When I was growing up, I lied a lot. I mean, if that little ditty “Liar, liar, you’re pants are on fire” were true I would have been in the hospital with third degree burns on the regular. But, if you ask any of my friends today, they would say I am one of the most honest and open people they know. Trust me – a lot of therapy and life lessons came between then and now.
It took a lot of time, but I finally learned why I used to lie. It was my only protection from being hurt. If people didn’t like me, it was “okay” in my book because they didn’t really know me. I could wear any mask or disguise I wanted so that I would hope no one would reject me. They knew the person that I made up for them. They knew the girl I pretended to be, not who I really was. It was the ultimate defense mechanism, and one I could control and I was admittedly pretty good at. They didn’t know I was the girl who didn’t want to go home. They didn’t know I was the girl who would think of new hiding places for her grandfather’s gin. They didn’t know I was the girl who wore longer sleeves in the summer to hide bruises that weren’t from her own clumsiness (and I am a klutz!). They didn’t know I was the girl who kept a packed duffle bag in her closet if she ever got the nerve to run away. They didn’t know I was the girl who questioned every move she made. They knew who I wanted them to know and for a while that was alright.
But I did grow up and get away from the madness that I grew up in. It was then I started to wonder who I was because I didn’t know the person looking back at me from the mirror. I was so used to pretending to be someone else that I didn’t even know what was true anymore. So, I began to soul search and finally decided to not lie anymore. I had no idea how exhausting it was lying until I finally stopped. I was so free and much less tired. I didn’t need to keep my stories straight or remember what I told people because it was all the same and it was the truth. Smart person who said the truth will set you free, because it definitely gave me my wings.
The hardest thing to get used to once I started being honest was the fear of rejection and getting hurt. I was so used to protecting myself in my blanket of lies that becoming an open book was like pulling off a band-aid really fast – I was completely vulnerable. And I still am. I know that many people respect my candidness and the fact that I am completely open and honest. But I also know that there are people who look to take advantage of me as well. Unfortunately, the potential to get hurt comes along with the amazing rush of living my life on my own terms. I can’t shelter myself from the world because the rewards outweigh the risks. If people don’t like me for who I really am, that is their issue, not mine to own. If someone is going to try to exploit my kindness, I can’t stop them. I can be wary, but every experience has it’s lesson. I have learned to own my feelings and my desires. I have learned that what is most important is living the life I want to. And in doing so, I’ve never felt more like a whole person.
The only thing I would change at this point is I would LOVE to not be anonymous. I wish our society would come to a place where we would not judge people for their sexuality. It shouldn’t “define” or categorize me. It is just part of me. It is who I am. I won’t apologize for being a sexual submissive. However, until the day where our world can accept sex positivity, I will unfortunately continue to wear one mask. But just know, that it is only hiding my face, not who I am.
If you look into my eyes, you can be assured of my honesty. You will always get the real me, like it or not.