Truth In Blogging: Some People Are Bitches

I’m not perfect.

None of you are surprised to hear that, I know.  But my point is that not only am I not perfect, but I have no desire to appear perfect.  Not to you or anyone.

There’s too much pressure in perfection.  Besides, most people know it’s a lie, don’t they?  I know I have, at various times in my life, felt very uncomfortable around people who seemed to be perfect.  I wasn’t impressed with them so much as I was disappointed in myself.

The very last thing I want to do in this life is make someone else feel uncomfortable or disappointed in themselves.

I’m not perfect.

And neither are you.

We both know this, on some level, and yet if you take a tour around the Internet or the living rooms in your neighborhood, you’ll find elaborate dances being done to hide any sign of imperfection.  Like it’s a weakness rather than an integral part of humanity.  We boast, we brag, we hide our dirty laundry under perfectly made beds.  We display pictures of our smiling children and sweep up the broken glass from the last argument with our spouses.

We’re not perfect, we say with a smile, all the while hoping that no one finds the evidence to prove it.

I wrote a post last week about a recent session with our marriage counselor.  I do that a lot these days, I know.  But one particular comment stood out, and reminded me why I bother to bore you with the intimate details of my personal life.

A reader calling herself Carrie said:

“Long time reader but first time commenter so I hope I’m not breaching some kind of etiquette by saying something contrary.

I’m sure you meant this as a lighthearted post and I know that you shouldn’t take everything seriously all the time. But, I have to say that I was a little appalled when you said “I made a note to remind him later that she probably says that to everyone too. Except me. She never tells me I’m brave, I realized. Maybe she only says that to the men.”

If I were your husband I would be hurt by that statement. If he isn’t then that’s his choice. But, after all you guys have been through wouldn’t it have been better to have left that out and maybe even told him you agreed with her instead of planning on cutting him down later? That just seemed so mean to me.”

First of all, as I told Carrie in my response, this is a blog, not a fan site.  I’m not building a temple for people to come and worship me, and I have no problem with “contrary” opinions.  Especially if you’re not a douche about it – which she wasn’t.

But more importantly, I was glad she picked up on what I had written about my mental response to my marriage counselor praising Jared’s bravery.

She said she was “a little appalled”.  She said it was mean.

And she was right.

It was mean.  Beyond that, it was petty and a sign of my insecurities and fears about being told that I’m the one to blame for all the problems in my marriage.

And I knew it when I wrote it.

I wrote it anyway.

As I tried to explain to Carrie, my goal here isn’t to make me seem perfect.  I’m not trying to hide my shitty impulses or mask my mistakes.  My purpose in sharing this painful – and boring for many, I’m sure – experience is to let other people know what it’s really like on the inside, so that maybe they’ll be less afraid.

Part of that, for me, means revealing some of the selfish, petty thoughts that cross my mind as I sit in that chair and listen to a professional empathize with my husband.  Because if I tell you, and you’ve felt it too, then neither of us are alone anymore.  And there’s something infinitely less scary about knowing you’re not alone in your imperfection.

My point in this is not to scold Carrie in anyway.  She spoke her mind and she did it with sincerity and honesty and more than a hint of bravery, I think.

My point, rather, is to say that it’s OK to show your flaws.

I started off blogging because I wanted to be heard.  Most of my early posts are made of me trying to prove some point or another and desperately seeking approval and validation that I wasn’t getting at home.  I got it, of course, because the Internet is really good at building up people we don’t have to live with.

But somewhere along the way, my reasons for writing here changed.  It became less about proving I was right, and more about proving I was human.  More than that, it’s become about showing other people that hey, you’re human, too.  And that’s OK.

I’m not perfect.

And neither are you.

And it’s perfectly OK if everybody knows it.

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