Tell the whole damn truth!
I really wish popular platitudes would tell the whole damn story. Sure, curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back; that last bit completely changes the meaning and makes it way more useful in real life. No wonder when I learned that the truth will set you free … from the grasp of your greatest fears, it completely changed my fucking life.
I mean, I'd heard people say that bullshit all my life, but like … no one actually tells the whole bare-assed truth, really. Yes, we were taught honesty* as kids, but our parents would also lie to our faces every fucking day about the stupidest shit, like sex and Santa Claus. Not to mention they'd force us to hide any emotion or interest they didn't like. What we learn from this is honesty* and that people like us much more when hide certain parts of ourselves.
It get’s worse
Lying and hiding our true selves doesn't feel so bad at first, maybe a tummy grumble like indigestion. So, we grab some Vernor's and saltines, play a few rounds of Mario Kart, watch Hey Arnold and move on. Now, though, we're older with no free time, student loans bigger than our will to live. Now, it's much harder to ignore and escape the anxiety, numbness and constant nagging sensation that we're intrinsically flawed piles of unlovable garbage.
"We don't have to be numb and blank all the damn time. We can reconnect ourselves to the rush of rage, cringe of distain, flush of arousal, tingle of anxiety, the simmer of contentment, and everything else that goes along with being human."
Sure we do our best; keeping it 100, though, we're all irritable, sad and feel like we're slowly dying inside. All our relationships and life choices repeat the unhealthy cycles we grew up with: denying our true desires to make others happy and accepting far less in emotional currency than we're worth. We hate our lives more than ever.
So, we self-medicate… unsuccessfully
Like our loving parents taught us, we smoke, fuck, fight, pray, work, deny and play dead until the hovering dementor of misery takes a lunch break or our lives. Sadly, our parents were wrong; that's just not how emotions work. That's what they did and they became fretful, authoritarian, cold, unpredictable, narcissistic, and disconnected from the suffering you experience.
In truth, each violation, dehumanization, humiliation, abuse, all the times we were left to cry until we couldn't feel anymore, the bullying coupled with all the helplessness, anger, resentment, anguish, confusion, fright and panic we feel in those moments stays with us. Much like the natural gasses in the gut of a decomposing beached whale, when you don't get to vent your emotions, they build up until you burst.
But we can do better
Without realizing it, our parents' asterisk-laden definitions of honesty taught us that tiny soul crushing compromises must be made to be "loved." It also introduced our generation to an epidemic of emptiness, dissatisfaction, lack of direction, social anxiety and fear that we are constantly fucking everything up. They lied, but they didn't mean to; in fact, they thought they knew what was best. Sadly, they also set us up to relive their shitty unfulfilling lives because that's the only option they knew.
Luckily for you, you're here reading this and that means you have so many more options.
We don't have to be numb and blank all the damn time. We can reconnect ourselves to the rush of rage, cringe of distain, flush of arousal, tingle of anxiety, the simmer of contentment, and everything else that goes along with being human. We can be seen, heard, valued and understood for who we really are, weirdness intact. There's no amount of alcohol or sleep that'll make that happen; instead we must tell our whole entire bare-assed, all-fucks given, soul-cleansing, relationship-ending truths about who we are and what happened to us.
Fuck what you heard, you're not alone or broken. Humans need shelter, food, water, air and confirmation of our existence in order to survive. That last part is something many people think is optional; they're woefully wrong. It's not optional to express ourselves; this is the core of what it means to feel safe, welcome and at peace. I know all this, because I speak from experience.