There’s also this; once you’ve worn a mask for so long, it becomes difficult to take off. Especially when you’re not always sure who you are some days, what does taking off that mask even mean? The mask isn’t a pre-molded construct. It’s an adaptation to the world around you to help you maneuver and function in a society that seems so different from how you feel. When do those adaptations become an actual part of you and when do those adaptations remain things that are separate?
I never wanted to wear this mask. It’s something I’ve felt forced into. I don’t even notice it half the time. Trying to take it off is like trying to tear off the scab on a wound that hasn’t fully healed. A band-aid on a bullet wound. It doesn’t come off easily yet it doesn’t heal what it’s covering over. It’s the product of years of trying to adapt. Don’t expect it to part from our skin quickly, or easily. It’s a product of the protection we’ve had to develop. I know people get frustrated because they think it should be easy for us to “just be yourself”. But when you’ve had a lifetime of being told that “being yourself” isn’t acceptable, a lifetime of conditioning doesn’t change overnight.
Tags: Mental Health