Behind the Masks I Wear

I hide behind the mask I wear. I hide from you. I hide from myself.

I hide so you can’t see me, so you won’t see me, not the real me, the hidden me.

Don’t get too close to me, the real me. The one you can’t fully see.

What if you don’t like me? What if no one likes me?

That one that hides deep inside my walls of pain and shame–hidden between the layers of heartache and trauma. Trauma that sneaks out sometimes that I must quickly tuck back inside before you can see it, before you can see me seeing it. That heartache and trauma in my past buried beneath the newness of my life. 

I hide so you wont know my story. I hide so no one can hurt me, again. 

I hide from fear. Fear of possible closeness that I am no longer accustomed too. A closeness that could consume me, swallow me whole and spit me back out again and reject me, hate me, fail me.

I’m afraid to fail at life again. So, I successfully live on the surface of life without treading in too deeply. 

I hide so you can’t like me enough to unlike me.

I hide because I’m afraid I don’t remember how to be a friend anymore.

If you like me, what if I don’t like you? What if I hurt you? What if you hurt me?

I hide behind my mask because I don’t want to know what I don’t know.

I hide behind my mask so my fears won’t escape, leak out onto you. I fear you will know my fears and if you do you might become afraid of  me.

If you know my pain, you might get hurt. I don’t want you to hurt. I don’t want anyone to hurt like I have. 

I don’t know how not to hurt. If I unhurt for a moment, I fear when the hurt will return. When things are good, I fear when the gloom and doom will return.

Sadness has become a familiar companion. Familiarity has become my safety net. I can’t jump without a net. 

Melancholy always comes back to visit. It weighs me down with an even overflowing weight of soothing despair. The kind of despair that has been my lifelong companion–familiarity like a favorite tattered and torn old sweatshirt. A favorite you always go back to. You know it and wear it well.

My sense of protection comes from the familiarity of my constant low grade depression, melancholic feel which I have known my entire life. It seems to be all I know. My only friend and companion. Miss Melan Choly is welcome here. I know her well. She has never let me down. I have always been able to count on her to return back to me throughout my entire life.  She doesn’t hurt me too much–just enough to know she is there.  

I hide behind my mask because I am afraid. I am afraid to love and I am afraid not to be loved. 

The mask keeps me safe–a barrier to keep you out and a barrier to hide me within. 

Don’t look at me. Don’t see me–not the real me, the me you don’t know, the me you might not like.

Don’t peek inside me for too long or you might see something you don’t like.

Please be kind to me. Don’t hurt me. I can no longer bear to be hurt again, so I will stay safely hidden behind my mask. 

I wore this invisible mask before Covid and now I wear a new face mask to protect me from the Corona virus. This cotton face mask have given me a new layer of protection, another shield, a barrier to help keep me safe from you and me from you.

Now, I can hide behind both masks–my own invisible barrier and one made out of cotton. 

I like wearing my new face covering to protect me from Covid. It has become a familiar companion, a safety net, another layer of protection, a sense of security, something else I can hide behind, another layer to keep you away from me and me away from you.

My cotton face mask protects me from so much more than Covid. It protects me from you and gives me a new layer of protection I can hide behind. It has become a new sense of security from my own fears and insecurities.

I hide behind the mask I wear. I hide from Covid. I hide from you. I hide from myself.

I hide so you can’t see me, so you won’t see me, not the real me, the hidden me.

Don’t get too close to me, the real me. The one you can’t fully see.

I hide behind my cotton mask so Covid can’t touch me and if Covid has snuck inside me,

I hide Covid and me safely from you

behind the masks I wear.

~written by Susan Walz


Just a few more thoughts…

After Covid is over and we are no longer required to wear a face covering, I’m beginning to think I have become too comfortable hiding behind my new layer of protection. This new layer of cotton protection has given me new sense of security I am becoming quite attached to and comfortable with.

After Covid is over, I will once again have to show my entire face out in public. This means I will need to wear make-up more often, make sure I do not have spinach in my teeth and that no stray black hairs have grown on my face. Oh boy. What will I do? Lol.


Photo Credit:  Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Copyright © 2020 by Susan Walz of My Loud Whispers of Hope



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