The Stuff About The Closet

“Burst down that closet door once and for all, and stand up and start to fight”. – Harvey Milk  “Everyone gets killed in the shower. Don’t you go to the movies? Psycho. Dead in shower. The Mexican in No Country for Old Men. Dead in shower. Michelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. Almost dead in…

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“Burst down that closet door once and for all, and stand up and start to fight”. – Harvey Milk

 “Everyone gets killed in the shower. Don’t you go to the movies? Psycho. Dead in shower. The Mexican in No Country for Old Men. Dead in shower. Michelle Pfeiffer in What Lies Beneath. Almost dead in shower, or in the bath, anyway. But she did that thing with her toe and got out OD. Still the shower, though…Glen Close in Fatal Attraction. Dead in shower. John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. Very dead in shower. But never closets. I can’t think of anyone shot in a closet. This is why I hide in closets.” ― Derek B. Miller, Norwegian by Night

“We’re not broken. We’re not in the wrong bodies. We’re not inadequate. We’re not lesser. We’re not unwanted. We’re not fraudulent. We’re not undesirable. That’s all just a set of lies we tell to soothe the experience of the prisons we put ourselves in.” ― Agnostic Zetetic

This is me trying to write like one of my favourites on TNC, Dr Baruu and his quotes. I’ve been thinking about self-exposure for a while now, how hard it can be to disclose our true selves effectively and do away with the many veils we use to cover who we really are, sometimes in a bid to shield and protect ourselves from being hurt, but other times we leave our real selves in the closet and put on a persona that is far from the us in the closets just to fit in, be noticed or loved by that seemingly special someone, be accepted, or belong to a social circle that hardly helps us create our world because we aren’t truly living our real lives.

If there’s anyone that self-exposure doesn’t come easily to in any way it would be me, the first time I wrote something for a blog I didn’t go to see it when it was posted until 2-3 weeks later because writing my thoughts and having people know what is inside my head feels like I’m completely naked, and it’s especially scary because there’s this thought that I may be found out one day and someone will say, “caught you!, you fraud!, you don’t even really know anything”. But writing is good for me, so I’m braving it out. Authentic communication is not always easy, living in authenticity is even harder as most times the closets we choose to hide in is very safe, familiar, and comfortable; there’s no conflict, disagreement, or someone questioning our motives or reasoning in there, but authenticity is needed because it’s the basis for successful relationships both personally and professionally, plus real effectiveness in our daily activities.

We all have closets, not just in the traditional sense like the gay closet. For some it might be telling someone I love you for the first time, speaking openly and unashamedly about our past, talking about sex and our preferred desires, speaking up at work and sharing our ideas, then there’s the many Introverts that try to live as extroverts because our world today largely encourages outward living while living inwards is rejected and unpopular. A closet can be a hard conversation we would rather avoid having or anything we see in us that is different from what the rest have and we try to hide away. But just as our topics and what makes us who we are may vary greatly, the experience of being in and coming out of the closet is universal.

The stuff about closets is that it doesn’t only prevent us from truly experiencing our lives at the moment that we’re living it, it also prevents the people we have in our lives from experiencing and getting the best of us. We all have different selves within us, as we grow and advance in life; different versions of our personas emerge or die depending on the season of our life we’re in and the circumstance that surrounds us, now can you imagine what a disservice we do to ourselves each time we choose not to live the fullness of who we are or apply the totality of ourselves at every point in our lives? Beginning to live in authenticity may require baby steps, but it’s crucial. What we need, I think, is courage; the courage to choose authenticity instead of hiding by owning and living our truth so the people in our lives and even the world can benefit from the beauty we are and we carry as human beings.

I found this video last week and it shed more light on how much we underestimate our ability to change and I thought to share.

 

Image via Pamela Hodges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responses

  1. Five Loaves
    This is a very good write up… But are we not born that way? To hide some of our personalities/personas..
    I believe, if every one should expose everything about him/herself, it might kill a relationship early.. (exception of spouse and family).
    Its only when this persona is exposed more than usual, the issue of best/close friends come in.
    But generally, i prefer the closet..
    1. Priscilla Joy
      I can confidently say that we weren’t born that way and it’s not just about a relationship. One thing I like about TNC is that it’s a platform that encourages the writers and everyone to question the status quo, there are too many rules, traditions, admonitions, campaigns we were born into and we’ve grown up hearing that largely makes us shrink ourselves, some of them we don’t even understand and deep down we don’t agree with, so we live what other people say and what we see because maybe it’s easier than having the courage to live your truth and live free. But the question is, what is your truth?

      As for relationships, authenticity is still the best way to go.

  2. ButterflyMind
    I’ve been thinking about the garden of Eden and the fall of man lately. God made man naked. People say the story of Eden is a metaphor for something; that there wasn’t a real garden and all. I don’t know about that but our need to remain closeted takes me back to Eden all the time.

    God made man naked. Naked could be ‘free’. Unfettered. Exposed without shame or the need for a covering. Unconscious of self.
    And then man sinned and felt the need to hide. For fear of judgement. To be less vulnerable.
    Perhaps our consciousness of self is the reason we feel the constant need to remain closeted. We’re afraid people will judge us; that people will dislike what they see because we don’t particularly like what we see either.

    That’s not a great way to live and I don’t think that we were created to hide so much of our Glory from one another.
    I think if we stopped judging ourselves, then we wouldn’t judge others so much. And if we don’t judge so much then we won’t feel so vulnerable around one another. If we don’t feel vulnerable we’d be free– free to express us and live freely, knowing that no matter the choices we make, everything we do is a part of living.

    ***Just my thoughts. I’ll go watch that video now 🙂
    Thanks for a good topic, P.

    1. Madu
      One of the thoughts I’ve had is about how Adam & Eve are the first people in the world. I don’t believe in it.

      Which of the human races were they? How did negroes and the Asians come about?

      Well…there is it. My thoughts, out the closet.

      1. Anonymous Aboki
        I don’t understand – you don’t believe in the biblical account of creation, or what?

        Asians & Africans (why did you use negroes pls?), look up Esau & Ishmael..

        World mythology is pretty enlightening too..

        1. Madu
          Yes, I don’t believe in that account of creation.

          We would normally think that every dark-skinned human is from Africa. We aren’t so sure like that.

          So, I used ‘Negroes’ to describe every other race who may not have been Africans and are not Caucasoids or Mongoloids.

    2. Miss James
      “I think if we stopped judging ourselves, then we wouldn’t judge others so much. And if we don’t judge so much then we won’t feel so vulnerable around one another. If we don’t feel vulnerable we’d be free..”

      I found this out when I finally understood God’s love and somehow this is how I live..

      1. Priscilla Joy
        But vulnerability isn’t always a bad thing, in fact I think embracing our vulnerability is one of the ways we can truly be ourselves by loosing that self-made armor that protects us from the world, it’s truly difficult to do but it’s one of the ways we can live free.
    3. Priscilla Joy
      I love, love your comment and I like the word “Unfettered”. You’re so right, sometimes the restrictions we feel and have were put there by ourselves and I think that’s the hardest to break free from. But with conscious effort and self-awareness we can learn to be free to tell and live our true story.

      Thank you.

  3. Madu
    Our society grooms our minds with set rules & precautions.

    Politics, Family responsibilities, Creer, just to name a few, are some of the reasons people remain in the closet.

  4. dan
    MADU,
    your thoughts are really running far and wide, well, maybe genetic mutation happened.
    you said you know some stuff, kindly share with me, plix.
  5. Toby
    This is a really thought-provoking article. I struggled a lot with this when I started writing: how to live as an introvert in a world of extroverts, how to write and live my truth when it was painful for me to even shine a light into my closets. I haven’t figured it all out, but courage is important, as well as taking it one closet at a time.

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