Don’t let them in..

Elsa-Frozen

Don’t let them see.
Be the good girl
You always have to be
Conceal
Don’t feel
Put on a show.
Make one wrong move
And everyone will know.

I grew up with Disney. I’m a 90’s baby…and so I was all but assaulted with it growing up. I still have a fondness for Disney, though I was never really drawn to the princesses outside of Belle. Belle was cool. She wanted to go explore when she was stuck in some little town, she loved reading and her daddy, and she was brunette. I could totally get behind on that.

I had a few issues for her giving up her whole life for a man thing.. I don’t know how much exploring she ended up doing just living in the castle with the handsome prince. And so, my loyalty for the most part belonged to Peter Pan. Never grow up, you say? Fly off to Neverland and just go on adventures, you say? I could totally be down for that.

I remember crying when I turned ten because I thought I would be too old for Neverland.

Like many other people. I recently got swept away by Frozen. It has been pretty hard to top Belle as my favorite princess, but I think Elsa managed to.

I have a baby sister who’s sixteen, and very much an Anna. She’s an adventurous little thing who wants to go out and explore, and find her prince charming. She also has Anna’s grace..hehe. We went to go see the movie together when I was home for winter break. As we got out of the movie she turned to me and said, “I know you like Elsa, Sissy, but you don’t need to be so much like her all the time.”

Owie.

She’s since seen me much more relaxed.. Up until that point she had only seen me at home in New Jersey, when I had gone to visit her. I use the term home loosely. I love my immediate family, and I am proud of where I grew up don’t get me wrong. I grew up with New York being fifteen minutes away from me and the beach a half hour away. I am very blessed in that, and in what I was able to experience growing up because of that. It’s just..well…

I come from a large Italian family on my mother’s side. My father’s family handed me off to my mother’s early on because I was the oldest on that side, and because my father’s parents already had two granddaughters who were older than me. And so, I grew up with my Grammy and Dad Dad a block away and my aunt as a fifth grade teacher in my elementary school. My cousins and I were so close when we were young that we might as well have spent our days puppy piled on one another. There was no escaping my mother’s family, and growing up I didn’t want to.

As I got older, I more and more became my father’s daughter. I was an introvert who preferred books to people and could spend all day in a studio. My cousins were athletes and extroverts, and grew up as staunch Christian conservatives while I was raised by two liberals and agree with them on most of my political views.

My aunt, my mother’s older sister, loved me as is. She was my second mother…hell, she was more my mother than my mom…but that’s a whole other tangent I could go down. My mother’s brother’s however…hated my father for mistakes he made early on when he was with my mom. Because I looked like him and I acted like him they hated me as well.

With my family there are very thin lines between extended family and immediate family, especially for my mother. When she’s around her brothers she becomes their sister again, and not my dad’s wife. Because of this every time I was around them (which was CONSTANTLY when I was home) I acted. I hid the majority of my eccentricities. I hid my religious beliefs, my political beliefs, my interests.. the majority of my personality.

Don’t let them in.
Don’t let them see…

I get asked from time to time why on earth I moved to San Francisco on my own when I have so much family back east. I always say I wanted an adventure, or if I didn’t leave at 21 I never would. In truth, it’s because by eighteen I was exhausted spending so much time acting. I had walls built up so thick around me that a bulldozer would have issues getting through. I trusted my daddy, my mom, my sisters, and  my best friend. Everyone else had no hope of accepting who I was. It was what I was taught growing up, why would it be any different now?

My older sister heard the credits version of “Let it Go” and immediately called to tell me that she had heard my San Francisco song, mainly because of one set of the lyrics.

“Out here in the cold, thin air
I finally can breathe
I know I left a life behind
But I’m too relieved to grieve!”

There’s no going back “home” for me, ever. The lot of them disowned me when I left, because I turned my back on my family in their mind. Once I got out west they found out everything that I had been keeping from them, and I became this uncensored ball of fire that they had no idea what to do with. So they got rid of me.

My parents and sisters would never do that to me. “We’re a unit” my mother loves to remind me. “The five of us are an indestructible unit. We will always be there for each other, no matter what others try to do to us or how far apart we are.”

Out here it’s better. I am myself…most of the time. From time to time I still act. The hard edge is in place, the barriers ready to be erected. Every time I get upset or hurt, it is so much easier to just erect walls and hide then deal with what’s actually going on and what has me upset. I feel myself from time to time trying to put up walls between Sir and I and have to check myself constantly and rip them down, piece by piece. It’s easier to hide things from him. To not tell him when I’m hurt or upset, or why.

But if I do that, this relationship won’t work. It depends on honesty.

The truth of the matter is I trust Sir more than any other man. I do trust him completely, and at times knowing that to be true is the only thing that keeps me from breaking down. I trust him. When he says everything will be okay, it will be. When he says I need to put something out of my mind and rest, and that we will take care of it together later we will.

That is hard. It goes against my nature. It literally is rewriting who I am and how I act. It’s stripping away my only lines of defense from being hurt. I know that. And I still do it willingly, because I am happier with Sir than I have ever been with anyone else. I feel more myself than I ever have before.

It’s why screwing up upsets me so much. Why I become so ashamed, and so afraid as well. I don’t want him to see my flaws and reject me as so many others have..but the truth is he wouldn’t. Even when I think I’m hiding something from Sir, or I’m waiting for the right opportunity to talk to him about something he already knows. Sometimes he waits for me to tell him what’s bothering me, sometimes he addresses it directly himself, but he knows. And I adore that. It would terrify me if I didn’t trust him as much as I do. He’s seen a lot of my demons in the past couple weeks..and he still hasn’t sent me away.

Well.. Elsa lets people in at the end of the movie, right? She doesn’t always have ice in her heart.

I think I’m slowly learning to do the same.

-Rena

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