I came home today and after continuing my cleaning routine, I turned on my pc and read a story about how JLO recently ran off stage crying during her concert after singing a few of her classics and bringing her ex look-a-likes on stage. I wondered why she would torture herself by bringing look-a-likes of her exes on stage. She just divorced her husband, the father of her twins a very short time ago and she is enjoying success as a judge on American Idol and ontop of all that she has a few successful singles off her new album. On the surface everything is going great for her. But if you look into her eyes, they tell another story.
Sometimes when our heart is so broken and everyone is in our ear telling us how great we are, we are the catch, don’t worry you will come back from this stronger then ever, or my favorite you’ve got so much going for you just cocnentrate on those things and move forward, we take those things to heart and instead of taking the time to heal, mourn, cry, be sad, and feel like a mess we try to be superwoman (or super man) and stuff our feelings down, smile and pretend that we are doing pretty good considering whats happened. We do this so no one can say, “wow this really broke her(or him) down”. We want that approval and the nods of agreement that we are doing well and we are going to be right ok from our support system around us. Kind of like a pat on the head that says “good job, your so strong”. We yearn for it because we have not yet told ourselves and believe it so we search for it from others.
Its dangerous and I know it first hand. I can only imagine how much more that it’s compounded when you are accountable to young children who don’t understand whats happening around them. Then its worst. I pretended in the first month that I was ok. Inside my heart was breaking, and aching because I didn’t understand why everything went awry. I listened to everyone telling me I am better off, don’t worry about it, everything will be ok, concentrate on your mom recovering and this new job you have. Concentrate on how well you are doing and make sure you keep the momentum going so you will be kept on past your probation period. I listened and told myself the only way to do this is to cover up my sadness the same way I did in the morning when I put on my make up.
I perfected the art of smiling and acting chipper at work and to everyone around me. I learned to use my smile as a way to draw people to me and to keep them out. It was my two edged secret shield that I could use to deflect or attract whenever I needed to. But deep down inside I was sad, and I felt this aching that I can’t describe. I think I can only liken it to taking a big pot, lighting the stove on high and placing it on there. Add in some boiling water (the hotter the better), this represented my tears then throw in some betrayal, anger, confusion, abandonment, heart ache, denial, blame both for him and myself but add in more for myself, shame, embarassment, loneliness, sadness, some “still in love” and top it all off with as much unanswered questions as you can. Cover and simmer to a boil, uncovering occasionally to stir, and bring some of it up to the surface to see if its done yet. And even that doesn’t come close because I am sure there are other ingredient’s that I am missing (that still wouldn’t come close).
People around mewould told me how great I was doing, and how strong I was and in turn I would smile. You see, when you perfect the art of deception it becomes second nature and it’s transferrable even to people you don’t want to decieve. You just can’t help it. But I was only decieving myself and they saw that. So one day in January as I walked through the mall and past the store I bought our 3 year anniversary gift that he was now wearing with the woman he cheated on me with I felt my eyes welling up with tears. I walked through that mall, correction FORCED myself to walk through that mall because I didn’t want him to limit where I went. But it was too soon. And that day all my deceptions caught up with me.
The faster I walked the more the tears welled up in my eyes and began running down my cheeks washing away my make up and simultaneously washing away my facade that I worked so hard to put together. In my mind I just wanted to get to my car before too many people saw me falling apart. So on I walked, faster and faster, passed confused faces and men who looked at me like they weren’t sure if they should ask if I was ok or stare in disbelief. As I walked through the bait and tackle store, my face began to contort and I began to hyperventilate. I just kept thinking, “a few more steps and I will be there, I just have a few more feet to go. Just hold it together till you hit the doors”. I couldn’t. As I rounded the corner and a father and son came face to face with me in full blown tears, and hyperventilating, their face dropped and I threaded around them like a scene out of the matrix. I didn’t make it. My tears became audible, if only to me and those standing close to me. I got outside and I could barely see through my tears as I stepped out onto the street and crossed the parking lot to my car. My body began to shake, my arms became weak and I could feel my throat closing up. I was in the beginnings of a panic attack.
I fumbled for my keys outside of my car and my face began to sting from the biting cold and my hot tears. When I finally got inside I cried so hard that I nearly threw up my lunch twice. My facade had crumbled. I was not ok. I didn’t feel strong, and I didn’t know if I would ever be. Everything I was telling myself before were other people’s words that were not my own. I was just repeating them word for word without believing because I didn’t see it as yet. I wanted despeartely to be ok but in reality I wasn’t. I felt like I was under a lot of stress to be ok and strong for my mother, for this new job so I was kept on, and for myself so that what he did didn’t break me. My phone rang and it was my cousin, asking how I was doing. R listened to me as I told him what just happened and he paused on the other end. He was furious, not at me but at what was happening to me. He promised to call me later which he did.
My point is, when you pretend to be ok because you feel under obligation to keep it together not only for yourself but for someone else, and you don’t take the time to feel all the stages of grief that go along with a break up be it a marriage, or relationship, you risk breaking down and crying through a mall, breaking down into sobs in a bait and tackle store and hyperventilating in your car, or running off stage crying in front of thousands of people. Your not fooling anyone but yourself when you do that. I don’t know the details between Marc Anthony and JLO. because quite franly its their business. In spanish there is a saying that goes, “lo que sucede entre una mujer y marido es asunto de nadie” meaning what happens between a man and wife is no one’s business. BUT I hope JLO can take the time to really take care of her feelings and whats happening inside her in the midst of everything happening around her so she can get through this for her kids and herself.
Can you relate? Has this happened to you? Tell me your thoughts.