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Pulled from the Truth Box – Week 5

truth box

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” ~Philo of Alexandria

After 21 years of self-destructive inner-battles, I finally admitted my biggest secret to myself and to the rest of the world. That day, and the day my son was born, were the two most incredible and wonderful days of my life.

Here on Single Dad Laughing, I started what I call “The Truth Box.” I asked you all to anonymously share a difficult secret that you’ve never told anyone. There were only two sections to fill out on the form. “What everyone thinks is true,” and “what actually is true.” More than five thousand secrets were shared. Every Thursday I share 60 of them here. Completely random and as they came in.

These truths aren’t meant to entertain. They aren’t meant to bring us down, either. They’re just an incredible and poignant (though sometimes heavy) reminder that we all are fighting our own great battles.

Pulled from the Truth Box: Week 5
1
What everyone thinks is true:
I’m happy waiting to have more kids.
What actually is true:
We’ve been trying for over a year to get pregnant.
2
What everyone thinks is true:
I’m a happy person.
What actually is true:
I teeter every day on the verge of a depression that would swallow me whole.
3
What everyone thinks is true:
I am a strong man.
What actually is true:
I recently became involved with a married woman and it’s exciting. I don’t regret it at all.
4
What everyone thinks is true:
I try to be nice to my sister-in-law.
What actually is true:
Most of the time I purposefully try to piss her off.
5
What everyone thinks is true:
I have lots of friends.
What actually is true:
I’m so lonely it hurts.
6
What everyone thinks is true:
That I love my mother-in-law.
What actually is true:
I can’t stand her because I know she let her husband hit my husband when he was little.
7
What everyone thinks is true:
That I do all these great activities with my toddler.
What actually is true:
She watches Netflix most of the day.
8
What everyone thinks is true:
I’m confident about myself.
What actually is true:
I hate the way I look but lack the willpower to change it.
9
What everyone thinks is true:
That I’m confident, career focused, happy to be on my own and love having an empty house with no family.
What actually is true:
My life growing up left me with a crippling fear of rejection, so I shut people down before I even get to know them. I hate an empty house, that matches my empty life.
10
What everyone thinks is true:
I love my life.
What actually is true:
I cry every day in the shower because I’m so depressed.
11
What everyone thinks is true:
I’m gay.
What actually is true:
I’m straight. I thought I was gay before I came out but then realized that I wasn’t, and now I can’t take it back.
12
What everyone thinks is true:
My in-laws think that I’m a controlling bitch.
What actually is true:
I don’t feel like I’m party of their family so I act out to get attention.
13
What everyone thinks is true:
I don’t care about my husband’s past relationships.
What actually is true:
I can’t stand when he bring them up because it makes me insecure.
14
What everyone thinks is true:
That I was a virgin before I got married to my husband.
What actually is true:
I had sex with two girls before I met him.
15
What everyone thinks is true:
I love my husband.
What actually is true:
I love my husband but I find myself thinking about my ex during sex.
Continued on next page.
81 comments
Stray
Stray

54 sounds like me only i dont threaten our relationship. My past i have always felt my exs just wanted sex from me(thank God i never gave in) or wanted somebody more than me. So my current relationship started going that way and im deeply in love with him so i freaked out.

Katie Bee
Katie Bee

Whew. Seeing that in black in white actually made my post real. After much thought and realizing what was wrong with my situation, it has given me the courage to end it. Words can be seriously powerful.

soldiermomof3
soldiermomof3

#23 and #25  don't feel like the lone ranger. 


inaRehT
inaRehT

I want to hug most of you. #5, especially you.


Bria
Bria

#29 is mine.  It's hard seeing it posted in black and white... sounds even more awful then it already is... but it'll be ok... the darkness has to end sometime.

insearchofsunrise
insearchofsunrise

#51 SO TRUE. Relates 100% to me. It's awesome to know there's whole lotta other people struggling with same things as i am; such as depression, lack of love and self-esteem etc...

Someone
Someone

There are so many confessions I relate to. On the one hand, it is nice to know that I am not the only one who struggles with certain things, like depression and body image issues. Feelings of loneliness and despair. On the other hand, my heart breaks because I know what these things feel like and I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy.  I don't really know what else to say other than, thanks Dan, for giving people a little safe corner in the world. And thank you to those who shared... know that you are not alone. 

MyLikesAre
MyLikesAre

#41 You are not alone in your thoughts about your body.  All teenagers and adults deal with their body image.  If they tell you differently, I would be suspicious of that.  Everyday we are bombarded by images of what the so called perfect body should look like.  Lies, lies, lies!  We, however, believe these lies!  We act out our dissatisfaction with our bodies in different ways and sometimes, these may not be the most healthy.  I encourage you to speak with someone you trust about your feelings.  Please do not try to handle this alone.  Surround yourself with others who love and support you and encourage you to be who you are - a wonderful and beautiful individualized creation of God! 

MyLikesAre
MyLikesAre

#51 "I am tired of being taken advantage of.. I just want someone, anyone, to take care of me for once…"  this used to be my mantra.  Then I stepped back and realized that it was my responsibility for what I was allowing to happen to me.  I wanted so sorely to be liked and accepted by others because I didn't feel like I was enough all on my own.  This gave me a sense of power; but I woke up and realized this was a false sense of power.  I began the journey to myself!  I learned to give to myself first, accept myself first, be okay with being with myself without the crowds, and to love and honor myself.  When I pulled back from doing so much for others, I got a lot of flack about it; but I refused to allow myself to being bullied back into my "enabler" role.  I am happier for it and feeling freer to be me.

Marnie Beier
Marnie Beier

I love reading these, since there are so many you should do them every day instead of every week. I look forward to Thursdays to read them & see if you've posted mine!

StepmomHammons
StepmomHammons

I LOVE THIS! I have been following along and relate most to the confessions of moms and wives!

Thanks for giving us this outlet!

Mutant Supermodel
Mutant Supermodel

Wow this is crazy intense. So many of us are so messed up. We really should be more patient with each other!!

#24 --- I hear you LOUD AND CLEAR

Sheena
Sheena

Soon as I seen mine I started to cry with a room full of people around. Cuz I know I'm still completely alone except for my kids.. who are my everything.. (#51)

CariRiley
CariRiley

#30, sadly. But I'm out now, thank goodness.

Cmeisner
Cmeisner

Every week I find that so many of these could be me that I can't help wondering if I wrote them and then forgot about it. Lots of love to everyone who shared these, and all the rest of us that need it too!

Jennifer
Jennifer

#26 and #51 are so me.  And why I really don't have any friends anymore.  I was drained of everything I could give them.

going4fit
going4fit

#40 -- fits only to my grandmother, God rest her soul. We swore the rest of the family to secrecy that I had become Catholic (having been raised in the same Pentecostal tradition as my grandmother). As far as I am aware, she never knew the rest of the time she was alive. I have ZERO regrets about that path, and knowing the things I know now in life, I should have told her myself and let things fall out where they might have. No one else in the family seemed bothered by it in the least.

RayRenk
RayRenk

I always look forward to the Truth Box

dawni
dawni

#26 could have been me a couple of years ago, and to a point still could be, but I'm working to change it. I used to think nobody would *really* like me if I didn't do all of that for everyone... now I'm starting to see that none of that made people *really* like me anyway, and I was wasting my energy on people who weren't seeing my worth (or if they were, they were taking advantage of me despite that).

Last year I began to allow myself to stop doing so much for people who aren't interested in "giving back" (I mean, it's not a 50-50 trade I expect, circumstances matter etc) and although there are fewer people in my life, I know I can actually count on them. And it got easier to see the 'real' friends once I started letting go of the people who were just using me for my generosity.



#29, my heart breaks for you.



#38, I'm so sorry for what happened to you.  I want you to know that it wasn't your fault and that any shame you feel belongs with the person who did this horrible thing and not with you.

As for the self harm, I don't know if this is something you want to stop right now or not, but I want you to know that when you're ready to stop, it IS possible. I self harmed from the time I was 6 - graduating to a several-times-daily self harm incidents by my teens. That continued until a few years ago. BUT... I'm now 30 and the last time I self harmed was April, and the last time prior to that was December 2011. I want you to know that there is hope. It takes a lot of hard work and it takes time, but it's possible.

If you aren't receiving it already, please try some sexual assault counselling. It really can help, but again, it takes time.



I think #35 was mine.

hgubisch
hgubisch

These are always so powerful...thanks for sharing everyone & Dan :)


MyLikesAre
MyLikesAre

#11  Living a lie is self destructive.  Be honest with yourself first, then tell others.  If they have a problem with it, too bad!  It's your life and well being that you are responsible for.  Don't let others dictate your choices.  Kick the haters to the curb, and doors will open for others, who support you, to come through and help you celebrate life!

Eilena
Eilena

#39: If you feel great as a size 12, there's nothing to be ashamed of. You're the only one who has to live in your skin and if you feel better in a size 12 skin than a size 6, anybody who's judging you is the one with the problem.

gignfoxysmom
gignfoxysmom

#4 - laugh out loud funny. I have one...and I'm related to them. Oh, sure, I try to be all caring and sensitive, but she drives me so batty that I have to get at least one well-placed dig in before I leave. 

MsXpat
MsXpat

i'm enjoying reading this post very clever and kind feature.  #4 is so funny and as an expat i can relate to #5

Naomi Lewis
Naomi Lewis

OMG this is totally terrifying and amazing at the same time...

Danielle Grace Peña Fitts
Danielle Grace Peña Fitts

I am always fascinated by this. My wish for everyone is that we could all be surrounded by family and friends with whom we could share these things openly and without apprehension. Although I do think it's good to have a few secrets ;)

Lucy Perry Fulls
Lucy Perry Fulls

What if we could just be who we are? What would the world look like?

Gwensarah Rymer
Gwensarah Rymer

Wow. I wish there were even more of these, it makes me feel less alone.

Ashory
Ashory

#51 - If you ever need an ear, I'm here. [email protected] - I know how it is. It wasn't until I found some amazing friends, in my 30's, that I realized what I was missing.

Stephanie Lucero
Stephanie Lucero

This really makes me wish I could reach out to these people. We all need to know we're not alone.

RoxanneFlores
RoxanneFlores

#57

There are a lot of things that I want to say and I'm not sure just how to put this so that I don't offend anyone, including you, but I will try. Being of strong faith does not go hand in hand with morality. Look at the people of Westboro Baptist Church, do they have strong faith? I'd say definitely yes. Are they necessarily moral? Not in the ways that society views them.

You need to realize that as society separates from this creationist idea and the belief in any one religion, most people becoming atheist or merely non-denominational, you need to realize that social norms are changing. People are becoming accepting of things that science has proven to be beneficial for society as a whole, and for individuals as well.

I want you to know that having an abortion does NOT make you immoral, it makes you in control of your life. As a person of science (I'm not atheist either, lets get that out of the way) I do not believe that an abortion makes you immoral, just like I don't believe it is murder. I hope that you can forgive yourself for what you've done and somehow wrap your mind around the fact that it does not make you a bad person, or a murderer. 

Being addicted to sex does NOT make you immoral. It means that you're sick. There are a lot of us that have problems. We are addicts and there are a lot of mental illnesses out there including depression, borderline personality disorder, body dysmorphic disorder like one of the others that confessed, and everything else you can imagine. It means there is some kind of chemical imbalance in our brains or our brains are processing information incorrectly. It doesn't make any of us immoral, it just means we need a little extra help.

If you ever want to talk to me please feel free to message me any time ([email protected]), anonymously or whatever. One thing I can say for sure, is that I'm tired of churches and other congregations making people feel horribly for their life decisions by beating on their bibles and condemning everyone. I wish it would stop and that Christians and every other religion would actually follow their religions and love everyone, instead of judging them and dooming them to a life full of regret and guilt.

Ashory
Ashory

2 might as well be me.
#9 - if you're out there reading this - I understand rejection and fear. I'm here for you if you need me. [email protected]

Crystal Rivers
Crystal Rivers

The one about PPD is so sad, I'm glad she finally got help but that has to hurt her deeply knowing that she even thought about killing her daughter. I never had PPD after my 1st child but when my daughter was born I had it pretty bad. I kept denying, saying I'm just tired or that I just missed my mom because she moved across the country 3 weeks after my daughter was born. Deep down I knew it was PPD, I cried probably a combined total of 6 hours a day and I didn't want anything to do with my babies, I didn't want to be a mom anymore. I feared that I would lose my temper and hurt them. I didn't want to be married anymore because "it was my husband's fault that I even had kids" it was really bad, I distanced myself from everybody. At my 6 weeks check up I had a huge melt down on the doctor and he prescribed me some antidepressants and a couple weeks later I was back to being me, who absolutely loves being married and having babies, being a stay at home mom. I wouldn't even mind a couple more if I thought we could handle it financially. But it does bother me that I ever felt like that in the first place.

tigger62077
tigger62077

#1 - I feel your pain. It took us 6 years to get pregnant with our son. The comments people say without realizing the damage they do...it's amazing.

dawni
dawni

@Bria I want you to know that your confession stayed with me ever since I read it. I'd like to ask why you went back - not judgementally, but curious what your reasons were. Are you still with him?

I want you to know some very important things, too. You didn't deserve what happened to you. Going back to him doesn't make you responsible for any further actions he takes against you. It's absolutely okay to give people a second chance, but it's also absolutely okay to look out for your own safety and not do that, if that's what feels right to you.

That said, if he is still treating you horribly, it's best if you leave. HOWEVER, I understand how easy it is to rationalise behaviours that aren't okay when they're done by those we love, and I understand that sometimes we're just not ready to walk away yet.

Mostly, I want you to know that going back to him changes nothing about your worth, your value or what happened to you.

Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way.

LM27
LM27

@dawni Thank you so much for your kind words.  You don't know how much they mean.  <3  I hope there is hope for me, too. 

gignfoxysmom
gignfoxysmom

@Eilena  That's right. Buy clothes that you feel good in - whether that's a 2, 12, or 24. Oh, and hang with folks you feel good with - not the ones who want to make sure your pants size matches theirs. 

MyLikesAre
MyLikesAre

@Lucy Perry Fulls The world would look awesome!


Rachael1214
Rachael1214

@Crystal Rivers Hugs mama. I was there, too, after all three of my children were born. Its probably the darkest period of my life. I went undiagnosed after my first was born and it was over a year before I was back to myself. My husband and midwife were finally about to convince me to take an antidepressant 7 months after my second was born (and I was newly pregnant with my third) and I've been on it since. I remember crying and crying and thinking it was some cruel god's way of punishing me for even daring to have had children because I was such a horrid person. I can't help but want to hug and help anyone who has PPD. Its not something I would wish on anyone, ever. 

liahonagirl
liahonagirl

@tigger62077  so true! while it was a cakewalk for us to get pregnant with our son, I've never been able to get pregnant since . . . infertility hurts in so many ways, be it primary or secondary . . . *hugs* for you and #1, and everyone who has walked the lonely road of infertility!

Bria
Bria

@dawni It's complicated.  Obviously it wouldn't be any other way.  No I am not still with him.  Ever since I was a child, abuse has been a way of life.  I was sexually abused by my step-brother and a former babysitter, verbally abused by both my adopted and step father, physically abused by the man I went back to.  I'm not saying I deserve it, it's what I know.  Also, he was the first man I loved romantically.  I'm almost child-like in the way that I can love someone blindly, no matter how badly they hurt me.  We started dating my freshman year of high school.  At first it was a fairytale, then things changed.  I'll never forget the first time he hit me.  How he apologized as I held him, explaining away the guilt.  He only ever apologized that once.  However, to me he did something that made every bruise worth it.  He was willing to say he loved me.  Love is something that hasn't been given to me.  I can love others freely, but very rarely do I get it in return.  To me, the physical pain was worth it, because he said he loved me.  So when he proposed at Christmas my sophomore year, I accepted.  Shortly after I started gym for the trimester with my best-friend, who didn't know about anything he did.  In the locker room I was switching shirts when she grabbed me and asked about the marks.  I tried to lie, she didn't fall for it.  Eventually she got the truth.  She confronted him, and he hit her.  Seeing the bruise on her opened my eyes to the ones I couldn't see on myself.  So I broke off the engagement.

That was almost five years ago.  I moved for college, determined to start a new life, to leave the mess of my home life and hometown behind.  Things got rough last year as a friend of mine committed suicide and another attempted it.  I was caught between a rock and hard place.  That's when he messaged me.  The first time he'd spoken to me in years.  People say habits die hard, but they're wrong.  Habits don't die hard, they go dormant.  So I fell back into our old pattern.  He convinced me through numerous phone calls that he had changed, and I was willing to give him another chance, having always been told that people shouldn't hold grudges.  We went out for dinner the next time I went home, and it went well.  He was sweet, attentive, and kind.  So when the summer started, I agreed to keep seeing him.  Things went quickly down hill.  All of the sudden he was pressuring me to do things I didn't want to do, and after a few round-abouts I'd eventually give in.  The night he raped me was the only night he convinced me to stay over.

We started off in different rooms, he was on the couch and I was in the bed.  However, I have Post-traumatic stress disorder from my childhood abuse, and have nightmares that cause me to scream.  So when I woke up at 2 AM screaming, he ran into the room.  By the time I figured out where I was and everything I was shaking.  So he got into the bed next to me and I let him hold me.  I was afraid to be alone again so I asked him to stay.  At some point he mentioned that he wanted to have sex, and I told him no, I wasn't ready and I was scared to.  I fell asleep again after that, and suddenly I woke up as he was on top of me, but I'll spare the details.  I managed to get out from under him and away.  Later I asked why he had done it after I told him not to.  His response? "I thought it would change your mind and you wouldn't be so stupid about it."

I stayed away for a while, we didn't talk, he had the sense to not seek my company.  Then life happened.  Things fell apart again, I got kicked out of my house, and had no where to go.  So when I passed his apartment, I stopped.  I parked my car, got out of it, and hadn't even gotten to the door when he opened it.  He hugged me and said he was sorry, then he said the three words that would be my undoing (again).  "I love you."  So I stayed.  

Something else that might make all of this make a little more sense is me.  You see I was molested as a child by two men.  Men who were in no way connected, who didn't know each other.  The only constant was me.  I was afraid to talk about it, so as I got older and thought about it more, I convinced myself that I had done something to deserve it.  People say that's not true.  Maybe they're right.  The fact remains that when you spend 16 years thinking something, that thought is really hard to undo.  So I feel broken, and worthless.  What man wants a woman who had sex with two different men before she was 10?  What man wants a woman that dirty?  Again, maybe that's not the way to look at it, but I have 16 years worth of thinking that way.  So when a man came along, and eventually found out my past, and didn't leave, that became my really warped version of love.  This turned out kind of long, I didn't mean it to, but that's why I went back.  

dawni
dawni

@LM27

There is. I believe in you, and I believe in your ability to heal from this. Let me know if you want my Facebook, I'd be happy to add you and share some of the resources that've helped me get to where I am now.

You are so much more than what happened to you, and you deserve better than a life filled with self harm. Something I've found is that it'll always be a part of us - but it doesn't have to define us.

Please know that I'm thinking of you.

MyLikesAre
MyLikesAre

@LM27 @dawni  "Hope" is the unconditional acceptance of Spirit that is available to you at any time you choose to accept it.  It isn't dependent upon any acts you may do or not do.  It is yours without any strings attached!  Just accept it!  Hope is the breath in your body every morning you wake up.  It is a message that says you have another opportunity this day to accept my Hope (Spirit), Spirit's Love and Spirit's desire that you may have life more abundantly.  There is nothing you can do or not do where this Hope isn't available to you.  Reach out and grab it and hold it to your chest right now!  No matter what your experiences have been in the past or even now, you are accepted and loved in the Beloved.  This is Spirit's greatest gift to us now, not in the future, but right now.  Accept it without any reservations.  My wish for you is a life of joy, happiness, peace beyond understanding, loving relationships; but above all for you to know you are a beautiful expression of Spirit who's being here on this planet at this time matters!  Your gifts are needed by this planet now.  So be it!

Crystal Rivers
Crystal Rivers

@Rachael1214 Thank you. I'm so sorry you had to go through it 3 times. It was the worst thing ever. Everytime the baby cried I cried, my mom would call and I would get mad at her for leaving, then I would cry and beg her to come back. My husband would barely talk to me because cried about everything. I never wanted to get out of bed. My poor 2 year old changed too. I would be crying and he'd come up to me and wipe my tears and give me kisses and hold me which just made me cry more because no 2 year old should have to comfort their mommy. I would always say, "I thought this was supposed to be the happiest time of your life, so why am I so upset, what's wrong with me?" I waited my entire life to have a daughter, it's all I ever wanted "when I grew up" I just wanted to be a mommy to a little girl and when my dream finally came true I basically missed the 1st two months. I definitely wouldn't wish that on anyone. I never realized how serious it was until I went through it personally but I don't think there's anything you can do to prepair yourself for something like that, no matter how many pregnancy books you read.

runningwithfire
runningwithfire

@liahonagirl @tigger62077 Right there with you all.  We're currently trying for our first and it's been four years so far.  Some days are better than others but both my husband and I ache every day to be able to have children. 

dawni
dawni

@Bria@dawni
Thank you for sharing your story with me. Please don't apologise for the length -- I really appreciate that you gave such an in depth response. I hope you didn't feel like I was judging you on why you did -- there are so many reasons people go back, and they're all valid.

I want you to know, too, that I can relate. That's why I asked why you stayed - because I've been there too. I have a similar history, and have struggled with many of the same things.

Sixteen years is a long time to think that way, but that can gradually be changed. I hope one day you're able to see your worth as untainted by what those people did to you - because, truly, what was done to you (including the lack of love that was offered you!) says nothing about *you*. I know it's hard to really "get" that, though. You can understand it on an intellectual level, but understanding on an emotional/gut level is so much harder. Been there, too! ;) (Ah, who'm I kidding, I'm still there when it comes to ME. So much easier to see it differently when it comes to others, though).


(If you're curious where I'm coming from/my history, I was sexually abused by more than a dozen people during my childhood, as well as emotionally & verbally abused by both of my parents & a stepparent. I thought I was escaping when I married a man who would only hit me for swearing -- turned out, he liked to abuse me in plenty of other ways too. I've been diagnosed with a handful of mental illnesses, several of which are direct results of trauma - including PTSD and some dissociative disorders. On the other hand, because I want to leave you on a note of hope -- I'm 30 years old, I am gradually overcoming my destructive coping mechanisms and turning my life around. I've minimised contact with my family while I rebuild myself and almost completely removed others from my life because their destructive impact is too great. I'm in a healthy relationship with a GOOD man who has his own rough background. My past doesn't define my future anymore, and most of the time it doesn't define my present, either. There is hope. It can get better.)