You’ll never find me here. I learned years ago that I could hide away from you whenever I feel you’re looking too closely at me or expecting me to act a certain way that I really don’t want to act, to speak, or to even think.
I raise a shield that I’ve worked on since I was a child. I let it cover me from head to foot, hiding the hurt I feel, the embarrassment, and the shame. It’s all here inside of me. But no one sees it. Not unless or until I feel safe enough to take off the mask and reveal – just a little bit – of who I really am and what I really care about.
You see, I’m afraid most of the times. When I leave the house and get into the car and go someplace, I take on the role of someone I believe others would respect or not bother with or possibly even fear.
I can take on any of those roles because I got good at it as a kid and developed different personas to show in an effort to shelter myself from any additional harm.
No, I don’t see myself as a coward. I see myself as someone safe within himself, afraid of ever being humiliated or disliked from showing his true colors. I don’t think you would like the real me. That’s why I show you the “pretend me.”
Offer me a little bit of love and maybe I’ll let you see a little bit more of that frightened kid that is inside. He offers his love to you and really doesn’t want much in return except for some understanding and appreciation for a schmuck like him who wants solitude above all else. The safety of solitude the “aloneness” of solitude and the love from deep within.
(Prompt provided by “Just Write of Collegeville.” Darkness provided by me.)