will not survive in the light.