Tuesday, September 18, 2012

straddling the fence

One of the things I love most about New York City is how you can be surrounded by millions of people but still retain the highest sense of anonymity. As the product of a small town, this was painfully NOT the case for me growing up. From birth till about senior year of high school, I didn't really know any better. I just assumed that's the way it was and was used to everyone knowing what I was doing, where I was supposed to be and when I was supposed to be there, and reporting questionable behavior to my parents. Not that there was any of the later since I was "brainwashed" into being a goody-two-shoes and never gave my parents much grief. Until that senior year in high school and I started thinking for myself a bit more.

I suppose being a goody-two-shoes isn't such a bad thing as a child and adolescent, but when the expectations of others encroach upon an adult figuring out things for themselves and exploring who they really are and who they want to be, then I think it becomes a problem. It has for me even to this day and I'm in my mid-thirties. The more I come to realize (with the help of therapy and more exposure to people and things different from my youth) just how much of an inner conflict my years of childhood and early adolescence have caused my adult self, it makes me increasingly sad and compounds my feeling of loneliness and mental turmoil. 

In its simplest form, the conflict is this...my parents (and others close to me in my "former" life) have expectations of me that they assume I am/will pass along to my own child. These are based on a strict, very conservative religious background and beliefs that they assume I still hold true. The problem is that I am not sure that I do, pretty sure I don't actually. Yet my hesitation in cutting ties with these beliefs is the question that constantly looms over my head..."what if they are RIGHT?" What if I go my own way and I screw up badly? Not only myself, but my precious child? And so I feel confined and continue to play the role of obedient and faithful daughter in their presence while letting what I feel is a truer version of myself show on this blog and with certain trusted friends, etc. Its a double life that wears on me and causes a great deal of stress and angst.

To be clear, I love my parents with all my heart and they are good people. It would break their hearts to know their daughter isn't who they think she is or should be. This both angers and saddens me. So I continue to straddle the fence of good Christian girl who is a Devil in bed and other choice places. Its easy to say "hey Bella, grow a pair and do your own thing, you're a grown woman for fucks sake!" I say this to myself all the time, trust me. The roadblock is twofold...the question above, "what if they're right?", and not wanting to crush my parents and cause them grief.

Another thought that just occurred to me...its not like I want to reveal all to the family...I don't feel the need to tell them about my lifestyle choices or that I like to be spanked or any of the stuff you lucky readers are privy to here. That would just be weird and unnecessary. I just want to feel freer to explore other options in spirituality without feeling like they have doomed me to hell. To not feel like I have to hide the liqueur when they come over, to stop feeling guilty if I'm not warming a pew in church every Sunday morning (or ANY Sunday morning).

Its ridiculous really, this fence straddling thing I'm doing. And yet, I can't seem to commit fully to either side.



  1. I know that fence all too well... If you would like to compare or share notes - feel free...

  2. A lot of us are in the same position as you Bella. My parents would turn in their graves if they knew even half of what I do now.

    Even now, to my family and friends I am the epitome of respectability, but I write my exploits using the blog as my outlet.

    I don't think what you or I do makes us bad people. I keep my secret life very much to myself except for the blog, and no small animals are harmed along the way ;-)