My mom and I went grocery shopping together- she for the food for the family and me for food for college, and as we went down the aisle home to various vitamins and minerals, she said to me, “Here, you might want to try this. It’ll help your metabolism and its helped me control my tummy.”
After ascertaining that it is an all-natural fruit extract that won’t harm me, I agreed to try it. But when we were in the car heading home, Mom suggested that I keep it in my room instead of out on the counter with my other vitamins and pills. That way, my dad won’t see it.
Its sad, but true. I wish I didn’t have to hide this kind of stuff from him, but he isn’t understanding about these types of things. Unfortunately, my truth is hidden.
I feel a little weird about taking this thing- like I’m cheating. Like I’m breaking a promise I made to myself to never be one of those girls who took pills to make them skinny but gave themselves cancer instead. Which is why I made sure that it is all-natural, risk-free. But I guess I really just feel guilty about hiding it from my dad, even though I know its much easier than trying to explain it to him.
My cousin said to me how happy my mom said she is about us going off to college. My voice teacher had been forever telling me how much better things would get once I was out of the house: we would all have our own space away from each other. I would have way more freedom. They’d have to let go. Our relationships would change. It would get better.
Pretty much my whole life I’ve been stifled. Stifled and smothered. Step one: smothered by my parents. Step two: stifled by the outside world. Step three: smothered some more… repeat! And although my mom has, admittedly, gotten better, my dad… not so much. He’s mellowed, sure, but…
On the day of my aunt’s Ordination, my cousins said things like, “I can’t wait until you go to college and are free to be your own person,” and, “it’s only a problem because your dad is watching. If he wasn’t here, you could make your own decisions and do what you want.” It took me eighteen years of growing up to realize just how restricted my dad makes me feel- how little control I feel I have over my life and how I feel I can’t be myself in her entirety.
My truth- the whole truth of who I am down to the very core- is hidden.
I am taking a fruit extract to help my metabolism, and thereby, my weight, but I”ll never be a size four.
And I’m not as conservative of a Catholic and he is, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a good person, or a good Catholic for that matter.
It’s a shame that most of us, like me, feel forced to hide our truths for one reason or another. I hope that in college my truth with start to come to light.
Tell the truth.