Outwardly, I seem to be a successful, happy, centered person.  I smile, I laugh, I love.  The students that I work with like me, describe me as "laid back."  I am a good student and get good grades.  My family supports me, loves me, and misses me when I am gone.  I have a few good friends.  My husband and dog make me feel like they couldn't do without me. 

My internal experience, however, is in conflict with who I seem to be from the outside.  The real, authentic "me" is hidden, for many reasons.  At the center of all those reasons is the simple fact that I don't want to be hurt or rejected, so I hide what might seem weird, weak or abnormal, much of what is fundamentally me.  I protect it and keep it safe by locking it away.  I have built a wall around the best of me, a wall with no door, no way in or out. 

I want my lived experience to be directly linked to who I am and the things I most care about.  I don't want to hide anymore.  

© Salahub 2003