The Fear of Showing You
I’m trying to learn not to lie. I made a promise you see.
It sounds a simple thing I’m sure. I knew it wouldn’t be when I accepted that this is something I would do, but I also didn’t know how many lies I was wrapped in either.
I don’t think I’m the only one with this issue. Well, in a selfish way, I hope I’m not – this is something too scary to think I’m alone with.
But then that’s the issue. The turning point in realising why I have a problem. You see I’m scared that all my castles in the sand of what my life is, could wash away should people see the real me..
The real me. I; real? I don’t even know all of what is real me and what is my mask and cloak. It covers in thick drifts of dust or rings like onion skins.
At first I thought it would just be those lies I used to cover my mistakes ( yes, I picked that up. Just give me 10min, I need to pop out for a bit. ); the ones that would mean my family didn’t know I had failed; that meant they didn’t worry; the hopes they couldn’t see I’d let them down and the half truths so they wouldn’t see my tarnish. Then I cleared enough away that I could see below and I began to be aware the enormity of my quest.
I’ve placed myself in so many boxes and accepted that being this is so much more user friendly than being that.., And I’m the lucky one, without fear of long held stigmas.
I’ve only slowly become aware of how those I know who are homosexual or bisexual ( or with other relationships or of other genders; so varied but all so much the same by fact of the love they share for whomever is right for them and the hopes of living as they ‘are’ ), of bad background or having the ‘wrong’ parents or religion, must feel ( and even that can only be a guess ). For some there may be a choice of having to cut their life fully in two and carry the stress of swapping boxes, hoping a false word or accidental meeting doesn’t mix things up; or cutting off swathes of their world so that the pain of truth in the wrong ears can’t break them; or steeling themselves to stand tall, always waiting for an unexpected wind of sharp cutting words to come their way.
I’m NOT a box!
I don’t know how not to be one, to be honest. Not when we all hold onto our boxes – even activist is a box when you think about it.
I find myself trying to be me and then a part of me will make something I did so much bigger and something else so much smaller. Not as a lie you understand, but to show the best of me, and the worst thing is I don’t even know I’m doing it. I’ll be trying to help and it comes across as if I think I’m a great expert, when all I am is swimming through similar waters and finding one stroke easier.
Yet it’s a lonely thing wearing a mask and not knowing if your friends, your family, your partner or even children could accept you if they saw the scars beneath. Then, if you do let some of your mask down, you end up constantly looking over your shoulder wondering when ‘they’ will notice and how long til the scars put them off.
The funny thing is I see others with their boxes and find it so easy to see they don’t need them and that the box doesn’t even begin to hold all the good bits of them, but when it comes to myself I can’t be so kind.
So, just for today ( because it’s been a nice day ) let me stand tall, offer my hand and say “Hello.”
My name doesn’t matter and my skin – well lets just say it’s skin; I have someone in my life I love so deeply I want to be whole for them and I believe in something that is truly worth caring about and keeps me strong when all I want is to hide; I’m not great or wise or powerful and if I have thoughts or advice it’s because I fell down that hole or tripped on that branch before you; I’m a mess starting to be sorted and fears starting to be faced.
And, for today at least, I am proud to have all of these faults. For, today, I am me.