The other day when in an innocent conversation a relative made a comment describing my decorating style as she chatted I thought “that’s all wrong”. It was like the person in front of me was a perfect stranger. A woman I love someone and spend a great amount of time.
On Christmas morning my son told his sister that blue was mom’s favorite color. My favorite color is red, dad’s is blue.
How can people who know you; actually not know you? Well, it’s easy, when all I reveal to them is what will keep the peace, guarding anything that may cause anxiety for my spouse. I do this particularly with the people I love, constantly seeking to project the image of happiness. When you’re with an individual that gets upset whenever you choose something he doesn’t like the result will be dramatic or physical. He will carry on using criticism, badgering, pouting, or passive-aggressive behavior. Finally, you just do whatever it takes to have peace. Over time, you learn to adjust your choices to match what will keep him from losing it.
An example: I absolutely hate pizza, especially Hawaiian pizza. Why? Because when asked “where do ‘you’ want to go for dinner?” I would suggest a restaurant only to have that choice followed by 20 minutes of badgering until we ended up going where he wanted, usually pizza. After arriving at the pizzeria, he would order his favorite pizza, Hawaiian, if I suggested another flavor the harassment would begin until I caved. After years of this, I learned to just choose Hawaiian pizza. So people around me believe I like Hawaiian pizza.
As I forge forward with my old relationships as a divorced woman, I’ve noticed this pattern occurring in everything from food to my religious beliefs.
I find it difficult to reveal my true self to others when I do I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. This has been an issue since childhood. This needs correcting. I want honest and true friendships. O.K. now I understand what needs fixed, now how to go about it?