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The Parade of Masks


Fake it till you make it–well I’ve faked it for so long I don’t know who I really am. The faking, the wearing of masks starts out so innocently–a smile when you really feel like crying because they forgot your birthday. A nod yes, everything’s ok when maybe you would rather rip someone’s head off for something they said to you–probably just in passing. Yet, it hurts just the same. We all have masks for different situations–sometimes these masks are just guidelines for certain situations, the code of conduct for where you are. The problem begins when you never lie down the mask and be the real you. When you are with close friends and family you should not have to wear a mask. Your real feelings should be acceptable and you should be comfortable in expressing those emotions without fear. Whether it be excitement, confusion, rage, depression, joy or anger. This should be a safe place to express these feelings.

As I look at the mask I wear, I realize how heavy a burden I am asking myself to shoulder. Years of wearing the mask has rendered it virtually un-removable, at this point even I do not know what lies behind the.mask. I think I am scared, no, I know I am terrified to take it off and see the scared defenseless little girl who hides behind the mask. The little girl who believes it is her job to make sure everyone else is well and happy, no matter the expense to her own well-being. It’s the little girl who feels that it does not matter how she feels or how things affect her, the only thing that matters is making others happy. Now this little girl has spent decades pleasing others and she would like someone to please her, to make her feel loved and wanted because of who she is and not what she has done. Yet, at the same time she does not ¬†believe that she is worthy of such respect–after all, she hasn’t always done the right thing or said the right words. These feelings have built those prison walls, the long conviction of worthlessness built strong walls, walls that must be taken apart piece by piece, a slow process, especially as other things happen that build the walls at the same time they are being taken down.

It is very hard for the bearer of the masks to see the face that is so easily viewed by others. Only by listening and observing their reactions can we begin to see what they see. Sometimes a mask is put on with one purpose in mind and the outcome is totally different. This often causes a sensation of failure in the wearer.

Written in 1997

As I return and reflect upon the writings I have kept throughout the years, it saddens me to sometimes find myself back in those very places. I think I have dug out my entire arsenal of masks lately, although some have become worn and cracked. I would like to say that I just threw those away and told myself I didnt need them anymore.

I have fixed or updated a lot of these masks and the pile of bricks seems to be growing smaller, not larger right now. I am putting up more walls than I am taking down. I know I am not in a good place, but I do not care enough yet to follow through on all the help I need to get out of this place. It is too overwhelming of a task.loved

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