You Might Be Surprised What Goes On Behind Closed Doors

You Might Be Surprised What Goes On Behind Closed Doors

I cautiously posted last week about the argument my man and I had about our schedules and child care. Surprisingly, I'm glad I did since some unique conversations have come out of it. 

My mom mentioned that when she was my age none of her many mom pals ever talked about their problems with kids or marriage.  She assumed all her friends had a flawless husband and home life.  Now 40 years later, these ladies are revealing stories of bedwetting, infidelity and infertility. 

An old friend and I chatted about how the photos and stories most share online are generally at ones best.  It would be unusual to highlight sad times, as the good times are the moments you want to document and  remember.

I began to wonder if a lot of our online personas lead double lives. We  perfect our titles and display frame worthy photos, appearing to live a life we see portrayed in the media and movies. When the computer is off;  life is not all sunshine, rainbows and happy family portraits.

I discovered that this happens in real life too.  A family in my neighborhood, that I don't know that well, but have admired as I briefly chatted with them at the restaurant down the street or while playing on their lawn; I learned are getting divorced. 

It really rattled me. Not just because I feel terrible for the well behaved kids and seemingly nice adults, but I realized I've been judging this family. I assumed when I saw their house from my window that life was picture perfect inside. 

I'm glad they were honest, and I think we should be truthful as well.  The times when I have been the rawest; are the instances I've received the most, both online and in real life.

It is hard to hold in problems, trust me it feels like a weight has lifted when the truth is spoken. 

Anyone up for being real with me?


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  • At least 40 years ago she wasn't blogging about them.

  • I have blogged pretty honestly and am very much the same in real life. I discovered several years ago that putting on a happy front and saying things were ok when they weren't was not only slowly killing me but it also isolated others. When I share my stories with others I am often confronted with folks who breath a sigh of relief because they have finally found someone who has been throw the same thing. I have blogged some about our marriage issues though I don't want to totally air all our issues or be one sided, I have blogged about about my moms illness and passing and I blogged several times about my own teen pregnancy and abortion. To only talk about or blog about the 'perfect' moments does a great disservice to everyone. This past week i spent the holiday with my father and his siblings on vacation. They lost their father when he was 36 and no one ever talked about it. They learned that the younger two have lived 50 years thinking their father was a rough, hard guy when in reality he was a lovable fun guy people wanted to be around. All because noone felt they could talk about it!!!!!

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    I agree, I love reading personal blog posts the most. Although, I don't really post them. I want to post more personal stuff this year, though, it's one of my goals.
    You never know what's going on. Right before Thanksgiving there was a domestic murder on my block. The son stabbed his mom. How horrible.

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    I absolutely LOVE this post. It's true with everyone, not just people who are married and have kids. Life is hard. There's one person in particular who's always going on about how great her business and kids are. Makes me wonder if all that bragging is masking something else. Life isn't perfect. I have a huge ton of respect for people who can be honest about this.

  • I think I'm perhaps TOO honest online. I try not to share too much, but sometimes I do want to talk about things that bother me. After growing up keeping my family's dysfunction a secret, I feel like I must be forthright about it.

    People would always compliment my parents on such well-behaved kids, and admire our scholastic abilities (we homeschooled) and how well we treat each other in public, and sometimes they would tell me how wonderful my dad is, how he's a role model. They would also tell me that my oldest little brother was such an awesome guy and so nice. Then, I would cringe inwardly and smile and politely thank them.

    Now, I don't have to worry about that anymore, because A) I don't live in the same town as my family and B) people witnessed it when shit happened. When my dad first disowned me (reasons are unclear--it seems like he was mad that I moved out, got engaged to a Protestant, and would never clean my room as a teen.) I wrote about it on FB.

    And after that, when people would ask me how my family was, I would tell them the truth. I don't know, because they aren't telling me anything anymore. I don't know, because my dad was psychologically and verbally abusive to us all. I don't know how my oldest little brother is doing, because he is still drinking dad's koolaid and has also disowned me. I don't know how my little siblings are doing (the oldest of those is only 13) because my parents said that I have to kowtow to my dad in order to have contact with the little ones.

    Most of my friends and some family members who used to think we were such a perfect family now acknowledge that my dad puts on a good show for the public, and are always praying for the little ones' safe escape someday, since they are also homeschooling and have very limited and heavily monitored contact with others. And they acknowledge that my dad in all likelihood has borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.

    The truth has set me free, as I no longer feel bound by the unspoken obligation to whitewash my family.

    Long story short--yes, it can be a big surprise to find out that the "perfect family" turned out to be just the outer, public shell that covers up all the dysfunction and/or abuse that goes on behind closed doors. My family is definitely one big example of that.

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    Beth Prystowsky

    Trying to raise children with a sense of calm in a chaotic world.

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