If You Really Knew Me - Why Am I Like This?

11:55 AM

Inspired by the If You Really Knew Me series on MTV that I heard about on the MomDot forums and the subsequent #ifyoureallyknewme movement on Twitter, I thought I would create my own post about who I really am and how I have come to be this way. If you have not seen this series or if you have preteen or teenage children who have not seen it, I would highly suggest that you take a peek at it today. If we all operated on the same concept as "challenge day," there is no doubt in my mind that the world would be a much better place to live.

If you really knew me: You would know that I grew up with an emotionally and sometimes physically abusive father and that I always felt like a mistake since I was conceived 12 years after my closest sibling. You would know that I got married when I was 17 to someone who was both highly mentally and physically abusive to me, who was a drug addict, and who kept me pregnant as a way of keeping me in the relationship.

If you really knew me: You would know that I tried to kill myself at the age of 16 because I was constantly teased at school. You would know that after being told that I was nothing and a loser my whole life, I now suffer from social anxiety and often come across as stuck up or snotty, when in reality I am just completely frozen in fear and afraid to interact with others in person because I know they won't  like me.

If you really knew me: You would know that I spent Saturday afternoon locked in a bathroom in New Orleans calling back home because I was convinced that everyone disliked me and that I am still replaying the events of the entire weekend and trying to figure out what is wrong with me.

If you really knew me: You would know that my only friends or people I ever see are my mom, sisters and my friend Doug. You would also know that I have lost all my grandparents, my dad and my oldest children's father and am terrified that I will not be able to handle any more loss. You would know that I put on a strong front, try to do it all by myself, but am constantly afraid that I am not being a good mother, daughter, sister or friend.

The real me is a kind, loving, and unfailingly honest person who can be a really fun person to be around. I give til it hurts and am probably overly emotional. Unfortunately, very few people ever see the real me, as I am usually too crippled in fear to talk to anyone or break the ice in a new situation.

What about you? Is there something you wish everyone would know if they knew the real you? If you aren't comfortable revealing your identity, feel free to use the anonymous option in the comment section below.

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  1. wow, such honesty is hard to put out there...here's to you for letting all of that out. Even though I don't know you in "real life", I know you're a great mother and excellent at making relationships in many ways.

    My, "if you knew me in real life" would be, If you knew me in real life you'd know that I am terribly afraid that ALL men lie. My husband is THE most incredible man I've ever known, but my father is not. He was unfaithful to my mother for MANY years with MANY women, he lied to take money from people and lied about the kind of father he wanted to be...I live in fear that all men will turn out being this way, and everyday I tell myself my husband is different, but it's ALWAYS on my mind. Whew, now I feel better :)

  2. My heart is crying. Isn't it amazing how many of us have been abused by someone we loved and trusted and have tried to hurt ourselves in indescribable ways? Yet, we never speak of it and we all think that we are the only one. I had a client last week who was pure evil and one of those who sees the soft underbelly and wrote me a letter so harsh and vile that I cried for 3 days and felt like I was once again that little girl that no one loved. Thank you for being honest and letting us know that we really are not alone. With love, Bev

  3. Wow, thank you for your honesty and bravery for posting this! I applaud you for coming out and telling us all this! I can't imagine that there are that many people out there that don't like you, and even though I don't know you outside of blogging you seem to me like you are a very kind and wonderful person and mother. You have to love yourself first, before you worry about what anyone else thinks of you!

    Me "If you knew me" You would know that I have major weight issues. I suffered from Bulimia when I was in high school and college. I always felt like I was not thin enough and that I was fat. I still struggle with my body image a lot and it is a constant battle to not obsess over it. Wow, that was kind of liberating! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Hi there, I'm your newest follower from Spotlight Saturday. Loving your blog. Look forward to reading more. Hoping you'll drop me a visit sometime.


  5. Thanks for your comments everyone and for being brave enough to share as well!

    Marissa,I can understand where you are coming from. It can be difficult to be hurt so much by someone so close and then find the strength to trust again. It sounds like you are doing a great job of working through your feelings and that you have a real keeper on your hands.

    Bev, don't let that awful client get to you. Maybe they were going through a rough time or perhaps they really have become a truly cold person because of something that happened in their lives. In any event, they should never have acted that way to you and you should just shrug it off. You are an amazing person and don't ever let anyone tell you different.

    Hannah, you are absolutely gorgeous and I can't believe you ever obsessed about your weight, but I can certainly understand. As an emotional eater, I was on the other side of eating disorders, but I have finally found a healthy middle ground as I am sure you have.

    Marie, welcome to Life With 4 Boys. I hope you will visit us often and I will be by to visit your blog this morning.

    {{Hugs}} to all you amazing ladies and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  6. Hi Kathleen,

    Thanks for your bravery in sharing. I understand how you feel, and can really relate to your story.

    Here's something someone said to me that was life changing, and I hope it helps you too.

    Picture yourself as a bowl of water, an innocent vessel in the world. Every time you were hurt and abused by your father, a stone splashes in, and sinks to the bottom of the bowl. Every time you felt like an outsider in your family, unplanned and unwanted, another stone splashes in, ripples the surface, and sinks to the bottom and weighs you down. When your schoolmates teased you, told you that you were ugly and stupid, pebbles skipped, splashed and sank to the bottom, weighing you down more. When your husband told you that you were stupid, didn't do it right, didn't know what you were talking about, and lied to you, more stones dropped in, splashing water out the sides where you didn't want it to be seen, and sank to the bottom with unbearable weight. Now whenever some looks at you a certain way, and you just know that they see you on your high horse and don't like you, another stone splashes in, and weighs you down so you don't have any energy. When you don't do the things you know you "should" more stones plop in the water, and sink to the bottom.

    The truth is that when we have a traumatic history, these rocks will always be with us. But there is another truth.

    No mom is perfect, but I see in you a good mom who tries very hard to make her kid's childhood the best it can be. For that there are beautiful flowers floating on the water.

    In your photo I see a smile that lights up a room, so I know that you're a fun person to be with. More fragrant flowers floating in your bowl of water.

    Thru your blog you have made connections with many people who enjoy spending part of the day "visiting" with you here. I am one of those people, and I know that we learn something from you, enjoy your wit and style. Those traits are more flowers floating across your bowl of water.

    Kathleen, when we look at you, we don't see your rocks. Just like lilies on a pond, all we can see are the beautiful flowers of your glowing, giving, and loyal personality.

    I have a great many rocks in my bowl of water, and sometimes they - and the shame of carrying them - can still cause me to have a bad day. But now I try to live like a water nymph among the lilies and see the flowers as the REAL me.

    It is my prayer for you that you will, too.

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  8. Not sure how I stumbled onto your blog, but I can totally relate to a few of these. Thinking about doing this one myself, it it's ok with you...

    Little Momma@http://1sassysoccermom.blogspot.com/

  9. Cassiopeia, you are one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever had the pleasure of coming across online and your warmth and love shine throughout everything you do. I greatly appreciate your thoughtful comment and will take its words to heart. What an inspiring way of looking at something differently!

    Little Momma, I am off to check out your blog now, but I wanted to let you know that of course it is perfectly fine for you to post your own version. In fact, I would love it if you did!

  10. Kathleen,
    What a brave post! I have to say that we met in New Orleans for #BOBNOLA. Not only is there absolutely NOTHING wrong with you, I thought you were FABULOUS! You're adorable, charming and funny, and I hope our paths cross in the future!

  11. I was stumbling and came upon this post and wish I could give you a great big ((HUG)) I missed out connecting with you in New Orleans, but consider you a friend now. You are caring, wonderful, funny, and a kick ass mom. I went through some similar stuff as a teen so I understand where your coming from. If you ever need to talk I'm here.



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