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.
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.
No longer together
"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."
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?
All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.
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)]
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.
Digging our way through.
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...
Guns don't kill people; Affairs kill people
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Married 2.5 years
Remarried. Reconciliation is a process and I still struggle.
My Mom is a kind person, sensitive, fragile. And terribly judgmental.