cartoon cow writing at a desk

The Facade (2.4.18)

I wrote this article back on November 4, 2017. I have just unearthed it and it’s interesting that I am dealing with round 2 of bronchitis at the moment. #Nocoincidences.

I’m processing a virus that is annoying the hell out of me. I’m in day 13 of this bitch. I started out with intense low back pain, scratchy throat, headache, and it has evolved into bronchitis and my first ever ear infection. I’m a patient person, but I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. The kids and my husband don’t understand how sick I am, because apparently I look pretty good when I’m sick. When I was pregnant with our first daughter Ashlee at 30 weeks, I was sitting in my mid-wife’s home office and she said, “Debbie, you have pre-eclampsia. And you are the sickest, healthiest looking person I have ever seen.” I’ve been reflecting on that statement during this illness.

Maybe I am a person that looks good even when I am sick. But I realized another aspect concerning my presentation of my “under the weather” self. Since I was sexually abused for 12 years, I created a façade in order to survive. Somehow, some way, I was able to create an “exterior Debbie” that was like one of those fake storefronts in old western movies. It was a shell, a protective coating, a wall to pretend like I was okay when in fact I was dying a slow, painful, long, tortuous death on the inside. Once my father touched me inappropriately the first time at age 8, I knew it was wrong, he told me to not tell my mother, therefore I was backed into a corner with no fucking way out. I had no escape plan. I had no life experience as to how to deal with this heavy-duty issue. I was overpowered. Somehow, some way, I and/or my guardian angels, and/or my ego helped me create a façade to survive the abuse. In hindsight, I would say that I was a superior actress to keep this façade intact until it began crumbling down my junior year in college. What a survival strategy. And imagine how much energy it took to maintain that façade for 12 years. Every now and then when my husband is exasperated with me he will say, “You can’t handle stress very well.” And my response is, “I totally disagree. I am a warrior when it comes to managing stress, because I survived 12 years of sexual abuse and didn’t commit suicide, become a drug addict ,or become a prostitute.” Obviously, I still have residual affects from the abuse, but overall I’m pretty fucking amazing.