I don’t pretend

vintage bridal shower invite

I don’t pretend. It’s a gift and  curse rolled into one. I received one bridal invitation, and I am anticipating a second one soon for another person. The two gals, Anita and Anastasia are the brides-to-be. I work with both of them. Anastasia and I are not close at all. We’ve never been kindred spirits. We pretty much keep to ourselves and our own crowd.

However, Anita and I used to be very good friends. In fact, she was one of the first people I opened up to about my sexual assault four years ago right after it happened. Unfortunately, she was less than a friend about the whole experience. Her first words to me were, “I’m sorry, but I can’t handle this.” These words were devastating to me, and it took me a couple of years to understand that there was a very personal reason for her that caused her to respond this way that had nothing to do with me. I can now understand and respect a person feeling this way. What made it worse was the fact that she carried on after that as if nothing happened with me. She would not ask me how I was doing, and as soon as she realized I was no longer the “fun girl” I used to be she moved on and out of our friendship. We’ve tried to mend this fence, but we’re left just feeling awkward around each other. We have no ill will towards each other, but we also no longer have the friendship kind of love that used to connect us.

My point is that I won’t be attending either bridal shower. My logic is that I am not friends with either one. Some of my friends think I should go, especially since I work with both of them. Screw that! I don’t play politics. I don’t do obligatory crap, and I don’t pretend.

I pretended for so long in my life, and it’s no longer in my bones to pretend. I pretended to care about my parents long after the love had died, and it ate at me. I pretended to be fine while I drank and had sex addictively, so much so that those addictions played a part in my sexual assault.

There is no more pretending. I am not an actress. I am me, and the beauty and upside of that is when I tell I love you, and that you mean a lot to me in my life you know it is true and real. When I hug you and greet you warmly, and ask you how you are doing you know that it is real and sincere. You never have to wonder if I mean what I say.

I don’t pretend.

(Photo credit: lulubrooks)

13 thoughts on “I don’t pretend

  1. I think, as a fellow rape survivor, and also as someone that has been seriously manipulated both as a child and as an adult, that my personal integrity has become very important to me as well. Any form of manipulation, even something as benign as simple lip service, will make the red alert signals go off. I’m not sure if it’s having been so seriously betrayed, or if PTSD has given me a perspective on what is important that I didn’t have before. Either way, I agree with you.

  2. good for you for not going! i was hoping to hear that! i don’t go to baby showers because we can’t have children of our own and after 3 IVF tries, I lost 7 babies. some want to judge me for going to baby showers, but the ones that do are the ones that either have kids of their own or can have them. they can judge away, i am taking care of me and my heart!

  3. So happy that you honor and respect yourself enough to say no when others want you to say yes. Freedom is a wonderful reality you give to yourself. I remember Oprah once quoted someone saying, “if you tell someone no and they continue to try to talk you into saying yes, you have to say to yourself this person is trying to control me.” Love that…

  4. If I understood anything in the past 2 years while dealing with my own sexual assault, it’s that life is too short to be dishonest. I think we spend enough time trying to pretend traumatic things are okay before we get to deal with them. And I feel that when you finally recover of something really life-altering, you shouldn’t cut slack to anyone, you or others. Life is too short to have pretend friendships, pretend relationships and work job you don’t like. If you pretend for too long you might miss out on people who really would support you and be there for you in any situation. Honesty might be hard at times, but it is still better. I admire you for making this choice.

    • Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you did because I just checked out your blog as well. Yes, honesty is not always easy, but I find I can live better with the discomfort of it rather than the discomfort of pretending.

      Take care,


  5. Good for you! You shouldn’t pretend, nor should you apologize for being you. In turn, the people who are in your life love you for YOU, and you know they’re not pretending either. Because they know you and love you for all your faults and assets both! I hate pretending.

  6. Pingback: Cooking for money? | A Year in the Life of PTSD

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