So, a few weeks ago a very nice man noticed that I don’t want other people to know me. I had made a comment to that affect in a very long email to him in which I opened up about a certain situation in my past. Of course, in the whole email, that was the one thing he picked out. Which makes sense: he wanted to know me, and the rest of the email wasn’t really about me, so it makes sense that that one statement would be the one thing he noticed. But someone noticing that terrified me.
Yesterday on facebook someone posted one of those list thingys where you add people’s names next to certain statements. Next to the statement “who do you tell everything to” I had to write, “no one.” And I realized with a shock that that is the truth. I tell next to nothing about my life to my sister–my “next of kin.” I talk very little about my past, my issues, or my aspirations with my “best friend.” I can think of two people in my life who I regularly have really honest conversations with. But only about God. That is the only thing I talk really frankly and honestly about. And only with two people. And not really THAT often.
I love keeping this blog and I am pretty honest on it. But it’s only because I can trick myself into believing that no one reads it. I mean, technically I know from the “site stats” that that isn’t entirely true. In fact, at least one person has found this site by googling “Pam Watts Vermont”. So not only do people read this blog. But a few people I know must read this blog. And at least one person must have found this blog by searching specifically for ME. (It may have even been that nice man.) But still, it feels like I’m writing into a void, and I certainly don’t do much to advertise it.
And it’s not just this blog. When I want to be honest with someone, I usually write them a letter. Because again, I can pretend that I’m not doing it and that they won’t read it. It’s interesting to note, though, that I have written at least 6 full drafts of different novels, but I refuse to actually “finish” one. Because then I would have to send it out into the world. And if it was published, someone might read it. And then I couldn’t hide anymore.
That is what this is all about. Hiding. I don’t want to be seen. I don’t want to be known. I want to hide. I don’t know if this is the case for every traumatized child, but I have a superpower. I am chameleon girl. I have had this power my whole life, I think. I can walk into any place and suss out who the person/people there want me to be and I can become that person. Even if it’s negative. Sometimes people want a rebel and a scapegoat, so I am she. Sometimes someone wants me to be broken and needy so that she will feel needed, and I become she. Every once in a while, people just want me to be me and be awesome, and I can be her, too.
The problem is: if I am someone different to everyone, that means I can’t let any one person see more than one side of me. It would destroy the affect. Unfortunately, I tend to pretend even to myself that I am just the one side of myself that I happen to be showing at the moment, and that causes problems. And it sucks that I can’t do anything, like finish a novel or fall in love, that I feel might endanger my ability to hide.
Anyway, if anyone is out there, and is reading this: here I am. I took this picture a few weeks ago.
I have a lazy eye when I don’t have my glasses on. I look a little bit like a boy. But I took this picture from above because it makes me look slimmer and even though I pretend that I don’t have the same angsts about my weight that every other woman has, I actually do. That’s my house in the background. I live in a little casita up in the mountains. And I love it because I have no neighbors and I am alone and almost no one ever visits, and when I cry no one can hear me.
So that’s me. I am a very serious scholar. I love Plato. I am a scientist. I have done computational neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology research. But my real interest has always been dreams. I write children’s books and I doodle graphic novel chapters. I have discovered that I am a devout christian. And I may or may not be a lesbian. But I am definitely not like most ladies. In a lot of ways. I am a mystery even to myself. Here’s to not hiding any more.
Perhaps others of you struggle with these issues? If so, I would love to know you.