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·434 words·3 mins
Mental Health Psychology Relationships Survival

Skyspook: You say you don’t have strong opinions, but you do.

Me: Oh yeah?

Skyspook: It’s because it’s something you value about yourself , that you’re unopinionated, that you don’t have preferences. Even though you do.

Me: Ugh, stop that.

Skyspook: And apparently you’re ashamed that you’re proud of that. Which is the part I don’t understand.

Me: You’re frying my circuits.


Shockingly, Spook is formulating a remarkable number of accurate theories about me — about my attitudes, my perceptions, my behaviors. Some of it I’ve told him explicitly (though I’m still impressed that he remembers), but much of it I haven’t.

He absolutely knows and understands me — better than anyone ever has, possibly better than I know myself.

And he hasn’t left yet.

I even gained a few pounds and stopped playing dress-up when I went back to school (due to safety concerns on an urban college campus).

And he still hasn’t left.


Even though I’m a person with many friends, some of them I consider quite close to me, I’m afraid of being known because I’ve been told repeatedly in my life that if people knew the “real me” that they wouldn’t like me. I’ve written about it before. Growing up, my mother always told me, “Your friends only like you because they don’t really know who you are. They don’t know you like we do. We know the truth about you. You may fool them, but at the end of the day, it’s all smoke and mirrors. You’re a fraud.”

Later on, my first husband Seth echoed the sentiment. Seth used to say that people were taken with me only because they didn’t know me very well, that the problems between the two of us were caused by his knowing “the true me,” and that after any significant length of time anyone I was with romantically would have similar complaints and that I’d run into the same problems over and over again.

And though I’ve spent a while chewing over it and intellectually reject his blanket condemnation of my general comportment and propensity for self-monitoring (essentially being a “social chameleon,” attempting to alter my self-presentation to fit different contexts), it nonetheless stuck to me. As do so many unpleasant things I don’t want or didn’t ask for. I’ve been insecure and afraid of this for some time.

However, it clearly hasn’t stuck to Skyspook. I am completely exposed to him, and he still loves me.

From this it would seem that I don’t actually poison everything I touch. Refreshing and puzzling all at once. Stay tuned, I suppose.


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