Which has lead me to the realisation that I myself can easily convey my feelings and my persona incorrectly. Think about it: if your medium is limited to the textual realm, the possibility for others to completely misunderstand what is in your mind and your heart is high. My character, inaccurately written, conveys his emotions and his reality badly. I do the same when I do not say what I am feeling or thinking for fear of saying too much.
Apparently, this fear of saying too much is something my protagonist and I share. I didn't realise that until today, because overnight I was doing a lot of rewriting of chapter one, and began to see that the protagonist holds back a lot, and so do I. For what purpose? Certainly not to obfuscate or lead others astray, but mostly as a defense mechanism against pain, against making mistakes, against my own stupidity. How often have you said precisely the wrong thing that lands you into hot water? It makes you unwilling to ever utter another wrong or incorrect word, since words seem so easy to misconstrue.
I need to find a way to express my own, and my character's emotions more clearly. He and I are both getting bogged down and it sounds like we're lying or we're insincere when nothing could be further from the truth.