My True Self

extracted from email

Dear Rick,

I was a very smart young woman back in the late fifties but that wasn’t a time when women, even educated women competed with men for top jobs.  I married, raised three children and managed to work my way up the ranks in a corporate office until I retired in 1992.  When my husband passed away last year, he was praised by everyone and my children made very eloquent speeches attributing their intelligence and professional success to him.  Frankly, it was a slap in the face to me.  My husband was a good man and smart enough to know that my I.Q. was 20 points higher than his so he let me make all the important decisions while raising our kids.  For over 50 years I stayed in the background, managing the family finances, raising the children and quietly working in the Corporate world with no recognition.  I accept that it was my decision to live that way and that is not my problem.

After the funeral, I decided to release the “real me”.  I’m taking advanced classes at the local college, participating in lectures and plan to write a book.  When I told my oldest child I have been a MENSA member since the late 70’s, he made me show him my membership card!  He still thinks I’m telling stories and lies to everyone.  My daughter asked one of my neighbors to watch over me because I’d have a hard time managing my affairs now that my husband is gone.  I played my part so well for so long, even my adult children never knew the real me.  They think I have lost my mind.  Now I’m afraid if I ever have a single “senior moment”, they are going to throw me in a “home” somewhere.  What can I do?

Joyce M.

Comments on My True Self Leave a Comment

  1. Dear Joyce,

    You can do this. Fifty years of “deceiving” cannot be undone overnight. Remember, you are asking your children to change a belief they have had since childhood. This will be emotional for everyone.

    But I’m here to give you the practical plan of action. Luckily, the identity you are “uncloaking” has left a paper trail. You need to get the attention of your children in order to communicate with them. That may mean hitting them with a 2 x 4.
    1. Invite the kids to a holiday or dinner party when you know they will attend. Make it far enough ahead that you can collect your “evidence”.
    2. Start collecting evidence of all you want your children to know about you. School records including grades, rank and any standardized tests you may have taken. If they believe your husband handled the family finances, pull out the piles of cancelled checks with your signature. How about your corporate job reviews. They must have been good if you rose through the ranks. Any photos of you accepting awards or directing people or projects? Of course, pull out your Mensa certificate and card.
    3. Find people who know the real you and invite them to the party. Surely you have a sister or best friend that you can asked to tell the kids what really went on while they were asleep or in school. How about former co-workers?
    4. Take the time to consult an attorney about your rights when it comes to being “committed”. While you are there, make sure your will or living trust is up to date and reflect all of your wishes.
    5. Have the party, present the evidence and allow your “character witnesses” to speak.
    6. If you don’t get the response you want from the kids, tell them goodnight and let them think it over for a few days.
    7. If they haven’t come around by then, that’s it. Go back to your new life and start living and flaunting the “real you”. Who knows, when you are on tv being interview about your new book, they may finally come around.

    Good Luck!

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