I live my life behind a mask. My mask is happy. My mask is confident. I’m good at wearing this. Despite how I feel inside, I don’t reveal my honest feelings and fears.
I don’t really let people see the “true me”. Hell, sometimes I don’t even know what the “true me” is. I’ve hidden behind a mask for so long that maybe that is the “true me”.
There’s an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where a character has a bunch of laws to live by. Her law number one was “You always have to rely on yourself”. I totally agree with that. But my law zero is “Trust no one”. If you can’t trust, it’s hard to show your “true self”. It’s hard to take off that mask.
I’m slowly learning to trust Dr. D and Dr. W. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. Last week, I tried to cancel my appointment with Dr. D and quit therapy all together. I made a deal to come that one time. Ordinarily, I would have hidden how bad things were and just tiptoed around the issues. But I didn’t. I sat there and talked through the flashbacks. Making myself that vulnerable was extremely scary. And although nothing bad happened, I still want to put that mask on.
Maybe this is a turning point for me. Maybe it’s okay to drop the mask and let safe people see what’s underneath.
It feels like I could never go a week without getting punished for something. Those rare times when I brought a bad grade home (spelling assignments, I’m looking at you), it seemed the punishment was more severe. And I wonder where my extreme perfectionism comes from…
Bringing home a bad grade was my worst nightmare. It was usually followed by the wooden spoon, no dinner and no books. The dinner and the books, although crappy, weren’t probably abusive. I can’t say the same about the wooden spoon.
The hitting was almost always done with my shirt on. She couldn’t risk leaving any marks. Sometimes it was the spoon base. But more often than not, it was the handle end. In some ways, I preferred the spoon end. It didn’t sting as bad. And, in my (probably) distorted view, she seemed to tired out more quickly.
It came to the point, I no longer cried. I laid there, dejected. Resigned to my fate. There was no fighting back. If anything, tears made it all worse.
Thankfully (I guess) I did well in school except for spelling. I still can’t spell to save my life. I’m thankful for the invention of spell check, even if I do still stump it. So school related wooden spoon contact was rare. Not that there weren’t numerous other things I was punished for.