Since October's theme is masks, it got me thinking about Halloween costumes obviously, even though this year masks are banned. Way to ruin it for the rest of us, meanie psychopaths.
Then I thought deeper, about the masks we wear ever day, the ones that hide our true selves, or our true feelings.
Specifically there are a few masks I feel that I've been wearing lately...
The Happy Wife - Hubbs and I have been married for a little over 2 years now, for I'd say... 85% of that time I've been the breadwinner. That's ok for now. Hubbs understands that he needs to step that up in the next few years, because I want to be a stay-at-home mom. At least until they go to school... Lately, especially when I was working my ass off, going to school at the ass-crack of dawn and heading straight from one part-time job to the next and came home to a filthy apartment with dishes and garbage strewn everywhere and a Husband sitting at the computer playing WoW... I got mad. The anger boiled inside me and there it stayed, fuming and threatening to explode. There I sat though, not saying a word because I know that Hubbs is sensitive about the fact that he doesn't provide for us. Feels like less of a man because he can't support his family. My anger would only send him into meltdown mode, which wouldn't help either of us. Some days I wonder what would have happened if I'd married one of the more well off men of my recent past instead; would have made me happier? For now, I wear my happy wife mask and suck it up because I really do love that man that I've tied myself to forever and nitpicking about dishes is not going to make forever pleasant for either of us.
Honesty - I lie, I sneak around and hide important things from family and those who love me. A few days last week, when my back hurt so badly I could barely move... I didn't go to my warehouse job. I went to an all day movie marathon, sneaking from one theater to the next with my giant tub of popcorn because I needed to escape the world. Sometimes I sneak off and have lunch by myself when I say I'm going to the library because I want to pig out and not be judged. I sneak food all the time. With the exception of two sisters-in-law and their husbands, no one else in our family knows about our infertility. I don't need a dozen more opinions or suggestions or cliches thrown at me. This is one lie I feel good about. The other thing I hide, mostly because I just don't know how to come out and say it... was that I was molested as a child. (If you're curious, feel free to read about it HERE.) That, I shared for the first time with you lovely readers. After finally admitting it to myself after years of struggling with the horrible memories, I needed to tell someone. Suffering it alone had become almost too much to bear. Still... I wear that mask, the mask of honesty, the one that never lets anyone get a hint of suspicion that just maybe, they're not getting the whole truth.
The Pillar of Strength - This one I wore through a majority of my youth. I saw crying as a weakness. I thought people who cried were pathetic and just needed to control themselves. I have no clue where I got this idea. As an adult, I still sometimes have this mindset. Very rarely, do I ever cry about something real in my life. Books and movies don't count, because I mean, I do have a soul. Geez! I want to say that in my adult life, I can count the number of times I've broken down and cried on both hands. This refusal to give into pesky emotions hides my feelings well... but I do feel them. This also helps everyone to believe that everything is just fine and dandy. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.
The last mask that comes to mind at the moment, after a long day of work and blowing off a school field trip I was actually looking forward to... but come 7am, the bed won me over is the mask of confidence. I think we as women struggle with this one a lot. I have known very few genuinely confident women in my day; one of them is my best friend, she awes me with her love for her.
Confidence - I hate my body. I know deep down, I am not supposed to be fat. My heart yearns to be a size 12 again. Every time Hubbs and I have done it, the lights have been off. I've literally gotten to the point where I hate looking at myself. I should really shun pictures and mirrors all together, I think that would help me feel better about myself. I live in constant fear of someone mistaking me for a pregnant woman. It
is literally my worst nightmare. Whilst I do have a bit of pudge all
around, the majority of it is belly-centric. Thanks for that PCOS! I know I have a pretty face, but right now it's kind of hard to tell with my extra chin and cheeks. Oh yes, you thought only double chins were a thing? I'm rocking double cheeks as well. Picture it! Somehow though, I manage to put on this facade of "I know I look good." I know that my fat is temporary, even though it's been my companion for the last 20 years. That's one of the major reasons I'm so hoping we get into this weight loss study, I digress. I try to find the smallest little thing that I actually like about myself... my fall-back is my eyes.. I pretend that's all people see when they see me. It helps me trudge along until the day when the me I know is in there somewhere escapes from this prison of fat. Sure there's the tiny chance that I'll still hate myself when I'm a more healthy weight, but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it. lol.
I hope where wasn't too much negativity in this post. I hope that it came across that I do indeed have this little shred of hope for the day when I no longer need these masks. For the most part, I don't care what other people think. (read other people as 'strangers') It's easy to be brazen and bold when you'll never see those people again... but when it's those you love... when it's those you know and will see for the rest of your life, it's very hard to let them see the darkest parts of yourself, whether it's because you fear judgement or rejection or any number of negative reactions... I have to believe though that the people who really truly love you won't care about your demons; they'll love you more for your faults and for being true to yourself. They'll appreciate you trusting them enough to confide in them and it will strengthen your bond even more. I wish I were brave enough to step out and take that leap today, alas I am not, but I do have that hope that someday soon, I will find the courage, and for now, that's enough.