It's hard to imagine when you look at me now that I've ever done the things that I talk about having done. (It was hard when I was healthy for people to imagine that I have ever done the things that I have done too.)
I get the "you are full of it" look a lot, and on occasion people actually call me a liar to my face. I don't have a good enough memory to lie for one thing, and for another, what good would it do me?
To look at me now, you wouldn't imagine I've ever been SCUBA certified, been to more than two dozen states, served my nation, fought fires, been to college, gotten a Master's Degree, obtained certification in aircraft rescue, ever weighed less than 150 lbs, once had hair down past my butt, once rode every roller coaster I could, had ever seen me run a mile or leg press over 400 lbs. You wouldn't know by looking at me that I was ever anything other than what you see now: a very overweight almost middle aged woman with a bad back and balance issues. All you see now is me shuffling when I first start to walk because my feet hurt so bad, or you might see me unable to keep my balance on uneven ground. All you see now is someone that gets tired quickly because her brain has to work overtime to process movement now that her ears don't work, and you might even get frustrated when she can not hear what you said properly. (I assure you that my making light of the hearing distortion is my way of dealing with the fear I feel at going deaf)
You can not even begin to process how hurt and angry I feel when I'm reliving one of my adventures in a funny story and I'm made to feel as if I'm dishonest. It happens a lot. It is as hard as someone questioning your intelligence because you can not spell or do advanced math due to a learning disability. (Too bad I cant show off that IQ test to prove folks wrong, and to let the numbers show that I am in fact a genius. But who's counting?)
I lived a LOT before I got sick. I did all kinds of cool stuff, and am thankful for it. I relive many of those fun and adventurous days because I can not do those things anymore. My new normal, as it were, will not allow me to SCUBA dive again, or ride roller coasters or fight fires or be more than I am now. It is hard to be a shell of the woman you once were, and have people call into question your honesty when you are reliving a moment in a story from your past. I can not carry around those memories in a jar to show you, nor can I carry around a notebook full of affidavits to prove that I am who I once was.
All anyone sees now is a fat, somewhat obnoxious woman who talks in excess about things that no one believes. They don't take time to see the scars on her heart and the knicks on her soul from every time she set out to help her fellow man only to be called a liar afterwords. No one bothers to wonder why this woman lives in the past because they don't value her enough to listen close enough to hear the pain in her words as she remembers who she once was and can no longer be.
If I have become arrogant and a braggart it is because it is how I have been shaped by those that insisted on telling me my best was never enough, my truths were untrue, and that I "had no reason to live". I always knew that my best was good enough, my truths were infact true, and I have every reason in the world to live. I had something to prove, I proved it over and over and over, then no one believed me.
So no, I am not a liar. I may not look like much, but this broken messed up body has seen a lot in its 36 years. I will no longer tolerate those that can not see fit to give my truth a chance.