I must be in a mood today because I normally wouldn’t be so blunt as to say what I’m about to say. I normally would just smile sweetly as I stifle whatever crazy emotion it is that I’m trying to hide. But right now I am going to tell you the truth.
I do those things for you. I do them for your comfort, not mine. I keep calm and behave like a ‘normal’ person so that you aren’t uncomfortable when I’m around. Let’s face it. You wouldn’t know what to do with me if I was acting erratic. You wouldn’t know what to do if I was crying hysterically or bouncing all over the room. My guess is you would do one of two things. You would either disappear, or you would decide that I needed some help, because God forbid that I behave in such a way. Heaven help us if anyone steps outside the box and misbehaves.
So, to save you from that discomfort, I conform. I hide my discomfort. I hide my tears. I hide my energy. I fake smiles and laughs for you. I feign interest in conversations when the last thing I want is to be talking to you. And it isn’t because I don’t like you, because I do. We are friends, and I adore you. I really do.
It’s just that my moods don’t always care about when it’s time to socialize and when it’s not. My moods dictate how I feel a lot of the time, and I’m constantly battling them. It’s exhausting, and sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do it anymore. In fact, most of the time I don’t have the energy. At least, I don’t feel like I do. But somehow, I find just enough within me to hold myself together so that you don’t know what’s going on inside of me. I do this because I care about you. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. I don’t want you to be scared of me, either.
So I pretend.
I’m actually a really good actress, if you think about it. I walk around on my own stage most of the time. If you pay really close attention, you’ll see me slip up, though. You’ll see through the cracks in my performance. So, if you really want to see the real me, pay closer attention. I’m in there, hiding behind the smiles, laughs, head nods, and ‘I’m doing fine’ lies that I tell you. If you catch me in a vulnerable moment, I may even let you in just a little bit. Who knows.
But mostly, I will protect you and keep you comfortable.