I Wear My Heart on My Sleeve but I Put on a Jacket Around These People

I’ve learned how to protect this tender heart of mine

Suzanna Quintana
The Virago

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https://unsplash.com/photos/a-close-up-of-a-person-holding-a-heart-shaped-object-LoNIPjoXwOk

I’m super quiet.

My face, on the other hand, is loud.

It’ll tell you every feeling I have at the moment I’m feeling it, which — along with making me a lousy poker player — puts me at risk of being hurt by anyone who wants to use my feelings against me.

Correction: it used to.

Now that I’ve moved out of my people-pleasing past and into the “People, please” phase of my life — otherwise known as my fifties — I’ve discovered I can still wear my heart on my sleeve as long as I protect it around certain people.

Of course, I could hide my feelings altogether. But I tried that and it didn’t work. Mainly because I’m a terrible actress.

Plus, this meant I couldn’t be myself and had to make others comfortable at the expense of my own comfort. And I’d already done this with one father and two husbands so I was tapped out of the energy this required.

Don’t get me wrong, I can fake a smile and bite my tongue if the moment demands it. Though any faux smile makes me look I’m constipated and biting my tongue usually draws blood.

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Suzanna Quintana
The Virago

My voice is my superpower. Editor-in-Chief of The Virago. Founder of The Online Sanctuary for Healing After Narcissistic Abuse. www.suzannaquintana.com