I started this blog to let the people in my life get to know me. The reality of my crippling shyness has kept me from face to face sharing of my thoughts, likes and dislikes, dreams and beliefs……….. fill in the blank space with anything and I haven’t shared it; ever.
I have actually spent large portions of my life pretending to be something other than myself. The first set of years of pretending were the antithesis of the life I lived in my mind. I consciously did this because then no one could really wound my inner core. Not when it was bound, buried and locked away from view.
The second set was spent trying to fit into what I mistakenly thought would be a socially advantageous life for my children. Also to keep my core hidden from a husband who didn’t like the real me, but did like the pretenders, both the liar he married and the shadow I became. This did not go so well.
About ten or so years into that second set, I had a life changing event. I found unconditional love and acceptance on a scale I had never experienced. After my acceptance of this unexpected love and grace, my fear of life began its gradual downward tick.
Unfortunately, I found my new-self trapped in the life of a pretender. I was completely lost in a world of my own making. I began to feel lonely. This was a new experience for me. So I ventured out of my make believe world, which had sufficed up until then, and began to be myself around my children. This was incredibly freeing, and this small taste of relaxation brought with it, the desire for more. The only way I could find to change my situation, and release the grip of the pretender, was to pull my surroundings in close, and when possible, avoid everyone that knew me. I had to become completely self absorbed in an effort to try to find my lost self between the many layers of duplicity. As it happens, the trauma of family upheaval, long working hours, and a shortage of funds made this easier to accomplish. Since this time, I never doubt that all things can work together for good.
There is this Ogden Nash poem my mother used to read to me, where Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears with a realio trulio pet cowardly dragon. I loved that poem, but it always made me feel inadequate. I never put together why until recently, when I realized that I was never the Belinda in that poem. I have always been the cowardly dragon that would fiercely spring to your rescue and gobble up all the dastardly pirates; but only if you absolutely needed me, otherwise I just spent my life hiding and building a nice safe cage.
In this blog, through these words, I am trying to coax the dragon out. The idea being, if I let you get a glimpse of the real me in these missives, perhaps it will be easier to engage and fellowship with honesty. Perhaps it will be enjoyable and I will start to care. Right now I feel like I have lived far too long as Maurice Sendak’s Pierre, who didn’t listen to those who loved him because it was easier not to care, than it was to want to fold the folding chair and go to town.
But don’t worry, even if I pack up and go to town with my writing, I will always be there for you if a circumstance arises where someone needs to be eaten or vanquished. Because you know dragon moms never truly disappear; they only go into hibernation.