Life in the Funhouse


You’ve all taken a walk through that weird funhouse at the amusement park, I’m sure. Why they call them a funhouse is beyond me. They should be called house of germs and claustrophobia, but I digress.

There are those crazy warped mirrors throughout that make you look weird and distorted. You can’t help yourself but to stand and pose in front of them laughing, knowing the image in the mirror is not how you truly look.

For me, and many out there, every mirror is a funhouse mirror. Sadly, it goes beyond what I see on the outside. It is a distorted impression of how I perceive myself as a person.

As a mother.
A wife.
An employee.
A cook.
An artist.
A writer.
A friend.

I read an article in Self magazine the other day, What I Gave Up Because I felt Fat that really hit home. I can’t even count the times I’ve bailed out of events because of how I felt I looked or how I feel I look compared to those around me. Have you ever heard the saying “If you want to feel thin, surround yourself with fat people”? Well, I always feel like the fat one being referred to.

I say hurtful things to myself that I would never say to another human being. Compliments are typically responded to with a cynical smirk or negative retort instead of a polite “thank you”. I can barely recall a time that I am pleased with not only my appearance, but also with my performance or craft, or really anything.

It is said that we see ourselves magnified by 10. That blemish in the mirror that is keeping you a shut in is most likely unnoticeable to anyone else. The extra couple of pounds you put on during the holidays may be tugging on your buttons, but probably have no one taking a second glance.

It is all how we perceive and accept ourselves. Those demons in our head that tell us awful lies, can sometimes feel too strong to battle. That beautiful, thin, stylish woman you envy at work may very well be battling those very same demons. Although an outsider can’t understand why. Their perception of themselves is very real.

I lost a very special friend last year to suicide. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out, living a seemingly perfect life with a husband who adored her and a beautiful new baby girl. Losing her was a shock, to say the least. I think of her every day and still ask the same question…Why?

I find myself missing her more than every lately as her anniversary looms around the corner. I often think of her internal struggles and how much she must have been hurting and how desperate she must have felt, yet couldn’t express. If I can learn anything from her, it is to step away from that funhouse mirror or at least ignore the lies it tells and be truly appreciative and content, dare I say pleased, with the reflection…

The strong woman
The loving mother.
The attentive wife.
The hard-working employee.
The talented cook.
The creative artist.
The inspirational writer.
The trustworthy friend.

Have a beautiful day.

Please watch this

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”
― August Wilson

About Cluttercafe

Wife to a great guy. Mom to two active, wonderful kids. Full time working woman trying to keep it all together.
This entry was posted in scattered thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Life in the Funhouse

  1. Danielle says:

    Your brave words are going to resonate with so many people. You certainly struck a cord with me, and like you, this is something that I have been working on. I also struggle with seeing good things when I look in the mirror or in pictures, especially standing next to other women – the comparison trap. It’s often said that we are a society that values appearance, physical beauty, the ideal body image, whatever that happens to be at a given time. But I think that we’re also a society that values intelligence, kindness, generosity, and fostering community. When I look in the mirror, I see a person who possesses those qualities, and when I am out in the world, I try to act according to those values. In the eyes of the people you care about, your family and friends, you are perceived as beautiful – all those wonderful qualities and roles you described. Your journey and mine is to internalize that and find happiness and peace with that knowledge. As Louise Hay says in her wonderful book You Can Heal Your Life: “The bottom line for everyone is, ‘I’m not good enough.’ It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.”

  2. Jenny says:

    I was blessed to have a girlfriend send me this link the other day, you should check it out too-it will change a lot of things for you and how you see yourself!

  3. Charlotte Hart says:

    Nicely written and have shared a thought or 2 also

  4. Megan says:


    I can’t even tell you how much this blog hit me. It’s like you knew how I have been feeling. Life can bring struggles and we have to stop listening to the bad and focus on the good. Staying positive isn’t always a task that comes easy.. but surrounding yourself with positive things can brighten your tthoughts. I miss our friend so much..


    • cluttercafe says:

      I hope it helped bring you some healing. Writing this particular post took me days. It was very difficult for me to put into words all the emotions I have been feeling lately. I have felt emotional and anxious lately and I started writing, and deleting and writing and my thoughts and feelings became clearer to me. I guess that’s where the healing happens. I miss her too.

  5. Cathy B. says:

    Beautifully said 🙂

  6. Lisa says:

    Love you!!

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