Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vault, Or Open Book?

I have a friend here that I've known for the two years that we've lived side by side. We share coffee times and playdates and hang out with our husbands and friends for dinners and movies. We both also like to shop. We've grown quite close, and I enjoy her family a lot.

We went on a recent shopping excursion and had a long drive to get back home afterwards. During that 1.5 hour trek, we did a lot of talking. We talked about our lives growing up, the types of boyfriends we had, our marriages and families now. I won't get into the whole sordid details of that exchange, obviously, but what she relayed to me was significant. At one point as I was speaking, she turned and looked at me and said, "You are a total VAULT. You've sat across from me while people talked and cried, and you've never, ever let any of this stuff you just told me out. How do you DO that?"

There are certain people in the world that are Open Books. If something is going on in their lives, you know about it. Either they can't contain themselves enough to keep it in, or they just need to purge as much as possible to get feedback or feel better. That's definitely not me.

I think most of us have secrets we keep inside that we will take to our graves. Or at least I used to think that. Now, I know people that say that isn't so. They believe in "getting it all out." That concept gives me the shakes.

I'm the type that will let you in after many, many, many years. I need to feel a trust between us. Even then, I'll feed you select random details and not the whole picture. In fact, I've been known to minimize. A lot. To me, sharing pain or difficult situations is embarrassing at best. Mortifying is the more apt term. It also makes me feel weak, and I also feel it gives up some control. It gives power to the other person that they now know something so intimate from your life story.

When I told my husband that I had shared some of these details with my friend, he was in total shock. He knows me enough to know that it took me years and years before I even completely opened up to him. Even saying completely might still be stretching it.

Conversely, if you tell me something personal, that's where it also goes; the Vault. I can be trusted to keep a secret, mainly because I know how difficult it is to share that secret and let someone in.

I'm not saying that being this way is right. Oh, hell no. I would say sometimes it's very trying to struggle within and then go out in the world with a smile on your face. I would just say that I've had a lot of practice.

What about you? Are you a Vault, or are you an Open Book?


  1. I'm a total vault all the way. Some women at first think that I'm stuck up or unfriendly because I don't share amny details. I'm like you it takes me quite awhile before I'll let someone in and then it is never all the way in. I sometimes envy other women for being so open but at the end of the day, I like being a vault. I too can be trusted with the utmost secret and I have many people's secrets tucked away in my vault.

  2. Open book....but then you knew that, right? rofl