Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Feel like my whole life is fake(48 Posts)
Have name changed. I just wanted to tell the truth for once to someone. And I wanted to know how many other people feel that they are faking so many things in their lives. I know that some degree is normal, civility and white lies are what make civilization possible, but I feel that I cannot and never shall tell the´truth to anyone.
On the surface everything seems to be going swimmingly. I have a good job, loving husband, nice house and fine children. I moved to my husbands country long ago and have undergone a long process of learning the language, culture, everything from scratch. I have built up a good career, house, family and even been asked to stand as a political candidate as I am considered a "model immigrant". And it is all such utter horseshit.
I fake enthusiasm for this country, which I often find unbelievably dull, conservative and repressed. My job is sometimes fascinating but involves a great deal of feigning interest and concerns for clients' issues. I spend many days spinning shite to both sides of a dispute and manage to come out with both feeling I am a sympathetic party. How they don't see through this is beyond me.
But worst of all I feel like I am faking my homelife.
I love my children but often find them very trying. At playgroups etc I wonder if I am missing a gene as I just don't have the enthusiasm and love for the anecdotes, the detailed schedules of my children's lives that other mothers have.
My whole sex life is fake. My husband thinks I am very affectionate and sexually enthusiastic. But this is also bullshit. I get some enjoyment but it is mostly pretend. I store images in my head and use them to wank once he goes to sleep. This sounds brutal when I read it back, but it is the truth I really need to say it.
How much of your life is fake? I know I need to own up to some things but how?
I'd separate jobs from the rest. Like a lot of people, I do what I do for the cash, not the love of it. I'm quite happy being as fake as it takes to get the job done but win the lottery tomorrow and it's adios paid employment.
On a personal level... I don't find children (beyond my own) particularly fascinating so I've never hung out in playgroups or with people that can talk about nothing else. I can do it if I have to but, to be absolutely honest, other people's kids' are usually so dull I glaze over. Why do you feel that it makes you abnormal? The most serious one is the sex-life. I really don't see the point in faking sexual interest. If it's not going great that's the time for a chat with the partner... or time to get a new partner. There was a point where I was married where I went off the idea but carried on regardless. Did nothing but make me feel bad about myself.
A lot of people probably have this kind of life and don't give a hoot, and it doesn't matter.
It matters to you, because you are authentic, living a lie to some degree, and it doesn't sit right. It seems like your conscience is pricking you.
Start to introduce your children to things you do like.
Ditto in the home...your husband will either follow or it will create a schism, which may be what you need to move on.
What can you do today to uncover a piece of you.
An interesting quote I read yesterday -
Rabbi Zusya said that on the day of judgement, God would ask him, not why he had not been Moses, but why he had not been Zusya.
Not sure about the job but the playgroups, I defy anyone to genuinely enjoy them. I think some people are just v good at developing strategy to cope iyswim.
You need to be you.
What do you like to do? You need to do more of it. Can you sing? Can you paint?
None of my life is fake except I have a better clean/tidy round if I know anyone is coming. So in effect,my house looks better than it normally is.
I am trying to decide whether you have one problem or many.
Cant really decide.
How long have you been faking things for?
Have you always been like that, or has it gradually increased.
Thank you for quick responses
Now on phone so sorry for any mistakes.
I know a lot is down to having to fit into a different culture and often having to express myself in a different language. Although I speak English with my husband and can discuss a lot with him. He is very loving and frankly thinks the sun shines out of my arse. Quite right too. He enjoys my rants about ridiculous rituals and red tape here. I wish I could open up to him about everything but once you
Say somethings you can never take them back
Interesting that you name changed to tell the truth about your fake life
Happy Halloween - Bingo!!!
I will also be deleting my browser history just in case.
Can't get out of the habit of never giving anyone any ammunition
It sounds like you mean you are afraid to be judged.
I have gone the other way gradually during my life
apart from the tidy house thing
Do you think your fakeness has become exagerated more because you are an immigrant?
I wouldnt worry about the playgroup.childrens stuff at all, that sounds pretty normal to me.
I think you are safe enough to tell your DH a whole heap of stuff which would help you a lot.
I would tell certain people what you think about this country. Even us that have always lived here, could reel off a whole heap of stuff that we dont like about it.
Personally, I dont think I could do your job. Up to you what you decide to do about that.
On the job front, I think a lot of one's working life is "fake". We are all bombarded with the idea that we have to have a "passion" for something now, even job adverts routinely ask you to "outline your passion" which I think is rather over-egging it.
I like my job but I don't pretend that any of it is essential to human life...
Is it possible to reconnect to your roots? Be involved in your native culture/language. It must be a bit laborious to think in your native language and always be translating, even though you're fluent?
[not helpful] That OP is probably the most existential thing I have ever read on MN.
The idea of mauvaise foi ('bad faith') is a bit 20th century, but I still think it is an interesting way to look at things. [/not helpful]
It may not be relevant but I am wondering how old you are? I started to struggle with some of the issues you're raising when I was in my mid 30s. I realised I was acting the whole time - putting on a "disguise" to suit any situation. I was seeing a therapist at the time (troubled childhood can often lead to excessive masking of real feelings) and she helped me to get past a lot of it. Some of it is necessary for social convention (as you state) but a lot of it can be caused by fear of vulnerability or what others think, etc.
If you Google "being authentic" there is a load of thought provoking stuff you can browse through. If you were brought up in an environment where one or both parents was an addict there are often specific coping strategies learned as children that we take into adulthood. That's true even without addiction - we all have them. They can be un-learned.
With regards the work situation only OP - I had an epiphany earlier this year when I realised I couldn't care less about my clients/work (non life essential, just accounting and HR stuff) it bored me rigid if the truth be told. Although I'm good at my job it doesnt excite me at all and I faked enthusiasm with clients etc.
I am now a few weks into a five year plan to change this aspect of my life. I am returning to full time study next year and will be starting University as a single mother aged 40 the year after. Its scary in some ways, but also liberating at the same time.
I am working towards something I feel a real leaning to, maybe not passion exactly, but soemthing I've wanted to do for years but never had the courage before now.
Is there a career that you feel would excite you/engage you more?
"I fake enthusiasm for this country, which I often find unbelievably dull, conservative and repressed" - if this is how you feel you gotta let people know, for the greater good! You talked about standing as a political candidate - is there any way you could stand for a progressive party that is working to make things less conservative and repressed, and, dare I say, better for everybody?
The more personal stuff I don't how to advise you on, but you're not alone. For example, I can't stand the way mums talk endlessly about their kids at playgroups either. I think they do it because they believe that it's expected of them IYSWIM, that once you become a mother you're supposed to be totally enamoured of your kids and it's somehow disloyal to want to talk about other things.
I wonder if mothers talk about their children at soft-play etc because it's all they know they have in common until they know each other better?
I worry that you may be suffering from depression OP? Have you spoken to anyone in RL about this? I have felt like this at times and it has been horribly oppressive. I try and strive for authenticity in all I do now as I don't think I could live with the alternative, it's not a nice feeling to think that everything is fake and nothing is worthwhile. Hugs to you, hope you find a way forward
Hello. Just back from work meeting. I agree that the job stuff is separate and probably the norm for anyone who has to deal with clients and customers. Being an immigrant has its own challenges and although I have citizenship I think it is best not to try to be native as I we'll never really succeed or be accepted as such. Trying to be a well integrated foreigner who does not cause offence is what I should be aiming for. Home life is more problematic as I have painted myself into a corner
Do you have any friends with whom you can just be you? Is there nothing right now that feels 'authentic' to you?
I understand you feeling that this is connected to being an immigrant. I have lived outside my home country for almost 20 years and sometimes just have to connect up with expat friends and have a good rant about the things that drive us mad here,
and reminisce about teabags and marmite etc It's just nice sometimes to be with people who 'get' you culturally, have the same set of references etc
"I feel that I cannot and never shall tell the´truth to anyone."
It sounds like to me that there is one issue in paticular that is bothering you.
Is it your sex life situation?
You seem to be working exceedingly hard to avoid causing offence.
What's likely to happen if you offend ... Your boss or clients; your neighbours; your husband; your mummyfriends; the post office keeper?
Veering ever so slightly back to existentialism, I've felt liberated when living in countries where I look foreign. In places where my appearance 'fits in', by contrast, I feel under some pressure to conform or explain myself. It's as though a foreign appearance gives me an excuse to be more authentic. Never worked out why I feel I need an excuse!
Sometimes I feel that to grumble about anything more than the weather will invite calls of " fuck off back home then" . I have good friends but They are for fun not earbending . My family has suffered a loss recently and it is not the time to burden anyone with irrelevant angst.
I love my husband . He is a good man and marrying me cannot have been easy for him.
Just to clarify. I am British but living overseas
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.