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Who taught you to hide things?

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Mrs Panda posted 7/12/2013 20:17 PM

My Mom.

I learned to hide who I was and to avoid judgement at an early age.

My Mom is a kind person, sensitive, fragile. And terribly jugdemental.

I was talking to my baby sister tonight. She knows our Mom is a wee bit crazy. I remember being 12 years old and all the girls were wearing at least training bras. I wanted my my Mom to recognize that I was at this age and needed that. Instead, I pouted and moped for days until she figured out what was wrong. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I don't know why! This was a normal thing I was going through but I was afraid of my Mon's puritanical judgement.

Then when I was 13 I wanted desparately to go to my first middle school dance. I again pouted and moped for a day until I played 20 questions with Mom.

So I was fucked up earlyt on.

Hiding things.

I told this to my sister and she understands. She did the same thing. However, I was the angry, rebellious one growing up.

I told my sister "this is what I did to Mr Panda, when I cheated." She was like "yeah, but Mr P isn't crazy."


Fuck FOO issues. I'm a smart woman. I am the only one to blame.

Unagie posted 7/12/2013 21:42 PM

My mom and dad. I was an open book for a long time in my home. Then my dad started drinking every day and he could say some pretty asshole things when intoxicated. Him and my mom would argue about everything, including issues me and my brother were having. So I started keeping shit to myself. Then when I was 16 my mom started drinking heavily. My dad was in bed by 9 or 10 and my brother was never home doing his college life thing so it was me and her. My mom turned from my best friend to someone I dreaded being in the room with. She would be too loving or want to fight. She'd use stuff she knew against me so I bottled up even more. Finally one day I cried in front of her begging her to stop drinking. She never touched alcohol again and my mom was back. I still bottled a lot though because by then it was defensive, the less people knew about me the safer I was. I stopped to an extent growing but obviously never kicked it 100%.

knightsbff posted 7/12/2013 22:24 PM

My mom.

Everything is always perfect and lovely and beautiful. We blow all the positives way out of proportion and pretend the negatives don't exist. If we ignore problems they disappear right?

Clarrissa posted 7/12/2013 22:25 PM

I taught myself to hide things. Growing up as and where I did, I was under the impression - almost conviction - that if I shared things, I'd be made fun of or belittled. No one was interested in what I could share or wanted to share so why share it? So I kept things to myself. I kept *me* to myself. I was a very private person, by inclination and by how I thought others perceived me. I'm a little more open now, mostly with my H. I think I'll always be more "secretive" with people I don't know as well.

Joanh posted 7/12/2013 22:32 PM

Why is it that we let this happen to us. My BH and I got into spiralling argument and It was why and how could you do it again. And the shitty thing is he will never understand. And all I want to do with it is break it and make it go away. All the keeping it inside not trusting people to see the real me agree with people just to make them happy not speaking out when I believed or think differently. I learnt this all from my mom and dad and my grandmas. My dad never said anything my mom never shut up about the stupid things and allways she is a dry drunk, My grndmas both even though their husbands were horrible never let you see it. And none of them protected me from my grandfather, even though they new what he was like. When there was a family issue or something going on it was never discussed it was allways happy faces and false laughter and bravado. Or something new was bought to make up for it. When everything came out about my grandfather my grandma took me shopping. Keep all bad feelings inside. Now because of those learned behavoirs and not changing them, I have hurt the one person who really did have my back. I just did not trust or believe it.

silverhopes posted 7/13/2013 00:23 AM

My godmother, mother, father, and paternal grandparents were the ones who made me feel unsafe in very different ways, and I taught myself to hide things as a defense mechanism.

The biggest thing I tried (unsuccessfully) to hide was my mental illness. Sometimes I think I still try to hide it.

I remember my mother telling me that I didn't need to dump my issues on other people and that most people didn't want to hear about all my problems, that some things shouldn't be shared. She might have meant the family drama that was going on (other things), but their reaction to my mental illness symptoms made it hard to talk about. Felt there was something deeply wrong with me. Made me want to hide. So there would be extremes: either hiding everything, or else finding someone I liked or felt safe with and then oversharing. Two extremes.

Still learning how to be open (at times; closed at others) about things and what is appropriate and tactful versus oversharing (the fine points on boundaries), and it helps to identify healthier people and figure out what would be appropriate with them, instead of the dysfunctional way I learned when I was trying to avoid my family's dysfunctions while hiding my own. I love them all, but I'm not always safe with them.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 12:30 AM, July 13th (Saturday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 7/13/2013 01:39 AM

I guess I taught myself. I learned by age 9 that being fat is shameful and eating things that make you fat is doubly shameful since it means you deserve all the shaming anyone might want to dish out on you.

I hid food under my bed, or evidence of it I guess. Wrappers, dishes, that sort thing. My family still bring it up at gatherings. Later I hid anything I thought I would be criticized for or would make me look like a bad person. The appearance of who I was became much more important to me than the person I actually was. As a long term coping strategy it has obviously been pretty disastrous.

SandAway posted 7/13/2013 08:09 AM

I think I just taught myself.

It really started out as 'Not talking about it'.

My earliest memory of this was when I was about 12. My parents divorced when I was young and I never questioned why - probably because I loved my step mom. But when I was around 10, my dad sat us down (we lived with him) and told us the reason they divorced - My mom had an A. I never questioned her about it. Yes, I was to young to understand but years later my dad dropped another bomb in my lap.

I was 21 and in that 'I hate you' stage of life. My dad came in my room in the midst of a big argument and told me that he wasn't my real father. I was devastated. He proceeded to tell me the story about my mom having an A. This was in 1963 so termination wasn't such an easy thing. He said he loved me so much and never felt like I wasn't his daughter. Again, I NEVER confronted my mom. Hell, I never even told my brother or sister, not even sure they know this...

I will stop here because this makes me so very sad...

I guess I didn't answer the question. Maybe I should start a new post about how we learned to hold things in...

Unagie posted 7/13/2013 08:28 AM

Reading through this thread I think we are all listing the reasons we taught ourselves to hide things. No one sat us down and told us how to do this. We all learned to hided things on our own due to different circumstances but hiding is how we chose to handle it.

20WrongsVs1 posted 7/13/2013 08:56 AM

A POS child molester, when I was about seven. "Our secret game."

EvolvingSoul posted 7/13/2013 15:51 PM

We all learned to hided things on our own due to different circumstances but hiding is how we chose to handle it.

I think the impulse to hide is the normal human response to shaming both when it's happening or even just thinking about it happening. As we mature emotionally what is supposed to happen is that we can be aware of that impulse and make a different, healthier choice even though it is uncomfortable to do so. Many of us had parents who were themselves emotionally immature and so they could not even model that for us, let alone teach it to us in a direct way.

I think my emotional development arrested when I was about 18 or 19 and I had no idea that that was the case until just a couple of years ago. Been trying to catch up ever since.

EvolvingSoul posted 7/14/2013 17:30 PM

I was 21 and in that 'I hate you' stage of life. My dad came in my room in the midst of a big argument and told me that he wasn't my real father. I was devastated.

Oh SandAway what a terrible trauma that must have been to hear such reality altering news especially under those circumstances. I'm so sorry that happened to you.

I would imagine that witholding the knowledge of your awareness from your mom and siblings has created some barriers to intimacy in your adult relationships with them. I think that's a cost we sometimes don't even know to consider when making the decision to hide things.

FR2012 posted 7/16/2013 07:14 AM

Honestly, I taught myself to hide things.

Sure I may have had help with it but I am the one that taught myself not to open up.

When I was 9, I was sexually assaulted. He told me not to tell anyone, so I didn't. Sure he helped me by saying not to tell anyone but I am the one that hid it. The only person that knows the extent of what happened to me is my husband. My mom doesn't know what happened because I have always been afraid to tell her.

My parents fought a lot when I was younger. They divorced when I was 5. Whenever they fought and I got upset, I had no one to talk to about my feelings and emotions so I hid them from everyone and just pretended that everything was okay. No one noticed or even bothered to ask me if I was okay.

So the answer was, myself. I taught myself to hid things.

Undefinabl3 posted 7/16/2013 07:23 AM

I taught myself to do it, but it came out of the apparent self need to please and be the 'perfect' child.

My brother was the one that always got into trouble, always did things wrong. I got a lot of praise for doing things 'the right way' and learning from my brother's mistakes.

I was so petrified of being a disappointment to my parents that I hid alot of what I did.

KBeguile posted 7/16/2013 19:15 PM

I taught me, too.

I knew I was broken, but I was put on such a pedestal of both public opinion and self-demand at such a young age that I expected myself to present a perfect public image. Like my IC said, I felt like a performer on a stage, and because I wanted to be perfect for the public, I learned to hide/lie/cover-up the parts of me that were broken. A VERY bad coping mechanism.

Darkness Falls posted 7/17/2013 11:13 AM

I taught myself. I was a liar and a hider by at least age 4. It just seemed like the automatic go-to mechanism to avoid conflict and "being in trouble."

It's such a baffling thing to try to understand, and I've posted about this before---I see now that I never had to start that pattern. I never did anything "that" bad, and consequences for whatever infraction were never unreasonable (i.e. no abuse, shaming, etc). My parents are/were two of the most honest and ethical people I know; they certainly didn't instill in me a deceitful nature. How the hell does a 4-year-old learn that, then?

It's one of the last pieces of the puzzle, for me personally. I can understand how later childhood events shaped many of my adult decisions. But after being sheltered and coddled and doted on (but not to extremes) since birth, how did the pattern manifest so young, before anything really "happened" in my life?

MissesJai posted 7/17/2013 11:42 AM

my parents, particularly my mom.

My Mom is a kind person, sensitive, fragile. And terribly judgmental.
this is my mom as well. As a child, I watched my mother punish my sister for her honesty. She shamed my sister when she got her first period - she was 8 When I got my first period at 10, I didn't tell her or my dad. He found out on his own and came and talked to me about what was going on with my body. For whatever reason, my mom was not there. I learned at a very early age that if I wanted to avoid my mom's judgments and shaming, that it's best that I lie and hide things. Fucking FOO man...

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