Who do you trust?
As I grew up, at home and school it felt dangerous to be myself – my whole self, including the parts that made mistakes, got rebellious and angry, goofed around too loudly, or were awkward and vulnerable.
Not dangers of violence, as many have faced, but risks of being punished in other ways, or rejected, shunned, and shamed.
So, as children understandably do, I put on a mask. Closed up, watching warily, managing the performance of “me.” There was a valve in my throat: I knew what I thought and felt deep inside, but little of it came out into the world.