People that know me know that I am an expert at misdirection and half truths. Lately, it has made me sad, that no one really actually knows me...they only know what I tell them. And some of good friends have commented on it-so it is not like people haven't noticed it. They have said that I constantly surprise them, or that they really don't know me as well as they thought they did. And that realization makes me sad...and lonely.
I tried to figure out when it started to happen. When the misdirection and half truths started…and I have to say, I blame the summers.
*laughs* I know that sounds ridiculous. But it is true. I went away every summer since I was 10. Sometimes for 4 weeks. Sometimes for 9 weeks. Up until I was 21. The summers were my time to escape. Now, I know that when I was 10 or 11, I didn't necessarily think that. But I wasn't so eerily off. I refused to go away for a summer with a friend from home. I wanted to start fresh. Where no one knew me. (Although when I was 10, I did go away with my best friend Marisa-my parents insisted on it) But after that year, it was always me. By myself. And I treasured the summers. I lived for the summers.
All my life, everyone was overprotective of me. My parents. My relatives. My friends. I just needed to go and be me. And tell people what they needed to know, and nothing more than that. I needed a chance to be me. With no preconceived notions on how to act. Or how I was supposed to be. I remember the summer I was 12, I was going into seventh grade, I was at camp for 8 weeks-and was fighting with my friends and just was sad…and I refused to tell people. I didn't want to go home. I wanted to prove my strength. I wasn't a quitter. I needed to be strong. For myself.
Except for that summer, I fell in love with the summers. I loved not having people know everything about me. That people wouldn't judge me. And if they did…after 4 weeks or 8 weeks, who knew if I would still be friends with them. My parents were always amazed that the fact that I was so shy, but I had no problem leaving home.
And then high school hit. I went to a new school; where again, very few people knew me from elem. school, or middle school. I was everyone's good friend. The person they cried too after their heart was broken. The one that listened to all of their girl problems (or boy problems…but since my friends were guys…it was typical girl problems). I was the one they trusted. I became friends with everyone, including people that most people wouldn't have been friends with-I believed in the good in everyone. I held all their secrets. But yet, I didn't know how to ask for help when I needed it. It wasn't that I didn't want to. I just didn't know how. I wasn't a crier. But it was more than that. Many people that I was friends with in high school, believed that I was perfect. That nothing bothered me. And maybe it was my fault for casting that illusion about me. (And even though I know I was far from perfect)…they didn't want me to have problems. They couldn't stand to see me upset. It hurt them and worried them too much. And I couldn't stand having people worry more about me. So, I learned to tuck it deep inside. If I did cry…I never called someone up on the phone. I never cried to someone. If I got upset, I held it in.
Then college hit. I remember before I left for my freshman year at school, I realized that I was going to a college where no one knew me. No one would know my past. I could have people be left in the dark about certain things. It was like the summers all over ago-only not 4 weeks. Or 8 weeks. But four years. I was estatic when I realized that. Even though at that point, I became a master of half truths and hiding, that was when I realized my ability to successfully misdirect. For example, sophomore year in college, during winter break, I was in the hospital. I did tell two people at school, but no one else, no one in my close group of 4 friends. I remember being in the hospital, and calling my friends from college (because my mom told me that they were calling me at home), and pretended that I wasn't in the hospital-I was at home, having a grand old time. I made up stories of what I did. Where I went. Anything to prove that I wasn't in the hospital. Who does that? Seriously!
So now, my realizations are making sad. I have been running from the truth and refusing to ask for help for so long, that people only see what I want them to see…nothing more. Nothing less. And that makes me feel sad. Because if I do need help, I don't know how to ask. People only see what I show them, and sometimes I think that if I come clean, with myself, with everyone, I'll be hurt. Or make people sad. Or shock people. Or surprise them.
So, right now, even though it isn't always the safest place, I take comfort in my bubble. I made it myself. It protects me. Keeps me safe. Lets people see what I want, instead of seeing what they should see.