appearances can be deceiving

First, let me say that I look at people and assume they are judging me.  Maybe they are, or maybe they are trying to remember what they had for breakfast this morning.

I drive an SUV.  A BMW actually.  I live in a McMansion.  I’m a soccer mom, literally.

I walk my son to public school every morning and pick him up every afternoon.  My daughter dresses in cutesy little dresses with matching hair bows (err…when I can find them and she keeps them in).

I have a southern accent and have recently been fitting into size 10 and sometimes size 8.  I currently have red hair.  My husband is all lovey dovey and can’t get enough of me, even to the point of PDA.

I attend church regularly and am active in church, volunteering for the kids’ classes and doing extra activities with my small church group of other parents ‘like me’.

I seem well adjusted and happy…if you don’t notice the hint of sadness in my eyes and how I tend to tear up in church and over little things, like acts of kindness.

I seem kind of stand-offish.

The truth is, I would be happier with a smaller car, I would LOVE a hybrid.  I would prefer even a condo if it meant my husband’s commute was 30mins or less.  I used to play soccer when I lived in CA as a child and tried to play when I was in HS, but my stepmother didn’t want to have to provide transportation after school.  So when my son’s coach sent out an email asking for someone to volunteer as assistant coach, I stepped in.  I am bitterly disappointed that he seems to have wanted a dad to help instead and leaves me standing on the sidelines doing nothing.

I would love to homeschool my children.  I fight depression though and I worry it will be an excuse to stay inside and hide.  But we’re talking about trying after Christmas break or the beginning of next year.  I am an ‘alternative parent’.  I am still breastfeeding my 3yo.  My oldest self weaned when he was 4.5yo.  We co-sleep.  Even now, some nights the kids come into bed and we’re all together.  I babywear. Hell, I preschool wear.  I know how to take a plain strip of cloth and tie my child safely onto my back.  I mainly use baking soda and vinegar to clean.  I love that my daughter expresses herself in her dress but I try to push her to the less ‘commercial’ look.  I want her to be her own person.  Those hair bows?  They are my way of making some spare money here and there.  Oh, and to have the fun of shopping at the local ribbon outlet and have something to do with my finds.

I recently lost 65lbs in four months due to a broken heart.  Inside, I am still the fat chick that worries people look at her.  Now, I see overweight women look at me and want to say, “I am just like you!”  I dye my hair red because I don’t have the guts to make it pink.  My husband is head over heels for me because we had problems this past year and he almost lost me.  Still might the way I feel some days.

I want church.  I want a personal relationship with God.  I struggle with that.  The only peace I have known is when I accept God in my heart.  But I can’t seem to hear him like others do.  When I am sitting in Bible study, all sorts of thoughts and questions come to my head.  I know these believing women would be shocked if I voiced them.  I love the church and group I have found, they are the salt of the earth.  Christians everyday, not just Sunday.  So I feel even more like an interloper because of what I want but can’t seem to find.  Volunteering for kid time?  I do that because it’s how I can give back.  But honestly, I can only take them in small doses.  I prefer the kids I know really well, have known for years.  They are what lights my heart.

I struggle to appear normal.  Do I?  I have no idea.  I have read that people with a childhood like mine have to imitate normal, as they have no idea what that really is.  I take note of what other people do and say, how they interact, what’s expected as a hostess.  I imitate- badly.  I have to try not to hide because I feel like a failure at being a human.  For every campfire Girl Scout type story I can tell, I can tell another (or two more) of being locked in my room with no food until it was ‘clean’, however long that took.  My husband is still learning some of what happened with the different sets of parents I had (mom & dad, mom & stepdad, dad & stepmom).  Fifteen years together and I still keep so much inside my protective hidden shell.

I love people.  I am just so afraid that they won’t want anything to do with me, I hold back.  Those that know me, know the struggle I have between wanting to pull close and staying away.  I hate to impose, to intrude.  So I don’t and it makes me look like the snob that the house and the car project.

I know who I want to be.  I think I know what I want from life.  But I have no idea how to get there.  I do know that what you see…it’s an illusion.

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