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The Masks We Wear

19 Responses

  1. DogDharma says:

    I find and fear I have and still wear all of these masks at one time or another. It’s a bit chilling because we know psychopaths wear masks. Except their masks are by choice with intent to do harm, while the masks of “normal” people are to stave off hurt and prevent harm. It’s difficult to let go of the masks in day-to-day life. Behind all of them is the deeper knowledge and fear that we are mortal beings with finite lives. We are all vulnerable to lesser and greater extents. I am hoping that my blogging will reveal the real self behind my own masks. Thank you for another great piece, and I am so, so heartbroken by the loss of Robin Williams. 🙁 I was gutted to tears.

  2. I know the anxiety-related mask well. Very eloquently put, Lisa. I appreciate your tackling of link here. Slipping the masks off can be scary – not easy for someone already dealing with fear. But it’s necessary to do it so we can open up and expose the rawness to the light. Also, to know who’s really in your tribe – they’re the ones who stay whether the mask is on or off. xoxo

  3. I love each and every one of your posts. You’re absolutely right. I discovered/realized a few years ago that I was guilty of wearing several masks (the people pleaser, the comedian, the worker bee and the over achiever.) I have since learned to dispose of most of my masks, feeling extremely vulnerable, BUT, I feel like a better person for it. When you look at me, you see me. I no longer put on a show for anyone. I may hide emotions from my son as he is only 11 and highly sensitive. Other than that, I feel naked. Scared to death, but naked. I don’t want to be fake. If I’m hurting, I want to address the problem head on. I’ve spent too many years hiding from reality, behind every mask you can imagine. I’m done hiding. Plus, by facing my fears head on, and dealing with emotions, I’m teaching my son to do the same. I’m hoping he doesn’t learn to hide, but rather face his fears, just like his mom. He doesn’t know the masked me. He was very young when I admitted to wearing masks, and although a human sponge, he absorbs more now than he did when he was 2. Now he asks more questions and I give him honest answers. Today he asked me what a condom was. He has no interest in girls yet (thank God) but I felt it only right to educate him. Maybe I’ll end up screwing him up even more, but my intentions are to make him mentally stronger so he doesn’t make the same mistakes I did. Again, great post!! I’m so happy I found your blog. I only wish I knew of WordPress and your blog while going through my divorce…

  4. Joy says:

    So powerful and true. Thank you for writing.

  5. Great post.
    My mask is fixing things, finding solutions.

  6. I think I wear all of these masks to some extent. My greatest wish in life is to love and to be loved back. It sounds so simple, but you learn that it’s not at all. It’s a shame that we feel that we are not good enough on our own to have love, that we need to resort to wearing masks.

  7. The masks I’ve worn to hide from myself. Hide the from loved ones as I struggled to heal after my husband’s affair. Hiding from people that want nothing more than to help me but I was ashamed, too afraid they would permanently judge and not allow me space when I needed it. I’ve worn a mask as I write my blog anonymously. I don’t regret the mask but I feel like this experience has given me a deeper understanding of what it must feel like to suffer from depression, anxiety, etc. I think we are lucky to be writing here and have followers to comment, encourage and keep our heads above water through it all.

  8. FlexTime Mom says:

    I think I wear all those masks. I overachieve to feel valuable, I take care of people so they won’t leave and I stopped feeling so I wouldn’t get hurt. I guess I was never the performer.

    After an early midlife crisis and a lot of therapy, I realized I’m not going to get the approval from the people I seek it from most (my dad), no matter how well I care from someone, they’ll likely still leave (the ex) and there’s only so long you can suppress emotions before you simply explode (in my case it’s roughly 32 years).

    Very insightful.

    • You highlight an important piece – we often continue the drama of our childhoods into adulthood, playing the role of the hurt/scared child and substituting others in for mom/dad.

      Glad you’re in a better place:)

  9. Magnumsmom says:

    And there is the mask after the divorce. For so long I tried to pretend that I hated him because that is what everyone wanted to hear from me. BUT I still love him, no matter the hurt, I still have feelings. Enough to go back to him?? NO, but I don’t hate him, twenty six years, four kids, and plenty of good memories. It was exhausting to keep up the facade. My heart just won’t let go, and that can be exhausting too.

  1. November 10, 2014

    […] It’s a common pattern. And often a deadly one, slowly starving the marriage of trust and intimacy. If you feel rejected, it’s easy to respond with a frantic attempt to be wanted.  […]

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