Inherently Different

the invisible man

A number of years ago I dated someone who could be described as someone with the lowest self esteem any human can have and not be hospitalized. This in and of itself was bad, but toss in the fact that this person was also incredibly self-absorbed and you have a recipe for disaster. When someone is self absorbed, nothing matters but what they want… what they need… personal boundaries or personal space don’t exist for anyone but them.

There have been people through out my life who have labeled me in various ways, but the most common is… mean. Mean because I don’t pull punches. Mean because I speak my mind. Mean because I tell the truth. Mean because I am not less likely to give you shit if you cry. Mean because I see things in people that they don’t want people to see.

When you put someone like me in a relationship with someone like this person I mentioned earlier, you can imagine the trouble that might arise. One of the ways that trouble would manifest itself in my life was that this person would do everything she could to invade my privacy. She would read my mail, she would snoop around my desk at home, look at my check book and bank statements, read my journal, and other rather invasive things. I never hid anything from her, nor did I lie or obfuscate the truth in order to mislead her. She just thought that I must be hiding something because I was not completely and irrevocably in love with her. The more she felt threatened, the more she would snoop. Near the end, I just didn’t bother hiding anything, leaving all my mail opened on my desk in plain view, all my pictures in open box near my desk, my computer completely open without a password. I suppose I just realized that it would be much worse if I attempted to retain some semblance of privacy in the relationship. During this whole time, I had a blog, and while I wrote about some of what transpired as it happened, I didn’t reveal just how crazy this nut job had gotten.

Anyone who has written a blog takes a certain amount of risk. You open up portions of your life for complete strangers to see. I’ve had a blog for close to 12 years in one form or another and I’ve shared a wide variety of information about myself and my life. I have no problem sharing these things and having people know them doesn’t really bother me. I control the flow of information and as much as possible, control just what parts of myself I share. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t keep things to myself and things that I prefer weren’t common knowledge. When someone takes liberties with your privacy though, it is very disconcerting. When someone decides that they need to snoop in your documents, your desk, your checkbook, your bank statements, your mail, your journal, even when you don’t have any secrets, it is really, really off putting.

The problem of course is that to defend yourself from invasions of privacy inevitably cause people to wonder what you have hide. I don’t have any secrets, but that doesn’t mean I want people to dig into my personal belongings for entertainment. I think that most relationships eventually suffer from familiarity and a sense of possession that give people the illusion that they have a right to know everything about you. It saddens me because it reminds me that I am different than most people. Different in that I don’t give a shit what you have done, where you have been, what you spend your money on, who you took pictures with, who you are getting mail from, and what your private thoughts are. Some people just feel entitled to your life, warts and all.

1 thought on “the invisible man”

  1. I understand this. I, too, find it very off putting when someone invades my privacy by looking through my things (or putting a key logger on my computer)… and it really has nothing to do with what they will or won’t find but everything to do with the fact that they believe it is OK to do this. It’s suffocating. I have always, no matter how insecure I may have felt, in every relationship respected my significant other’s privacy. I don’t so much as open a wallet or a toiletries bag without permission and only then because I’ve been asked to retrieve something. I’ve never opened someone’s medicine cabinet for entertainment either. I hate snooping. I never snoop.

    But, I think the point you make is a really good one. Even in the closest of relationships we are all still separate people entitled to our own private thoughts, friendships, and memories.

    And you are most definitely different than most people. That’s why I like you so much. 🙂

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