I’ve been thinking a lot lately. More than usual, I guess. In doing so, what I have come to realize is that for more than half of my life, I’ve been in hiding. It sounds ridiculous, I know. Just the overall general statement of it…I’ve been in hiding. What does that even mean?
How can someone be in hiding if they go to work everyday, have friends and family that they speak to regularly, go out with said friends and family – shopping, for lunch or dinner, visit at their house, eventually mingling with parents at school and having play dates and birthday parties for their children. To me, none of these things go hand in hand with someone who is – in hiding.
The problem is, I had no idea. It never occurred to me. Even if someone came up to me back then and called me right out on it, I’d think they were nuts. My response would likely have been, “Who the hell am I hiding from…and why?” Heck, if someone would have called me out on it last year my reaction would probably have been the same.
Here is the sad truth…
The definition of the word hiding (as per Merriam Webster Dictionary):
1. a) To put out of sight: secrete
b) To conceal for shelter or protection: shield
2. To keep secret.
3. To screen from or as if from view: obscure
4. To turn (the eyes or face) away in shame or anger.
Wow. I don’t think it really sunk in – not even until this very moment – when I read the legit definition. All of that…has been the story of my life. That’s pretty sad. Admitting to it really doesn’t make it any better. It’s still sad.
No matter how outgoing and happy and funny the “real me” was on the outside to everyone who knew ME – the [other me] was always hyper vigilant to keep the signs of what was happening at home under wraps.
It’s funny, as children we keep secrets all the time. Whispering in the ears of our friends…”Shh, don’t tell.” Little minor baby secrets. Harmless stuff. Who can even remember what secrets we told that we thought were such a matter of life and death back then…”If you tell I won’t ever speak to you again!”
Barely out of that secret telling stage of life, at 17 years old, here I was keeping a whole new set of secrets. Adult sized secrets. But these, these were not being shared. No one was allowed in. I kept my new secrets to myself and I never thought I’d share them with anyone, let alone…everyone.
It’s been almost a year since I (anonymously) came out of hiding. I anxiously dumped all of my secrets out and let you rummage through them. I wouldn’t change that decision – ever. It was a heavy burden lifted and…they needed to be dusted off anyway.
To read from the beginning… my story starts here.