The Teacher has a very strict parenting style. So strict that when I was little and you couldn't tell yet how things were going to turn out, she appalled her in-laws. They thought (but probably never came right out and said) that she was Ms. Hitler, and I was going to be a timid, nervous person with all the personality squished out of me.
Two examples of just how very squished I am:
About a year ago, my YW leader pinned me down and tried to get some information out of me. I gave it very unwillingly (there's a story about that, but it's for another day), and she could tell. 'Cause, you know, she had these things called eyes. So she told me "Rachel, you know you can always ask and come to me for help with anything, right?" Trying to pressure me into promising to always tell her when I have a problem.
I thought about it and came back with "If I ever have a problem you can help me with I'll let you know." (Because she lives an hour away and most of my problems involve keeping the house clean and doing school, neither of which she can do for me.) She had to be happy with that because that was all she was going to get. The result is that none of my leaders have a clue of just how sick the Teacher is and how much I'm having to do. Because they can't help and I've never told them.
A few months ago, up on the stand waiting for Sacrament Meeting to start, the woman next to me, who was also giving a talk that day, started asking me about different people. She asked me about one girl in particular, who had become inactive while she was gone. She wanted to know how she was. And then she wanted to know what her 'problem' was- trying in the subtle way (maybe guys don't know what I'm talking about) women do to get me to give her the inside scoop. She wanted this girl's vital statistics and psychiatry analysis served on a platter. (This was actually the same girl the YW leader wanted to know about, and the only reason she had any success was because she was the YW leader and had a Need To Know.)
I'm not comfortable talking about people's problems to other people. It makes me feel like a turn-coat. I don't like feeling that way. It makes me feel angry inside. And I don't like feeling pressured. That makes me angry on the outside.
I was mostly polite. I told her I didn't feel comfortable talking about it because it felt like being a tattle-tale, so basically shut up and talk to her yourself if you will really, absolutely expire on the spot if you can't know everything.
In roughly that order. In maybe those words.
Yes. I'm so timid. And so squished.
And we all know I have no personality whatsoever.