I lied to my sister in law and best friend yesterday. Or actually maybe I lied to myself. If letting others yourself included believe you’ve got it sorted is a lie, that is. I lied that I was okay with not working.  I lied that being available to my girls made up for my loss of self, of self worth and independence. I lied by making it sound like when Jem told me how much it meant to her to have me just there, that was all I needed. I lied, because that isn’t all I need. I wish it was. I need more. But I need more to feed that place inside me that for some reason feels not quite good enough. Not for mental stimulation. I am stimulated, by my reading, my learnings, my friends, my lessons, by B and through B, by my daughters, by my teachers. It’s that damn need for acknowledgement. For validation. And is much more than just financial. I thought I was over the woman at the dinner party who writes you off on hearing you no longer work. Who turns to someone else, who she believes has more to offer.  Even though she has no idea of who you are, who you were and where you’ve been. I no longer introduce myself as I used to be yadda yadda. So, there is progress. I am ok with who I am. But, I can’t lie anymore. I can’t pretend it doesn’t still make my toes curl. The disdain that is.  I realised today thinking about my conversation with Lynn that I have been lying to myself.  I remembered how I felt  a couple of nights ago, when a well meaning working acquaintance, or at least I think she was well meaning, asked that question. That bloody question. So, what have you been doing with yourself? Fuck. I felt myself panic. Shit, what have I been doing. So much but nothing at all. Nothing that anyone values. (But actually the only ones that matter do) Fuck fuck fuck. Who am I, what am I, what is this all about, what was it all about, is this all that there is, is it all over for me. It all came back. Then, I breathed. Truly. And smiled and said. I’ve been existing. I did. She was happy with that answer. Lynn, soon I will be too. But I lied, I’m not there yet.

9 thoughts on “liar

  1. Thanks for sharing – I understand that swathe of feelings completely. Now you are a writer, of course, but let’s not worry about the weight of that label just yet. xxx

  2. I don’t care who or what you were, I like you. Just the way you are. It’s not easy being a mother, wife, friend, household director, social organiser , cleaner, driver, ironer ( ok not in ur case), cook etc etc. You are teaching little people life lessons and guiding them into becoming responsible sensitive adults with morals and self esteem to take on the big wotld. I can’t imagine any position that could possibly be more important.

  3. … I may not iron (I mean really, I have to draw the line somewhere!), but you should see my clean oven tonight!. Thanks for your comment Jo … and so agree with the huge meaningful job we are doing. And actually, you probably wouldn’t have liked me before. I was a bitch. xx

  4. I liked you then. I like you know. I like that you get me. I like that even if just for a moment yesterday you did have it sorted, and you did, that for that moment I felt it could be sorted. And I could breathe. I like your honesty. Thank you. And I like your friend Jo (without even knowing her).

  5. Darling Lianne,
    We are so much more than what we do. We are how we do it, and what we learn from it. And, in this (as in so much else), you are way ahead of us all. I envy you your ability to be. It is a perfect place to find happiness. Validation, smalidation – it’s just that attention-seeking nagging old boring ego. You don’t need it. You’re just perfect as you are, right here, right now. Just being. Ps: you were never a bitch.

    • Hey Megs … you are too kind. And I mean about the bitch thing. The rest I get, I really really do. But thanks for feeding me nonetheless. I’m not an emoticon girl, but a wink would be my choice right now. xx

  6. From facebook

    Tracey Stone, Charmaine Devitt, Louise Fletcher and 4 others like this.

    Samantha Yates Schroeder Excellent…. Pphhheeww I’m not alone… !!!!! Thanks xxxxx
    February 7 at 6:17pm via mobile · Unlike · 1

    Lesley Oliver The answer to THAT question: ‘Wonderful, challenged, engaged Mum, wife, partner, friend, curious, enquiring mind, writer extraordinaire, fulfilled, happy and healthy’. xx
    February 7 at 6:44pm · Unlike · 4

    Samantha Yates Schroeder Just thinking…. Why is it that us women put such a low value on such an important rewarding job… If we look at our beautiful children & happy husbands then surely we are doing OUR JOB well?! I consider myself privileged to be able to stay at home… I just have to work a little more on the self worth part… Heheheheheee xxxx
    February 7 at 6:51pm · Like

    Lianne Cawood It is a tough one. I put real value in it, no-one but me can be Kate and Jem’s mom, but many others could do the job I had. But I loved it, and it was my choice to try do it all. For many reasons, my life changed fundamentally. And I believe for the better … so no adult other than my family is validating me and that’s my point. Why do I or did I need that so much? To feel worthy. I am also so tired of women not having each other’s backs. Why can we not just celebrate support and rejoice everyone’s choices, all are equally valid. xxxx
    February 7 at 8:39pm · Like · 5

    Samantha Yates Schroeder I second & third & forth all the above…. Xxxx
    February 7 at 8:59pm · Like

    Corrie Medhurst I spent years feeling exactly the same and then I went back to work. Unfortunately the reality of being a working mum is very different from working pre kids. Yes you feel the sense of accomplishment that can only come from paid employment but your are also in an environment with young professionals without kids. That brings a whole new meaning to feeling judged! Then you have the guilt associated with not making it to any school events and trying to get uniforms dried before school because you were exhausted the night before. Working or not its an adventure and we are all doing the best we can with what we have. Xxxx
    February 7 at 9:08pm · Unlike · 3

    Lianne Cawood So … bubbles on 1 March? xxx I’m mad about all of us xx
    February 7 at 9:58pm · Like · 1

    Corrie Medhurst Count me in!!!! Xxxx
    February 7 at 10:04pm · Like

    Samantha Yates Schroeder Well said Corrie… X
    February 8 at 7:06am · Like · 1

    Kath Anderson This is powerful stuff Lianne. I can so relate to what you are saying, now that we have been in Bangkok for nearly eight months. I feel like I have lost my identity and my sense of being and achieveing. The hardest part is that these feelings eat away at you and it’s really tough to not be swamped with overwhelming moments of loneliness and of feeling sorry for yourself. In my old life I counted, I worked, I had a purpose. I’m not allowed to work here sadly, so I now have to find something to do which is going to fulfil me and give me back my sense of purpose and being.
    February 8 at 4:11pm · Like

    Kerry Solomon I see I miss-typed my first response – so here goes my second attempt 🙂
    Lovely blog Lianne! Something I have thought a lot about. For the most part stay at home moms miss the validation and independence that a pay cheque brings, and working moms miss the time and freedom that stay at home moms get and often feel like inadequate mothers because they are split in so many different directions. Often we stay at home or work because we have to, not because it’s our first choice. There is a lot of jealousy that the one group has over the other (I know, I’ve been there) – which brings about the judgement. I am lucky enough to have been a working mom that goes into an office, a self-employed working mom, and now a stay at home mom. All 3 have pros and cons, it’s figuring out which one is the most comfortable fit for you, and then pursuing that if you are able to. OK I know it sounds like I’m a little off subject here, because your blog was actually about self-acceptance and knowing that WE ARE GOOD ENOUGH and worthy without the validation of a boss or a pay cheque. Somehow though I think if one finds the perfect fit for oneself (we’re not all cut out to be stay at home moms and we’re not all cut out to be working moms) and one is lucky enough to be able to pursue it, the need for validation will fall away, because one will just be so happy and delighted with one’s situation. Well… this is what I’m hoping is the case!
    February 10 at 8:55am · Unlike · 1

    Lianne Cawood ‎… I think thats exactly the thing K, nothing external is ever perfect. So, we need to find it within. Whatever we need to do or choose to do will be lacking from time to time. We can just choose to find the good, the positive. And if we all help each other, accept each other, truly, truly,rather than judge each other how fab would that be. And even though I hate the judgement I know it is not about me, but about the person judging. xxx
    February 10 at 6:20pm · Like · 1

    Theresa Milne interesting for me meeting someone 5 yrs ago who was suffering empty nest crisis. She had devoted her life to being a doting wife to a man 20+ years her senior and her 2 children had left home to start varsity. At 50+ she was wondering what career options she had – given that she had no experience.
    My first reaction was cynically judgemental – lousy choice, etc, but as I spent more time with her on our bush trip I realised that I and other working girls were no different. At age 50 we would also become totally dispensable and our years of sacrificing the options of having family and a personal life would amount to nothing equally. If we were lucky, we would come out with our health intact and perhaps a little (but none-too-sustainable) financial stability.
    So being fiercely independent vs fiercely married still leads to the same conclusion – an empty home: after a life of being at the beck and call of others who would not guarantee that our efforts would be valued. Choices, choices, choices
    February 10 at 7:23pm · Unlike · 1

    Theresa Milne not as bleak as it sounds either – both have huge benefits
    February 10 at 8:27pm · Like

    Kerry Solomon So well said Lianne! No situation is perfect, if only we could appreciate the blessings and accept the short comings of each situation. And yes, the judgement is always about the person judging…
    February 10 at 8:37pm · Like · 1

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