Post

Masks

This may be a little long, but I found this is what I had to say about trusting people and/or not.  Some people, I feel drawn to and for that reason alone, find myself able to "talk" more right from the beginning.  There are a select few I am able to do this with though.

Do you or have you used a mask to 'protect yourself', and if so, have you grown so accustomed to this mask that you do not allow others to see the 'real you'?


I have done this myself.  We have all had some type of disappointment or hurt(s) throughout our lives.  Sometimes we feel the need to use a mask, trying to keep others' from getting through to us, afraid that we may be disappointed or hurt again.

There was a time when I was so accustomed to my mask, felt as if it were a shield around me, a wall...and if someone truly wanted to get to know me or seemed to care about me, then I expected them to take extra time and show me that they could be trusted.

In some ways with some people...I am still that way.  I can't change that.

Yet there are those that I have learned to trust completely and have opened up to.  I thank you, those who have stood by my side, taken the time to get to know me, allow me to know them, and to show that they actually do care enough about me, not to hurt me, and to show I can count on them, have their support.

To you, I am and will be forever grateful...
because you show me that there is good in a world that has become so filled with negativity and bad...
you have shown me that I can look forward to each day and have helped me to remain positive...
you have shown me that I do not have to be afraid to show my emotions, how I feel...
you have shown me how to 'not give up'...
you have shown me that I can be myself...and that I am okay just as I am...no mask needed.

And, I hope that you do know I am here for you in this same way.

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. ~James A. Baldwin
HeartWings09 HeartWings09 41-45, F 5 Responses Mar 26, 2012

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I don't have a mask, as much as I have a "mirror." That is, to those I meet, I reflect the person they want me to be. I guess you could consider this a mask, but it's almost as if I take it one step further. I'm a chameleon. I am everyone and no one. I'm the perfect reflection of who you need me to be.



This started long ago, when I felt I couldn't live up to my parent's expectations. Rather than confronting that, I chose to fake it. To pretend to be what they thought I should be. It became a habit, no doubt brought on by a lack of confidence, but also a general wariness of allowing anyone to get close.



No doubt a large part of it is due to my personality in general. I'm INFJ, squared and relationships tend to suffocate me, but the greatest loss is that along the way I've lost myself completely. I don't know who I am, or what I want, because I've spent so much time being everyone. And no one.

I won't be that way. I won't be a reflection of who anyone else needs me to be. I am me, plain and simple.

No one will ever be able to live up to everyone's expectations. But if they can't accept us for who we are, how we are...not our problem. I don't care if it is parents, siblings...whoever.

I can understand how it became a habit though. I used to be the same way, until I realized that they wouldn't be the same for me...so why spend time being "everyone"...when there is only me, just me.

Especially enjoyed the closing quote. Thank you for sharing that. I guess to an extent I have "a mask" because I surely know not everyone loves me :)

Ahhhhh, but isn't it been said "to know me is to love me?" So...to those who really have had the chance to get to know you, then you must have taken that "mask" off for them. :)

Certainly, for the beloved few!

Nice that you found some you could open up to completely.

I honestly don't know that I have that myself but suspect I haven't looked too hard either. I trust myself and tend not to rely on others much. Could be a character flaw or just circumstance.

I am like you in that way; trusting myself and I have learned from the past, not to rely on others much. It has taken a long time to be able to open up completely. A lot of coaxing, actually. Sometimes when you try to rely on others, you are disappointed...so I always thought, why try?:)

So very well written and descriptive. I can identify with what you say in many ways. Thankfully I do have a couple of people who have never let me down and I can trust enough to confide in. I would do anything for them at any time too. Welcome to EP too !!

Hi dizznee!
Thank you. I believe that many can probably relate, in some way. Even if one has not kept their mask on for a long period of time, I think we have all had a mask on at some point. That is great that you do have a couple of people to confide in, to share that trust with. And thank you for the welcome! I appreciate it!

No problem HeartWings09, one thing I know for sure is that on EP I can get to know people on here who become close friends and always seem to be available to care. It seems a little easier to open up on here unlike the real world :-)

You are right, dizznee. I think it is because in the real world, so many people are too quick to judge and be harsh. I look forward to getting to know others here :)

I am so glad that you feel free to "be yourself"; I happen to think that is the "most wonderful thing to be"...it is MUCH MORE than "you just being okay with who you are" with me, I really WANT my friends and acquaintences to FEEL that they have the same freedom that I do to be themselves...



I am free to be me...no masks but genuine, loving person who can say NO and set a boundary in a SPLIT second if someone is being pushy or manipulative. I reserve my "power to say NO"...I think that is what gives me the freedom to BE me and NOT fear being controlled...'course, I have LESS concern about being liked and therefore my comment is "If you don't like me; that is ok, I like me and that is enough"...*smile*



Sending a cyber hug and congrats!!!

Hi Missalaineyeus,

I try not to put a mask on any more. Having gone through a few rough things in the past, made me feel as if I had to. But luckily, with a few friends and their support, they have shown me that I do not have to have any type of mask on...even when I sometimes want to "hide".

You are so right. I feel the same way. Like me or don't, your choice...all that matters is that I like me! :)

Sending a cyber hug back and thank you!!!