Honesty is such a lonely word...

I've been thinking a lot about honesty this week. There's a shortage of it in our world. That's a shame. It causes all sorts of problems and unhappiness. I talked to evil genius little brother Luke earlier in the week a bit about this subject and we wondered why we aren't all more honest with one another.

There can be so much game playing in our everyday relationships.

So much pretense in the exhausting task of keeping up appearances.

I told someone earlier this week that sometimes the kindest thing you can do for those who may admire you for having it all together, is to let it all fall apart in front of them. Sometimes being willing to sacrifice pride and image for honesty and vulnerability, is the most generous thing we can do for those around us.

So many of us feel inadequate because of the seeming perfection of those around us. Guess what? They aren't perfect and there's a good chance they feel the same way about you. Wow, huh? Wouldn't it be great if we were all honest about our realities so everyone could know that their struggles and imperfections are perfectly normal and so we could learn from each other?

My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage after a 3 month roller coaster of Dr's telling me the baby would develop properly and then it wouldn't..then it would...and so on. It was a very traumatic experience. I was very young, fairly newly married, broke, far from home (and being broke could not afford the very expensive rates to call and get the comfort and guidance I needed) and surrounded, literally surrounded on all sides by happily, healthily pregnant woman. My neighbours in the apartments to each side of me, and the apartment above me were pregnant, pretty much every girl at church was pregnant, or had recently delivered. If she wasn't pregnant it was only because she had been married for less then a month. I lived in a manufacturing town-a baby manufacturing town. It was the thing to do.

Nobody miscarried in this town, all their babies were born fat and healthy and beautiful. So clearly, I was defective, or I had done something very wrong. Or perhaps I was unworthy of a child. No matter how much I tried to adhere to the What to Expect when you Are Expecting Bible, I would screw something up...like not being able to eat 4 bushels of broccoli a day, or the fact that it was possible I had been in a hot tub within 24 hours of conception. It was ALL. MY. FAULT. Also? I was the Only One. (Did I mention I had just turned 20 and wasn't that smart?)

Well d'oh naturally none of my assumptions were true. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage for no other reason then that they do. Clearly there were women in my circles who had miscarried before but none of them were sharing. Not that I asked. Mostly I kept my angst to myself and quietly but slowly descended into a paralyzing depression. One day, my husband came home from home teaching and told me that the women he'd visited had experienced a miscarriage and she'd described herself as feeling "defective" and unworthy. Hearing that I was not alone in these feelings helped me to identify that they did not reflect reality. It was really a watershed moment for me.

Since then I have been as open as possible (while still maintaining some level of privacy-which I actually think is important too, ) with my struggles, particularly those with depression. I never want anyone I know who is going through things similar to those I have gone through, to feel as though they are "the only one". Nothing is more isolating then feeling like nobody has gone through what you are going through, and that there is something fundamentally wrong with you as person because of that.

My friend Denise said once that her husband often warned her not to compare her back rooms with the front room of everyone else. That concept has stayed with me. So simple but so profound. It is possible to fix up the part of our lives that everyone sees and make things appear to be perfection, but everyone has something messy going on in some back-room of their life. Every.Body. Of this you can be assured.

I was recently bestowed this award by Krista from Musings of Mommy Dearest. I love her blog. She is real and original and fun and positive at the same time. So thanks, Krista. I'm not entirely sure what it means to receive this award, but I do know that I am supposed to reveal 10 things you may not know about me. So here we go:

1. Speaking of perfect pregnancy diets: In the last month of Benjamin's gestation I subsisted almost solely on microwave S'mores. He turned out awesome anyway. In the first month of Caroline's gestation I survived almost entirely on Smarties (the Canadian version of M&M's)- she's pretty fab too.

2.There are times that I don't do any housework whatsoever all day. I don't make my bed, I don't wash dishes, I don't do laundry, I don't tidy anything. I am a total and complete slob. I just walk away from it all and go swimming or loaf around with my kids all day. And I don't feel as remorseful about that as I probably should. I don't make a habit of this practice, but only because I hate to live in filth, and because I don't want to be embarrassed by unexpected visitors, not necessarily because I am a good and diligent housewife.

3 .Last week I screamed at two of my kids until I made them cry and I strained my voice. I regretted the screaming fairly immediately, but I do still wonder if aliens took possession of their bodies because seriously...it was most unlike them and also, incredibly disgusting. One would think they would know by now that my tolerance for gratuitous disgusting-ness is very low. (I'm fine when the disgusting is not in their power to control). In the end we were all good friends, but probably only because I was high on the bleach they had caused me to have to use in such copious quantities.

4. Yesterday, on my way out to the car to go shopping with my two youngers, I witnessed a hawk or an eagle or some other horrible bird of prey swooping off with a baby rabbit dangling in its talons. All I saw was the sweet little hind legs dangling (it was clearly still alive) as the hideous creature flapped away. Instead of being a mature mother and calmly going to the car with my kids so as not to upset them, I started shrieking in horror and shuddering uncontrollably and ran back into the house to sit in a fetal position on my couch rocking as I told farm-boy Aaron who sort of pretended to care but clearly didn't, all about it. Then I described the scene in detail to my perplexed children-(WHO HAVE A BUNNY AS A PET). I'm so sensitive that way. They were sad, but took it infinitely better then I did.

Anyway, I hate it when nature is gross. One time I was digging in the garden and saw something furry and absolutely freaked out and called Aaron, shuddering all the while to deal with it. He inspected and then informed me that it was "just a piece of old carpet, you little ninkinpoop".

5.I can't be succinct even when I try really, really hard. But you already knew that.

6. Occasionally, I don't answer the phone all day, just because I don't feel like talking to anyone. I'm not depressed or angry at anybody, I am just not in the mood to chat. However, if you don't get me on the line don't assume it's 'cos I don't want to talk to you-it's probably because I can't find my phone. That happens a lot too.

7. I often sleep in 'til after 9 am in the Summer while my kids just play, watch TV and get their own food. But the last few days I have been getting up early and I like it much better. I guess that's in the Word of Wisdom for a reason.

8. I was about 29 before I pumped my own gas for the first time. And my friend Amy had to stand next to me and show me how. She did at least try not to laugh and point. I still avoid doing it unless I absolutely have to. I also avoid drive-throughs of any kind. I'll do them if I must, but I avoid them because I'm not good at judging a suitable distance between my car and the window and my arms are short. Silver lining to this lameness on my part has probably saved my kids from eating too much take-out. Which brings me to...

9.I am fascinated by cuisine and the art of cooking. This does not carry over into my life. At all. Even though when I am actually forced to cook something more elaborate then mac 'n cheese, I almost always enjoy it.

10. I am at this moment getting mildly stressed out about people judging me for all these revelations. I care more about what people think about me then I wish I did.

Now I'm supposed to pick 10 people to award. But here's the honest thing, that would take me too much time right now, and also today I feel like that would be a drag. So how about this: If you read this blog, and you have a blog you know I read, please consider yourself honestly and sincerely awarded. If you don't have a blog, stick it in the comments. I really do want to read your list. So go to! Reveal All! And be sure to let me know when you do!

I'm reading: Honesty is such a lonely word...Tweet this!


Anonymous said...

I really loved your post. So refreshing.

misnomer said...

No judgment. I am however, amused at the succinct reply to #5.

Lee said...

1.I wish I could wear holey jeans to church. I overcompensate in the suit department as a rebellion to my rebelliousness.
2. I don't make squat. Really, being a grad student does not pay well. Thank goodness for a wife that got her degree early and fills the gaps that my deficiencies leave.
3. I stink at working on cars. I can't tell you how many starter motors I have installed incorrectly. I just figure that grinding noise will go away soon, and it does, right after I finally pay someone else to do it right.
4. I am not smart. I am not intelligent. I have a nice suit, and appear to be somewhat organized and that has gotten me in every door that I have wanted to be in.
5. I am a horrible cook. I used to think I was awesome (when I thought I was awesome at everything) but I realized that I am the only person that thinks a grilled bologna/egg/cheese with mayo and fresh tomato is the best sandwich ever!
6. I always back down from a fight. Most of the time I am glad, but once in a while I wish I would have stood my ground.
7. My nickname was pube in Jr. High. Nothing glamorous about having curly hair in Jr. High. I have come to peace with it now, after years of self loathing.
8. I am a slob. Kristen has instilled a sense of fear in me which forces me to be somewhat orderly, however, if left to my own devices, I would revert to my previous state.
9. I cant think of anything more negative about me, which shows that I am also not really all that humble or honest, either one take your pick.

Aunt LoLo said...

I love this!!! (But it brings to mind a question I've had for you, ever since your blog make-over: In your header, what IS that woman looking so distraught over? The perfect cake she's decorating??!)

Have a great evening, Kirsty dear. Oh, and thanks for all the honest scrap you shared. :-)

MrsM said...

I think it is amazing how honest you were! When I posted this award on my blog I just wrote ten random things about me, but now I'm beginning to think that I might not have been writing in the spirit of the award. Perhaps I'll revisit it.

As far as your ten things go, don't worry about anyone judging you. Most people won't, and those who will probably have bigger things going on with themselves that they are trying to ignore. We're all human :)

Eos Mom said...

Great post, it made for great dinner conversation. I'm going to take that front room/back room advice to heart for sure. Thanks!

Megan Gery said...

love the post and the honesty. and the phone thing? i do that too (both the not answering and the losing). glad to know it's not just me.

Michelle Lewsen said...

Thanks for sharing your back room :-) I don't judge. It makes me feel happy that other mums have the same chaotic, messay but ultimately happy back room as me!

Thalia said...

Last week, I deliberately wore the same pair of socks from Tuesday morning to Thursday morning (after I showered), because Wednesday was too cold to shower and too cold to take the socks off. By the Thursday morning, I had taken on a slightly earthy odour.