Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tell the Truth...

Have you ever heard the expression "Tell the truth and shame the devil?"

I was thinking about that expression this weekend. I saw an ad in a magazine that said, "When a child is born, so is a mother." But there are many other new relationships as well. A father is born. As are a grandmother, aunts and uncles, godparents, siblings etc. Just about everyone gets a new title/identity. So, it's a big change. And that change isn't always easy.

I watched the first season of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES when it came out and I loved the episode where Lynette has a breakdown and her friends go to comfort her. She says that some of them, like Bree, make everything look so easy. Her friends then reveal that they have struggled with parenthood as well. It makes me think. Why do we all feel the need to pretend that everything is perfect? I guess some people are just private and don't feel comfortable about talking about their problems and challenges. But it seemed to me that none of my friends with children told me of any of their difficulties until AFTER I had the baby. And even then, I had to share first. Maybe they didn't want to scare me. But it would have been nice to have friends share their challenges so I wouldn't have felt so alone. Postpartum depression is hard enough. Sometimes, it's nice to know that other people have been where you are. They too have struggled with new family dynamics and going crazy when you child cries nonstop for hours. They too feel a strain on their marriage and worry that they are terrible parents. Why don't people talk about these things?!

So, tell the truth and shame the devil. You just might help someone.


Gary said...

What a great topic. My own experience has shown me that the "silence" between us often comes an unwillingness to make ourselves vulnerable. We're afraid and embarrassed to talk about real problems even with those to whom we feel closest) and our culture certainly doesn't encourage those kinds of interactions.

So we stick to "safe" topics (thank god there's always some kind of weather going on) because we can't seem to shake off our Victorian heritage or whatever. We perceive vulnerability as weakness, when in fact it takes great courage to make ourselves so.

The times when I've the guts to, well, spill my guts to a friend or family member have often been the times when I've felt closest to another human being. Those have been among the times when I rediscovered what real intimacy is.

I hope you're well. Good thoughts and wishes from Colorado.

Amy said...

Thank you for that great response, Gary! I know that you and I have had some really great, deep discussions and I think it has made our friendship stronger. I find that people often get around to telling you things but I wish sometimes they would do it sooner.