It has been a number of months since I began this duplicitous life. I know it can’t last. And, really, I don’t want it to. The last while has been a period of self-discovery but also intense emotional pain and stress. The deception is killing me but it is also what keeps me getting out of bed every morning. I have never felt so alive but I ache at the thought of those I will hurt and fear paralyzes me from taking action. Truthfully, I don’t know what I will do. I know I can’t stay but the thought of leaving my life is unfathomable. I am not that person. Or, at least, I wasn’t before.
I have started to see a therapist. Ironically it was at Joel’s suggestion. He who finds mental illness a cop-out and emotions a sign of weakness found my distance and resistance beyond his tolerance so he has shipped me off to a shrink for fixing. Plus, I was skipping time with my personal trainer, missing my weekly manicure and hair appointments and I think he was concerned that I was letting myself go. And Joel needs me in tip-top shape emotionally and physically for those times I am required to be on display and perform my role as The Perfect Wife.
My first impression of Dr. C. was not good. She could have been one of the ladies at the club, perfectly coiffed, fit and fabulous. I decided immediately that she could not be trusted. But over the last few visits I have started to see her for who she is, a woman with a job to do who might actually be able to help me. And most importantly, a confidante who will not judge and who will not, in fact can not, rat me out.
We have yet to dive into the whole story but I am slowly peeling away the layers for her. It is amazing because in spelling it out I am learning a lot too. I have always been a rule follower. I ignored my true self from the time I was a child when I realized being pretty and obedient would take me a lot farther than being unique and inquisitive. People constantly praised me so I swallowed my questions and opinions and smiled sweetly.
I identified early that a good and pretty girl like me could easily achieve the ultimate goal. I didn’t let my passion for art or debate or the eclectic draw me away from the plan of marrying well and having a life others would envy. I ignored all of the signs, and there were many. Warnings that this was not a life that would fulfill me and that Joel was not a man who would make me happy. But I was blinded by the need to have it all and to live the dream life I had seen in magazines and movies for as long as I could remember. I was intent on meeting everyone’s expectations for me.
And I did. I got all of that, the successful and handsome husband, the big house, two beautiful children, enough money to buy whatever I wanted and travel to exotic places. All of my dreams came true. But what I am beginning to realize is that they were not really my dreams at all. It was a massive manipulation, a trick and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. My dreams were different and despite the fact that I buried them and avoided them my whole life they never died. They are still there and are just now bubbling to the surface, finding the strength to break-through. Now, I am finding the strength and courage to face and eventually embrace my truth.