Hmm, this week’s WickedWednesday theme is “hidden”.
I grew up in a family where we were taught, by word and deed, that it was important to keep some things hidden. How others perceived you was more important than anything else. Hide anything negative. Always be seen happy and smiling in public. Hide strong emotions, whether they are positive or negative, lest they shame you in public. Worst of all: what if the neighbours found out something was not perfect?
Hiding emotions means I have no memory of ever seeing my parents demonstrating affection to each other. Hmm, come to think of it, I don’t remember them showing any to me or my siblings either.
All problems, whether internal or external to the family must be hidden (“Swept under the carpet” was a phrase I remember them using). Do not talk about problems, even in the safety of the home where “they” cannot see or hear you.
I remember visiting friend’s houses during childhood and actually feeling shocked when I saw parents openly showing affection to each other and their kids. I actually thought they were the abnormal ones, I was so conditioned to hiding emotion.
By around the age of 15, I knew something was very wrong. I actually set out to reinvent myself and explore my emotions. I know, pretty amazing for a testosterone-riddled teenage boy to decide. Looking back throughout my life, I realise that many of my closest friends have been women from that point on. Perhaps this is because (trying not to stereotype here) women, in my experience, are generally better at dealing with, and talking about emotions than men are.
But it took years to change, and a first marriage that never should have happened. It took an affair with B, a woman I shall never forget, to finish the process of straightening me out. As Silverdrop will tell you, I am now a well-adjusted SadoDom who likes to tie her up and do terrible things too her and am able to talk about feelings comfortable. Any non-kinksters would have trouble with that sentence, I think.
No more hiding things. No more secrets.
Sadly, my siblings never did make the break and seem to be bringing up their kids much the same way we were.