Yesterday morning, I proclaimed Tuesday to be my writing day. When the work of the day was over, I would make my way home, whip out my note-book and write words that make the angels cry (that’s actually not accurate. I’m writing my first every, not-so-good draft of a story that has the potential to make angels cry, maybe). My first course of action was to grab the attention of the muses by writing this lovely blog post, when before my eyes crawled a spider. It wasn’t very big or very fast. It was, however, the exact color of my sofa and crawling right next to me.
Suddenly, the slightly lived in mess I live in became a hell of hidden bombs. Were their more? Under the blanket? Under the pillow? Is it possible for them to hide under stacks of books if those books are on the couch. I don’t know man, but I have a vacuum and I’m not afraid to use it!
Just like that, my living room has never been so cleaned. Unfortunately, not a lot got written. With just a bit of hesitation, I returned to the couch to bring you this lovely poem.
The poem does not come with a name, but I am going to call it Hiding. That’s what this particular piece is about, after all. It was found next to last week’s poem, inside the cover of a note-book full of my childhood writing. On these pages, I used a slash to indicate the end of lines that went off the page. I will honor that as I type the poem below.
It’s because I love you that I hide
because I know how heart breaking it would be
If you saw who I am inside
I know you’ll laugh at me like everyone else
because I can’t always hold it in
and when it comes out
and tries to explain itself,
It’s pushed away
rejected and humiliated
I can’t stay like this
but I fear
I know you love me and you accept me, it’s true
but only part of me
the only part I let you see
because you don’t accept all of me
And it hurts so bad
I hide it from you so you can’t see
It’s rejection I fear
and rejection from you I fear the most.
I cry myself to sleep sometimes
Knowing what makes me, me
you’ll never see
I don’t know which direction to go
Here we see why I connect with people who face discrimination for who they are. My experiences pale in comparison to many others. Even so, I remember how terrible I felt in the troughs of depressive thoughts. As I viewed the world, everyone was against me. I didn’t wish the way I felt on my worst enemy. If I could have gathered all the world’s sadness into me, I would have borne that burden so everyone else could be happy.
The question of the day is, what was I hiding. Unfortunately, I can’t give you something specific. I liked to read, write, draw and play video games. All these interests made me abnormal. My heart, was one of an artist and I was surrounded by jocks. They didn’t understand my passions. Those passions made me different and they made me a target at school.
My father was all about business. He respected people who made good money and used it wisely. My mother was a tom boy and loved sports. Both were right at home in the small town I grew up in. At my school, you lived the high life if you had money, were good at pretending you had money or were good at sports. I always felt like an outcast. If I had been into basketball or softball, my parents would have understood and shared my enthusiasm. While I know today that they approved of my interests, I didn’t feel like they understood at the time. I felt like I had to hide and pretend to be the daughter they wanted.
There were some ‘scary’ things in my closet. I had a fascination for other cultures and other religions, especially Japanese cultures thanks to my interest in manga. While I knew I was straight, I didn’t fault people whose truth was different. Even though I held tightly to my Christianity, I didn’t fault people who followed other religions. While I still called myself Republican, I didn’t fault people who called themselves Democrat. I felt like all these things made me different. They were the seeds from which the opinions I had today grew. I lived in a world where my grandfather would use harsh language about the Japanese in reference to World War II and where my father condemned the entirety of Islāmic religions because of the attacks on September 11th, 2001. In my world, calling yourself Democrat was the same as claiming to be an unpatriotic atheist.
So, I hid.
I can already hear the comments. They will take two forms. Some will tell me that there is nothing wrong with the interests I list, and you would be correct. I know that now. I didn’t know that then. All I knew then, was that I was different. The other comments will take offense. They will wonder if I am condemning people who like sports, are concerned about the after-effects of the wars our nation has fought or who happen to follow a Republican ideology. I don’t think those interests or opinions are any less valid than my own. I’m just trying to illustrate the traits that were safe to have in the town I grew up in. These were traits that let you blend in with everyone else. The way I thought was no more right or wrong. I was just different, and I knew it.
All of this emotion is what the above poem was born from.