This post is partially inspired by the BlogHer NaBloPoMo prompt for today. The prompt wants me to tell you about the last thing I hid. I’m not doing that exactly; rather I am going to talk about hiding things in a more general sense.
Hiding things can refer to the tangible or intangible. We might hide objects – that bar of chocolate we don’t want anyone else to eat, the emergency stash of money under the mattress (by the way the mattress is not a good place to hid money, robbers will look there), the surprise birthday present – or we might hide feelings – the secret love we harbour for someone, or bottled up anger.
When I was little I used to hide my brother’s things if they annoyed me. I would go into their rooms and find something small to take, and hide it in one of my drawers. The problem was I always picked small things that they wouldn’t even notice had gone missing, so it didn’t really have the desired effect… The only time I took something “big” was when my little brother decided to run away.
Perhaps I should provide a bit of explanation here. Picture this; my brother was about three which would make me seven. We were playing with playdough at the kitchen table, and having a merry old time until I apparently offended him. I forget the exact circumstances, but I think I was using the particularly accessory he wanted to use, and he did not appreciate it. He loftily announced that he was going to run away from home and disappeared to pack his bag. I very hastily went and hid his favourite teddy, because he surely wouldn’t leave without that. Apparently I underestimated how annoyed he was; he did indeed leave without the teddy.
Before you worry about my three-year old brother running away from home I shall now point out that he only got as far as our next door neighbour. He stayed there for a while, but then our grandmother phoned him and persuaded him he should come home. It remains to this day a source of amusement to us and mild embarrassment to him. I should probably apologise here for telling this story to the internet – sorry darling!
I may have had a slightly kleptomaniac streak when it came to hiding tangible things in my youth (I grew out of it, though I’ll still hide people’s phones under papers or cushions if they leave them lying around… that’s totally different though, because it is amusing) but I don’t think I’ve ever been particularly successful at hiding my feelings. Actually now that I think about it that’s not entirely true – I can hide how I feel remarkably well from people who I do not feel completely comfortable around. And considering how shy I am that is a lot of people… But I am awful at hiding my feelings around people who I feel comfortable with. And my feelings often fall into one of two extremes.
If I’m feeling positive I will inevitably end up being excessively chatty, probably laugh a lot, say and do silly things, perhaps even literally (and I do mean literally) bounce. Ask S if you don’t believe me. When I’m feeling negative then I will be… basically the opposite. I’ll be very quiet and withdrawn, I won’t be interested in doing anything, I’ll mope… Interestingly my anger will usually fall into the high energy positive category, even though anger is a negative emotion.The extremeness of my emotions actually almost led to a diagnosis of bipolar. Especially seeing as they seem to come in phases, and a particularly high period will inevitably be followed by a particularly low one, and vice versa. I was going to be assessed by the psychiatrists at my old university but because of some miscommunication it never actually happened.
One thing I did manage to hide very well was my self-harming. When I was in my early teens I self-harmed a lot. I’ve actually suffered from being “low” from about that time onwards. My doctor never liked to call it depression. I think it was for about a year that I self-harmed. My friends at school knew, but my family did not. Some of my friends decided to tell me that I was doing it for attention, which was obviously the case because I frequently went to the rooftops and shouted “I cut my wrists, please love me.” Yes, I am being sarcastic here.
After a while the self-harming became an addiction. I think a lot of people (those who haven’t experienced it) fail to realise just how addictive it can be. I also think a lot of people, like my friends, think that self-harm is nothing more than a call for attention – I would disagree on that point certainly. But anyway, yes, self-harming can be addictive. As time passed I realised that this was not what I wanted to be doing. I didn’t like being addicted to it. I managed to break free of it on my own. At least to the point where I didn’t cut any more – I still carried the blade from a pencil sharpener in my pencil case “just in case” – I finally got rid of it two years later.
Even in my lowest points since then I haven’t given in to cutting. There have been times that the urge has been there, and incredibly strong. I just keep reminding myself how selfish self-harm and suicide are – yes, it is my opinion that they are selfish. When you hurt yourself you hurt those that love you. Maybe you think nobody loves you but it is not true. Everyone is loved by someone.
What was the last thing you hid? Do you hide your emotions? How do you think hiding emotions effects your health – is it a good or bad thing?