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What Underlies...

I have a happy exterior.  One that belies a great deal of what I feel and think.  Somewhere in this life, I learned that happy people are more popular and sought after and so I set about to become one of those.  And it became my beard.  This facade that I hide behind.  This happy person who has a great deal of turmoil roiling underneath.


I know exactly why and where I decided that sharing how I really felt and what I really thought became unsafe.  And I know exactly where I was when I decided to keep certain things to myself.  And then life just reinforced this decision, repeatedly.  If I told the truth, then I felt like I lost the upper hand.  I lost some perceived advantage that I felt I had over you.  And it was always me against you.  You have always been seen as a threat in my eyes.  It was me, against all of you, forever.


And it took me decades to figure out that I even had this dynamic.  And now that I see it, and know it, it has become very hard to change.  Almost impossibly really.  Because I still, so often, do not want to share what I am thinking, or even more honestly, what I am feeling.  I tend to think those kinds of things are private and on a need to know basis.  And most of the time, you don’t need to know!


Except you do.  Because I need to be honest and forthcoming if I want to have any kind of intimacy with you.  


And there is the rub.  I have an evolving but somewhat precarious relationship with my truth.  I want different things in different moments.  I want a commitment until one feel imminent, then I do not want one at all.  And sometimes I still make the commitment, then am mad at you for making me feel trapped.  Except in today’s time, I know it is my fault. I set this up. I do this.  Again, still.


The older I get the less I can tolerate my own dysfunction.  I have this larger need to call it out, to open up about it and thereby eradicate it just a little more.


There is always so much underlying what I do...and I have come to realize that there is often so much lying underneath what I am doing on the surface.  I am the worst victim of my own lies.  Because I tell them to myself and I believe them when everything in my being is going off like a fucking cannon just below my surfaces.


What underlies my happy exterior is someone who is scarred and marred and still healing.  And my healing isn’t always pretty.  And my use of substance, things and people to make me feel better is still in play.  I see this now.  As much progress as I like to think I have made, I still have so much to learn about myself.  So much that if I do not operate differently, then I will end up in the same places I have always ended up which isn’t all that great for any of us.


I guess the biggest truth I can tell this morning is that I do not really want to change this me versus you thing.  I like being aloof and standoffish.  I quite desperately need the space away from you.  It seems, at least for now, to be the only way I can have enough space for me. Writing has bridged that gap to some degree, I can share honestly but have the barrier of the entire internet to allow me the delusion of safety.


I pray that someday I have enough courage to say what I am thinking and feeling contemporaneously.  I really do do my best today.  But I can see that there is still a very long way to go.  Scare me badly enough and I will be a phantom.  An eerie presence followed by a lingering vapor.


Truth today is that I am not sure how much of what I feel and think is dysfunction and how much of it is function.  Those two concepts blended and mixed in a way that defies untangling.  But I endeavor to continue to examine my motives, my behavior and attempt to match all that occurs beneath my surfaces to my outward behavior lest I confuse and vex us all.


And I am learning that if this is so with me, it is likely true for others.  There is so much that occurs beneath our happy, angry, helpless, helpful, maligned and misunderstood facades...even to us.  Again, still.





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