Perception Deception

People see the person they want to see. Perception.

“Change your perception, change your world.” So I’ve been told. Changing the way you view a person doesn’t make your belief in them any truer.

All these words here probably look so damn easy, don’t they? My gift comes with a natural greasy ease. Sliding nouns next to verbs, coupled with adjectives and adverbs. Conjunction-junction, I know your function. I’m a paragraph factory. I own my word count. I will pistol whip a page.

At least this is what people think they see. This is how they read my words.

You know the things they can’t see? I don’t sleep. The words in my head won’t shut up. They are the obnoxious tenant needing to pay their rent. The ideas, the brainstorming and the creativity overwhelm my head and make me feel not normal, perhaps crazy. Then my husband says I have to tell the doctor about the not sleeping, about the anxiety, about the constant fear, and I’m irritable. I’m running on a short fuse… scared to death.

She puts me on a mild anti-anxiety medication. It’s been a little over 8 or maybe 9 years since I last took medication for anxiety. When I take the new medication, all my feelings become worse. The thoughts go faster, the fear is consuming. Before long I have to take notice my hands have death gripped the blanket and I don’t want to move. My nails are starting to hurt from digging through the blanket into my palms. On the inside I have a heated debate with myself about quitting writing. I don’t have to do this. I don’t owe it to anyone.

But I do owe it to someone. I owe it to myself. And I love it. Throughout all the mind numbing madness my writing has created, I love the ability to make my words dance. I love that people think I make it look easy.

If they knew the truth, they wouldn’t want any of what I got.

The sensitive, paper thin girl who faces rejection multiple times a day. I am the girl who sat in a rocking chair on the front porch sobbing uncontrollably in the pre-dawn hours from being told, “you ain’t good enough. You will never be good enough.”

Or how I started writing the words you see. My beginning came solely out being told, “You aren’t a real writer. You’re not publishing. I don’t see you write.” Do you see me now? Am I published enough now? Does it feel real enough for you? 

It feels real to me.

All the subjects I’ve written about have caused a great amount of my personal insecurities to be manifested. When I write about them, people send the nice messages and they say the complimentary words. What people haven’t seen is how much of my soul I’ve gutted. I’ve written words and published them under my actual name, my legal name. The one I file taxes under, and if I have to find another job… this is the name on my resume. The Misfit and myself are one sole entity. I exposed my darkest parts, my insanity and our lives… my family is exposed.

They never asked to be written about. I just did it.

When you read the stories about my marriage, it seems simple and loving and caring. At times, it is all those things. What I haven’t written is how my husband secretly emailed an ex-girlfriend for the first five years of our relationship. I haven’t written about how him and her wrote in their emails how I was an unfit woman to marry. Maybe it’s true and I’m not fit, or good enough, or wife material. Some things, even the best of writers can’t put into appropriate words.

I can’t even write the words to express the hurt I felt when my husband told me, “She didn’t want to marry me, because I chose to be a teacher. She didn’t want to have struggle financially.” I did choose to struggle with him, and we struggle every week. We struggle financially and romantically. That is our real life “perfection”.

There will always be people who think they know you. When people read any words I’ve published, I wish I could tell them there are about 5 articles in an unpublished folder. Those pieces also have thoughts and feelings, and they will more than likely rot inside of that folder.

When people think they see perfection, it is only a deception. Perception is the ultimate phony.

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6 Comments on "Perception Deception"

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The thing is, most of us can see ourselves and relate to your words. Perception is a tricky thing and social media is forcing it down our throats. “They” seem happy, “she” has the perfect life, “he” is such a good husband, etc, etc. We don’t know what really goes on behind closed doors but I am certain that EVERYONE has challenges and struggles, no question! Are we all deceptive? Not necessarily, we just try to do the best we can in spite of it all. The key is to be true to ourselves and our hearts. xoxo

Oh hell…I feel all these words


Love and hugs sweet lady! Love you! We MUST make time for lunch! SOON!

I’ve read through this twice, and I’m still struggling to respond in a way which I think will be any kind of…what? Helpful? Insightful? You don’t need my input, that’s for sure – you have people around you who are far better suited to offer feedback than I am, and yet… …you don’t need to be perfect. You don’t even need to appear it. I know you know that, and I equally know you probably maybe have the same kind of idea as I do – that there is power in appearing ‘less than’, because it takes the pressure off… Read more »
Gretchen Kelly
Rachel, I love this. I hate that you have doubts and fears, but I love that you are brave enough to write about them. I worry sometimes when I write about my marriage that I’m making it look perfect and easy. And it’s not. There’s been stuff. Gut wrenching stuff. But I can’t write about it publicly. I admit that I have been envious of your writing. In the “I will never be as good as her, oh my god I wish I could write like that” kind of way. But along with that envy is pride and support I… Read more »
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