We’re complex creatures, hiding a multitude of emotions. Some people wear their emotions on their sleeve, their eyes and faces expressing everything they’re feeling, leaving you in no doubt when they are angry or upset. I’m like that but when I’m working I have to retrain my brain in order that clients don’t see when I think they’re cretins, and believe me that’s not always easy.
For some people, though they successfully mask their feelings without having to try and whether that is a skill learnt or an ability to distance themselves from emotions is hard to say.
We spend our lives judging people on what they wear, how they look, or the attitude they portray to the world, but we only know what goes on in the minds of those we are closest to. What does that smile, that frown, that withering look hide? Maybe, it is simply what it appears to be. Maybe the smile is a person who views the world and everything in it positively, at all times. Are they naïve or are the rest of us slightly jaded? Just because they show you a smile doesn’t mean though that they don’t hurt when you say something cruel. That person who is walking in with the frown, are they angry or maybe they are just so caught up with their own thoughts, overworked, family stresses, that frown may not be aimed at you. The withering look, oh but don’t you just want to slap that face? But consider for one moment, maybe there is something going on underneath it. It doesn’t make it acceptable but sometimes people are going through so much that they can’t/don’t know how to behave in a courteous manner and they should be pitied. This is about them, not you. If you can remember that, which I don’t suggest is easy, then you will be better for it. My point isn’t that unacceptable behaviour becomes acceptable because someone might be going through hell in their personal or work life but maybe its something to be thrown into the equation.
In ‘Is this Love?’ one of the supporting characters, Jake, blots out emotions because of abuse suffered in his childhood. He’s one of those characters you want to dislike because he’s obnoxious and charming at the same time. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to help being pulled in by the side of his character that he hides from most people.
Jake, inadvertently, forms a friendship with the male lead, Theo, and this is what he sees as a weakness. Jake doesn’t want to form strong ties because it opens him up to feel, and feelings make you vulnerable. He uses women as sexual objects, unable to recognise that they aren’t responsible for his abandonment by his own mother. Jake’s strengths start to come to the fore in the second half of this book and that personal development grows in book two where he forced me to make him one of the main characters with his own POV. On the surface, he isn’t pleasant but when you scratch the surface someone else appears, a man who has been hurt and abused but a spark of humanity is kindled by his friendship with Theo, but it takes a chain of events of bigger magnitude for him to really come into his own.
Do you want a sneak peek at Jake’s profile?