And now… for something completely personal

kiss

H.K. My artwork – 2002

Let me tell you a little about myself, not just the writer and artist, but ME.

(Although this post may be a bit random…)

I don’t like opening up about myself. I don’t like sharing my feelings with people. I don’t even like sharing feelings to my best friends, my family, or even my mom. I have a hard time opening up to my husband. It’s not that I can’t; I just don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want people close to me to see the flaws or to find flaws in my hard work. I want them to think of me as strong, determined and capable.

I want to see myself like that, but that means I have to work at it. As an abuse survivor, I had to grow up rather quickly and become independent. I don’t even remember my childhood. It’s a dark space in my brain that I can’t access, blocked off from all the things that happened to me. I know what happened to me, I remember my feelings, but I don’t remember events clearly. Most people have memories so clear it’s like a movie. In my movie, there’s a big ink spot in the center and I can only see faint unrecognizable shapes on the sides.

Counseling aside, I didn’t talk about it like most things. I knew that it was a part of me, and that I am the person I am today because of it. But I also know that it has influenced me to have some rather infuriating social skills. I prefer a loner’s life, even though I enjoy being with friends. I enjoy listening to my friends, I enjoy their confidence, and helping them. I enjoy being the shoulder they cry on. I enjoy giving them advice. But I do not enjoy asking for such things in return.

I have chosen this behavior, and I am aware of it. I’m comfortable keeping most things to myself. It takes a lot for me to even show pride in anything I’ve done or accomplished. For example, when I published my book, I distributed it as much as I could, but when I would meet new people, it was always someone else telling them that I wrote a book. They were immediately entranced. “Tell me about your book!” And… it was awkward for me. I didn’t feel they’d be interested at first. When I talked about it, I was cautious. Most people are kind, and they are excited to know someone that has written something, but sometimes I feel like I act like a complete stone-faced moron, like I can’t even be excited about it and promote myself.

I internalize praise just as much as I internalize criticism. Criticism wounds me where praise embarrasses me.

I feel like a weirdo. But it’s my nature to be more introspective than overt. It’s my nature to plan and do things rather than talk endlessly about things. It’s in my nature to make impulsive decisions without telling others or getting others’ advice. I feel sometimes this makes me seem snobbish or aloof, but I don’t know how else to be.

I was once a young girl who sat in the corner with her drawings, her paper and pen, her books and her dolls in a different world while the rest of the real world carried on. I was the young girl who wanted to do things to show people I wasn’t this victim, that I wasn’t to be pitied, rather I could show people how self-sufficient I am.

I guess I just got to good at it because when my friends or family find out that I’m doing something or something happened and I didn’t tell them, they take it as a personal slight. Trust me, I never intend to hurt anyone. I’m just not good at sharing pieces of myself.

Most of the time I just don’t know how.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

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