Behind my smile, I work hard not to shed my tears. I feel them welling up inside my eyes, the sting burning inside of me. I refuse to let them out, not here, not now. You don’t see the pain that is attempting to break free from within me.
Behind my kindness, I am broken and untrusting. I am deciding whether or not to let you in. You don’t know that I have been betrayed and hurt deeply and blame only my grace for allowing it to happen. I am unsure if you will be different or the same.
Behind my perfectionism are all of the drafts that ended up trashed or edited and added to a cache of clutter — most of which are probably perfectly fine — which I will hesitate to deal with because it reminds me of my flaws.
Behind my confidence is a woman who is painfully afraid of not being accepted. You won’t see a woman who feels like a fraud and is desperately afraid of failing.
Behind my pride in everything I do is a need for affirmation. You don’t see the mother that greeted my accomplishments with jealousy instead of joy.
Behind my desire to show you love, you won’t notice me wondering how long you bide your time with me. You won’t see me wondering what I lacked when you finally leave.
Behind the veneer that I have worked hard to assemble, what you don’t see is me.