The Great Pretender

Because of my love of reading, I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I would spend summer days of my youth riding my bike (my car) all over town, climbing trees, playing in ditches, stealing fruit off of neighbor’s trees! I had limited time for dolls; After all, I was the cutest, best dressed tomboy ever! Outside was my playground and a whole other world.

As I got older, I used my imagination to block things that were bothering me. I wanted to escape my reality. I grew up in what many would label a normal 2 parent middle class family. Mom stayed at home, dad worked and all was well right? Yeah, all was well until I became a teen mom. From that point, this spoiled, only girl and baby of the family instantly felt like the black sheep. (Check out a previous blog about this.) Let’s be clear, NO ONE in my family called me a black sheep. It’s what I labeled myself. I’ve always felt like I was the sibling that had something to prove; I had to be ahead of everyone else; or I had to have just as many accomplishments as my brothers. However, I felt like I was always the one who lacked something.

Which brings me to my first point: When you feel like you’re lacking something, you will find a way to fill in that blank. I first filled it with reckless living. By the time I graduated college, I wasn’t so in love with my dream of being a fashion designer and live in NY. By the time I was 25, I had another baby out of wedlock from yet another abusive relationship. After a year or 2 of being the broken single mother, the cycle of “Doing Me” began. But guess what? I got caught up in my foolery and ended up pregnant by a co-worker in what was supposed to be just a casual sexuationship. SMH. I thought, How in the world was I going to redeem myself? I made the horrible choice at 27 to get my tubes tied. I became my own judge, juror and executioner. I’d decided my worth (or lack of) and didn’t think I’d ever catch the eye of someone who wanted me beyond sex.

Fast forward a few years… I’d sworn off men for a while, rededicated my life to Christ, was a faithful church goer and trying to get my life together and BAM! Out of no where, Mr. Right shows up on the scene. And he was interested… My next point: Sometimes when there is a promising situation, we think we need to make ourselves look better to fit in or seem more important. During our first real meeting, I make a comment referencing his organization and lied when he asked if I was a part of an organization. I shouldn’t have, but I said yes; It was an instant connector. We dated, we became close; Church, group outings… Where he was, I was. He shared secrets, I didn’t share enough, nor did I correct who I built myself to look like. After a break-up and re-assessment of what we wanted, marriage was on the table. I was the happiest I’d ever been, because not only did he really love me, but I wouldn’t be the sibling who was a lonely failure anymore. Something was going right with me for a change. Also, we discussed not having any other children right away (We had kids from previous relationships) and that was great because there was no way I could tell him about my tubes being tied! I would just have to get it reversed and let my insurance take care of it. (Or so I thought).

Happily ever after begins and then after a few years, the unthinkable: he asks me if my tubes were tied. Point 3: what’s the best way to get out of a catch 22 situation? There’s no good way. The lie had already done the damage; he already knew the truth. It was a big blow to our marriage and one I was haunted by until a few recent years ago. None of my rationalizations and explanations about how broken I was and how I didn’t think he would accept me made a difference. The fishbowl had a huge crack that neither tape nor gorilla glue could fix.

I couldn’t make up anything else. I had to face the lies that I told. It was the worst thing that could have happened. I’ve reviewed my life so many times, wondering how things would be if I’d just told the truth. And the reality is that if I told the truth, the tubal reversal would have been a small thing to do to have more kids. Just dumb. I also never had to lie about being a part of anything. What’s the lesson you ask? STOP PRETENDING!!!

  • KNOW YOUR WORTH!
  • Everybody will not like you, no matter how ‘perfect’ you seem.
  • The things you think you need to falsify or hide are likely not deal breakers. Discuss early and move on from there.
  • Know that your differences make you who you are. We all have something that no one else has; ON PURPOSE. God knew what he was doing.
  • Take your mask off and be YOU.

This broke me. I struggled for years to just BE. I hated myself before, and any progress that I made before even thinking about marriage was not enough. I never thought I was enough, period. But I know better now. I made a mistake that cost much. BUT GOD. He had to show me myself. Of course God will not just show you where you’ve been or where you are now; he’ll give you a glimpse of what’s to come. Take the time to have a serious relationship with God before trying to prove your value to anyone else. God has already validated you, qualified you and justified you. When we seek to get this from people, it will always result in loss, and disappointment. BE YOUR AUTHENTIC GOD CREATED SELF!

Now it is God who establishes and confirms us [in joint fellowship] with you in Christ, and who has anointed us [empowering us with the gifts of the Spirit]; 22 it is He who has also put His seal on us [that is, He has appropriated us and certified us as His] and has given us the [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as a pledge [like a security deposit to guarantee the fulfillment of His promise of eternal life].” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 AMP