I spend a lot of time talking about my pretend self. She’s the one the world has met, the one my family of origin helped create.
Pretend self knows how to smile no matter what. She is engaging, even charming. She’s great fun to talk to. I can be on the verge of tears, having a flashback, experiencing a panic attack, but pretend self can look at another person and claim we are “doing just great! Thanks for asking! And how’re things with you? We really must catch up soon! Give me call next time you’re in town….”
Yeah. That’s my pretend self. She always shows her best face. She’s the one with the hair and makeup, always done, who always wears the “grown up” clothes. She likes the “right” things– the things moms like; baking, reading, exercising. I don’t know what else she is supposed to like. She’s always happy. The glass is half full with her. She is an eternal Pollyanna.
Except…..I don’t think that part is fake. I think that part is me.
Trauma therapy is a bit like peeling back layers. Bea assures me that I am a grown up, even though I feel like the person I show the world is a fake. She assures me that there is a grown up part of me that runs the ship— that I am more than the scared little girl I feel like I am, or the fake me I feel I show the world. I’m slowly learning Bea is right. I’m not sure who I really am, but I think I might like whoever that really is.
I don’t like fake me. But maybe I might like real me. I know I like the Pollyanna part. I like being positive, I like thinking things will be okay, that they will work out. I like seeing the world through rose colored glasses. That part, that feels real to me.