Friday, February 12, 2010

the things people can't talk about

It is hard to keep things hidden inside. It is painful and sad and it hurts, because the act of keeping something secret somehow invalidates it, makes it feel dirty and shameful even when it shouldn't be. Whether your hiding it to protect yourself or to protect someone else, the outcome is the same.

When a person hurts inside and they don't want to show it, they form a defensive shell and don't let people in. It is safer that way. They act like everything is fine, like they are bulletproof, like nothing ever bothers them. They project confidence and happiness, and they save their tears for in private where no one can see and suspect they are vulnerable.

And while they protect themselves, they struggle with feeling like they are being artificial, unauthentic, disingenuous. Identity becomes fractured between public and private. They hate who they are becoming but they feel they have no other choice. Who they are and who they present to the world are different things. And eventually this becomes routine, the new normal. Life goes on.

Someday, if they are lucky, the pressure gets released and they find themselves in a time and place with people where they have the opportunity to be themselves with and they don't have to hide (if they have the courage). They don't have to be ashamed. Hermey gets to be the dentist.

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