I know who am I, but very few people see the real me. Like the Witch in Return to Oz, I have a hundred heads that I wear for different occasions. Most of it is down to being the person I think others expect to see.
When I go to school, I am the Organised Mother (well, sort of organised!). I'll chat to teachers and nod and smile and yes, I'll make sure homework is done, school books are read, P.E. kits come in. Thing is I'm not naturally organised. I have lists and schedules pinned up to remind myself.
When I visit my parents, I become the Homily Daughter. I wouldn't do anything that they wouldn't agree with. They don't know about the erotic stories sat on my hard drive. They don't know I left my family to fly halfway around the world. They hardly know about the people that (horror of horrors!) I've met on the internet.
Even with my husband, I'll bite back certain comments, not speak about certain things. Being who they want (or at least my version) and not who I really am.
It's about defense, but I'm not sure whom I'm protecting - them and their belief in me? Or myself, because I find opening up extremely hard to do? Perhaps I believe they would be disappointed in the real me, not love me as much, not accept me so readily.
Whatever the reasons, it's not something that I can avoid doing. It's how I am, how I handle people. How I handle myself in a given situation. I guess it's just me.
Written for Josie's Writing Workshop