I feel that about myself, and I know it's not a unique feeling to me.
I loved being away from home at my brother and sister in law's wedding. I love our home, I love the memories we have made here, but I love being away from it, too. A respite from all of the things glaring back at me, unmade beds and unfinished scrapbooks and kitchen utensils I keep forgetting to buy.
I have always had trouble having people over to my house. Having people STAY at my house? Huge deal to me. When I write, when I come to your house, I can choose what you see and what you don't see. Magic tricks, slight of hand, close this door on the messy room, open that one because the bed is made. Tweeze the hair on my face because I am going to church and there are lots of windows there and I don't want anyone to SEE.
We stayed at my brother's girlfriend's house for four nights. I asked her if she really wanted six children and four adults extra to stay with her. I pondered getting a hotel room at the last minute. I told her she was crazy.
Whenever I talk on the phone, whenever someone stays with me, I get really uncomfortable. I don't want to do anything or have them see anything that makes them think, "Hey, she's weird. Hey. She doesn't make her kids wash their hands. Hey. She leaves the laundry on the basement floor. OMG. What is that stain in the refrigerator? Please. Taxi. No more staying here."
I know everyone feels this way to some extent, but the OCD exacerbates it to the point where you question absolutely everything. It sucks.
I dislike cooking for people for the same reason. Insecurity. What if they don't like it? What if there's a hair in it? What if they wish I had used more Rosemary? What is Rosemary? Where is her baby?
So, my brother's girlfriend. I saw her utility closet, I saw her bathroom, I saw her cry and then I cried and then my sister in law cried and then we stopped and then we all cried again. I saw her in her imperfectness and she is raw and accepting and loving and beautiful.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to shut things down just because I am afraid of being hurt. I don't want to hold people at arm's length because sometimes people may treat me badly.
I don't want to NOT open up my heart and my home because someone may have an adverse reaction that makes me think, "See? I was wrong to do that! I was wrong to let them in!"
I see another woman in my life, my sister in law, as so much good - I've known her for 22 years, since I was 14, and I wonder how she still puts up with me. When we are out somewhere she is often feeding my kids, lending me gum, taking pictures of the wedding invitation because I didn't think of BRINGING IT ALONG BEFORE WE DROVE 9 HOURS TO COME TO THE WEDDING. She never says, "Um, Rachel? Get a clue. Figure it out yourself." She just gives, and she loves.
I don't know what I'm saying, or if I'm saying anything at all. I'm just writing it here because I don't want to become closed off or hard or afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing. I don't want to be afraid of being known.
It's not a good way to live.