My husband says I hide too much

Do you know what people don’t like?   People don’t like it when you don’t fit in their boxes.

I like people.  I don’t like it when people don’t like me.  I am, in fact, pretty darn squishy.  It upsets me when people run away.  So, I generally hide at least some of my facets.  It makes life so much easier…

I’m also smart.   Devout.  Kind.  Creative.  Cynical.   I have a pretty face, very feminine.  I’m strong.  I’m competent.   I’m intense.  I make a mean carrotcake.  I explain things in far too much detail in person, and far too little in writing.  I’m a loving person who thinks that on the whole, humans suck.   I couldn’t sell shoes to a centipede.   I am excellent one-on-one, if you want your soul examined – and I’m absolutely terrible at polite social interaction.  I’m forever missing the “right” response.   I tend to (when I’m being myself) stare at – or through – people.  People don’t like that.  I care.  I care about the fact that people don’t like it when I misstep, and I care about people, period.    Much of my thinking is visual and pattern based rather than verbal, and sometimes it’s hard for me to shove things into words.

The husband said of a friend of his that she was a teddy bear wrapped in barbed wire… and that *I* am a teddy bear stuffed with barbed wire – soft on the outside, hard on the inside.  Accurate enough, I’ve made more than a few people unhappy when they thought they could shove me around (I’m polite and mostly I prefer concession over conflict) until they slammed into the titanium I use as a backbone.   I’ve always thought that was rude – getting mad because I had limits that wouldn’t budge.   Did they think I … or anyone, really… was meant to be endlessly manipulated?  How insulting.

So what’s this all about, then?  Going back into the job market soon.   People.  -sigh-

I’ve spent ages learning how to play my part as a nice homeschooling mommy, learned to make small talk with the cashier at the grocery store and how to be softer and more transparent in general.  That takes up a HUGE amount of capacity for me, I have to think about it.  “What is it that I’m supposed to do now?”

And like physical muscles that go south without exercise, my concentration muscles are shot.  Mommies – in case you are wondering – do not get to spend time thinking about any one thing in a straight line for any length of time.   Life is made up of a thousand spinning plates, and you have to move from plate to plate keeping them moving.   That’s my life… and that life absolutely kills the mental muscles.   Oh, how embarrassing – one of my friends will send me something that I know I could have understood 20 years ago and now I would have to study up and concentrate to get it.   I *miss* proper thinking, and I find myself shying away from it because I’ve gotten so weak.   I’ve got a nice variety of experience, but little depth.

That’s very stressful, back when I wasn’t a mommy, I was valuable for my brain.  What am I, without my brain?  Do I get it back?  It’s rather late for that, isn’t it?  I’m 45… and do I want to do the sort of work I used to do?  Data analysis is BORING.  It’s not that I’m bad at it.  It’s just dull.  Of course, I don’t care so much, I always worked to make money and then go home.   Husband person said I should do some online tutorials and analyze all our money for the past year just to get back in practice.   Situps for the brain, I suppose.  Although those are very easy situps.   I prefer to analyze PEOPLE.  People are interesting.  (I don’t have to be good at social stuff to find people fascinating.  People, by the way, do not like it when you stir their brains around with a stick to find the crunchy bits – well, except when they need someone to find the crunchy bits for them.)   They won’t let you play with people without a license though, and it takes a long time to get a license.  Too long, and far too much game-playing.

That’s another way of hiding.  It’s hiding the soft bits and showing the hard bits.  Lately I’ve been hiding the hard bits and showing the soft bits.   Is there anywhere, anywhere at all, I get to be myself and not scare people off and be valued for what I am and get to work hard and bring value and make people happy?  I like to make people happy, and I like to be useful.  If I’m going to be of only limited use, we might as well put the masks on and spend as little time as possible in each other’s company, it’s so much simpler.

I’ve been hiding… he’s right.  (He’s always right, which is useful.  Annoying. But useful.  I only say “annoying” because it’s socially expected and mildly amusing.  I rely upon my husband’s insights). But men GET to be competent and people still like them.  Husband says the ones I scare off would leave eventually anyway.  (He’s right again).  But it hurts so when I see the rejection in people’s eyes…  I’m not supposed to be smart and care, I know that.  Too bad for me.  If I get pretty again – I’m fat now – that will only be another strike.   And of course I’m out of practice so I’m generally competent – but I don’t have relevant job skills.  UGH.  Well, tutorials will fix that, he’s right there.  Always practical.

I guess what this boils down to is that I have to put myself out there, and I get to choose whether I’ll wear a mask when I walk out the door or be myself, and I’m scared.  It hasn’t gone well in the past.  The masks make everything so.much.easier.

Do I have the courage?


9 thoughts on “My husband says I hide too much

  1. Grace

    Do you have the courage to admit that you’re publicly slandering your husband? Be a real woman and stop taking your cues from the fucking popular culture. Or at least stop delaying the inevitable…go ahead and frivorce your husband so you can get on with your life of victim posturing and Empowered Older Woman identity. This shit makes me cringe to be a female in these times…

    1. hearthie Post author

      Approved so people can read what you wrote – and know you for it. I’ll ban you the next time you use language like that on any of my sites or throw accusations. This is a place for conversation, not stupid one-upmanship games. Up-womanship? Whatever.

      I’ve seen a lot of female newbies to the red pill space (which I am only peripherally a part of) play this game – the game where they call every woman a whore and a liar, about to frivorce her husband. It’s the old game of push the others down so you come out on top. You don’t get to play that here.

      Repeatedly I say how I respect and rely upon my husband’s words of wisdom and trust him over myself… and you call that slander? Odd. That’s not what I call it – I call it praise.

      Don’t come back to my sites until you can keep a civil tongue in your head.

  2. Vera Lee

    Grace, there is something wrong with you or your reading skills. You either need a reading comprehension course or a LOT of prayers for humility, or more likely, both.

    Hearthie, as an evilly evil recovering feminist, I some days fantasize that it is 1960-something and I own a small rural newspaper where I have hired you and Elspeth to run the “women’s section.” Your specialty would be fashion and style, Elspeth’s would be books and education, and the two of you would have to cover all those church events and weddings, not to mention the recipes and edit the required preacher-columnist, which I’m sure violates all kinds of red pill teachings on the proper roll of women, but the owner would be an even eviler feminist because she’d be reporting on the doings of her male superiors on the county commission, a la old B&W movies featuring Katherine Hepburn as the girl reporter and ….

    Only a silly fantasy, but one I hope makes you smile.

    1. hearthie Post author

      Thank you, VL.

      That’s what I’m looking for, honestly – someone who can put me to good use. God’s got it.

      For your … crazy Bapticostal stuff, yesterday morning (prior to even thinking of this post) I had a text from one of the ladies at church encouraging me to “Be still and know that He is God”. Not a regular correspondent, and she didn’t tell me why she sent it when I texted her back. -grin- God’s good like that. So, I know He has it, and my darling husband has given me some direction so I can sew up the appropriate clothing (ankle length skirts aren’t professional, regardless of how figure flattering they might be) and get some preparation in… I was just going to go work at the mall or something, but that’s a pretty solid mask, now isn’t it?

      1. Vera Lee

        “Be still and know that I am God” is in the Psalms at least once, maybe twice. When I convened a centering prayer group in the Episcopal Church, that verse was my personal number one motto. I only ever left that group because it finally seemed that I was the last surviving Christian in it, but that’s a whole other story!

        Anyway, being very quiet indeed and consenting to just listen is almost always the right advice!

  3. Elspeth

    Holy moly! I saw this post earlier this morning, was about to comment and thought, “Let me chew on this some more because there’s a lot here”. But the thought that you were about to leave your DH never occurred to me.

    Now I’m distracted. I was tempted to be all, “How dare you talk to my friend like that!” However, I’m not really interested in that, so I’m gonna regroup and respond to what you actually wrote.

    After I regroup.

  4. Elspeth

    Vera Lee, your fantasy absolutely makes me smile! I grew up in an actual functioning community with all the blessing -and drawbacks!- within. I would so love to believe -however unlikely- that we might some day land in one again.

    I think I’ve regrouped enough to respond to this well expressed, but stream of consciousness flavored post:

    As a *beneficiary* of your desire to stir around in the head with a stick looking for the crunchy bits, I laughed. Particularly because I am more aptly described like your husband’s friend. How did he put that? Teddy bear wrapped in barbed wire? Yep, that’s me, which you have surely figured out over our years of growing friendship. I can love someone dearly, even trust them, and not feel inclined to shut off the power to the electrified fence I keep up around my emotions and psyche.

    Thank God for strong, insightful men who are most often right and full of wisdom!

    That’s the thing about “being yourself”. Your character, integrity, and faith are constants (and are constantly accompanied by right behavior), but how those things are expressed is not uniform or constant. Different contexts require that different parts of our personalities are more appropriate than others based on what we are doing and what the hat we are wearing requires.

    Moving from a full time wife and homeschooling mother to something resembling a professional person requires that you expose parts of yourself that you haven’t needed, therefore haven’t used, for almost two decades. And yeah, they’ve started to rust. Your husband is right and wise to counsel you that rather than winging it, you break out the tarn-X and restore those skills in a safe context.

    Even still, there will be some bumps and bruises along the learning curve.

    As always, you know I am praying with and for you, my sister.

    1. hearthie Post author

      I know God has this, but I appreciate the prayers. Direction, direction is good. 🙂 I’ve a start now… “officey stuff”. LOL.


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