Behind Closed Doors

Jekyll and Hyde

Who are you behind closed doors?

“I don’t know what to do with my daughter. She has such a terrible temper and is angry all the time. She raises her hands at me, slams doors, cusses and screams throughout the house. She calls the cops on me for pushing her away while trying to protect myself, and what do the cops say? I can’t do anything and neither can they. Social services says the same. So, what am I supposed to do? She needs help.”

This woman couldn’t have been talking about the same young girl I know. That young girl is a walking example of sweetness. She’s quiet, but happy and smiles at everyone she passes by. That sweet young girl, acting like that? No way. That can’t be right.

Apparently however, she has been acting surreptitiously for quite some time, portraying herself to be gentle and kind, while knowing that inside of her was rage and anger. It’s obvious that she’s crying out for help, but by looking at and listening to her, one would never imagine the scene that takes place behind closed doors.

Jekyll and Hyde

In many of us, there are two sides – One that we show to the world and the other that we keep at home. For some of us the two sides only vary a little and for others they are complete opposites.

In the privacy of my home I am silly, laid back and talkative. In public I am shy, quiet and reserved.

I’ve known others who are social butterflies, willing to help anyone in need. But in private, they are a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at any moment. In order to keep the peace, you have to constantly walk on egg shells when around them.

In public, people portray themselves to be whoever they need to be, in order to maintain their reputation. They don’t dare show others who they really are. It’s not until they’re in the comfort of their own home, that they can lay it all down and be the real them – no matter how unpleasant or ugly that may be.

That saying, “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” applies to everyone, both good and bad. Just because someone looks nice or speaks kindly, doesn’t mean that they are.

Who are they in private? That is where their true character is defined.

Sadly, those who have to be subjected to a person’s two sides, often have to do so alone. Rarely are they believed. “Joe? No way. I’ve known him for years. He’s one of the nicest people I know. You must be exaggerating.”

Unfortunately, this is how abusers and criminals get away with their evil deeds for so long. Their sweetness conceals the rottenness within and others refuse to see it.

Jekyll and Hyde – They are everywhere, walking among us… hiding within our friends, our coworkers, our spouse, and sometimes even the person in the mirror.

“Character is what you are in the dark.” ~ DL Moody


This post is for JusJoJan. Today’s prompt: surreptitiously by KG.

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21 Responses to Behind Closed Doors

  1. Getting to the core of the person is the hard part. But few people fool everyone forever. The unfortunate part is that, while they are trying so hard to fool people, they end up fooling mostly themselves, because by presenting a false side to the world, they are denying the help they need. Even though it comes off as a cliche, people who do really bad things behind closed doors, hiding themselves from the scrutiny of the world, are really crying for help. If only we knew when to intervene!


    • mewhoami says:

      You are absolutely right. Although there are a few downright evil people in the world, most of them just need help. People try so hard to deal with things on their own for fear of being judged or to keep from burdening others. What they need to do however, is to cry out with their voice instead of their actions, so people can help them.


  2. joey says:

    I get so angry when people do that, “No, he would never, he’s such a nice guy” schpiel. That’s HOW they do it, you’re so right to point it out.

    In a less extreme circumstance, our youngest is a delight at school. She’s cooperative, helpful, kind, and shows great leadership. When I read her report card comments to her siblings, they all said, in unison, “Why can’t she be like that at home?” At home, so as not to impress us, she’s always been drama. I will say, it seems like over time she’s emerging as the school persona…but the early years were rough.


    • mewhoami says:

      Unfortunately, that happens all too often. The ‘good’ guy fools many people in in his path while often hurting those closest to him. What a backwards situation that is with your daughter. Not often do you hear about them being great in school, but difficult at home. I wonder if part of that stems from being comfortable at home to be her. That is the place where she doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ to fit in or be someone she’s not. Then we she gets home, she let’s it all out. I don’t know…I could be completely off base, but it sounds good. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mick Canning says:

    Extremely perceptive post. I guess we are all like this to a greater or lesser degree.


  4. DailyMusings says:

    It is so true that people may show only one side to the outside world-there are parts of ourselves we share with those close to us and other parts that we would never allow come to the surface with acquaintances. What is scary is when people who are truly abusive appear to be loving and kind to those who do not know them well. True manipulation.


    • mewhoami says:

      Abusers, in my opinion, are some of the greatest actors out there. Many times, their charm is what attracts their prey. It’s not until later down the road, that their charm turns to control and abuse.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. April says:

    Oh, here I go defending those with a mental illness. For decades I was one person on the outside yet another on the inside. The inside trying so very hard to be who I was on the outside. I became a pretty good actress. There is something to the Jekyll and Hyde perspective with regards to criminals or abusive people but some are simply trying very hard to just get up in the morning and live. Those looking for a speck of light to continue on. Maybe as a protective measure, we all do it for one reason or another?


    • mewhoami says:

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. In fact, one reason I began this blog was because of the Jekyll and Hyde I had been facing within myself most of my life. On the outside I was one thing and wanted to be that thing, but on the inside I was someone different entirely. Someone I deeply despised. Fighting within yourself is one of the most miserable ways to live. I still struggle with this, almost on a daily basis, but it’s gotten much easier over the years. So, you’re right – sometimes we have two sides, not because we want to, but because one side is what we’re striving to become.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I want that picture as my gravatar lol. Did you draw it?


  7. Aaron says:

    Reblogged this on Aaron Elmore and commented:
    An interesting post about how we can have our private side and a public eye persona which we portray to the world.


  8. Miriam says:

    Such an interesting post and so very true. We all have different faces we present at different times and depending on circumstances. In most cases it’s not quite so simple as “what you see is what you get”. Life, and people, is extremely complex.


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