A few days ago, I was laughing with some friends. There I was, sitting on the couch, having a lovely time, laughing and laughing and laughing over some silly YouTube videos.
It was then that I caught myself doing something I hadn't realized before. When I laughed, I turned away and shielded my face with my hand so that people couldn't see me laughing.
And looking back, I recognize that yes, when I laugh, I typically turn away and/or cover my face. This fear of showing weakness seems to have turned into a fear of showing and sometimes even receiving any emotion whatsoever. For example, I have a friend whose very eyes spell love. When you make eye contact with her, you can just tell that she cares about you. And so I rarely make eye contact with her, because I'm afraid of being loved.
When I talk about myself, I look anywhere but at the person with whom I'm having the conversation.
When I listen to people, I try to make excellent eye contact, but I glance away at random intervals, just to break any connections.
And I never, ever, ever, under any circumstance, cry in front of people. Ever. I just don't trust people with my tears. I can think of only one, perhaps two, friends who have seen me cry in the past several years. Even my closest friends aren't allowed to see me cry. And while I consider it a beautiful thing to hold other friends as they cry, I don't let it happen to me. I wonder if it's a nice experience.
When it all boils down to it, I'm scared.
What does it take to trust a friend with the most roiling of emotions? If you have the answer, be sure to tell me, 'cause I don't know. But I'm not taking "I don't know" for an answer. I'm going to find out for myself. And one of these days, I'll write you all a warrior letter about it.