Behind the mask


Sometimes I sit in my house and watch the world outside my windows roll by, tossed leaves on an autumn bluster, tumbling and rattling by unnoticed. I sit and wonder why I’m so different than everyone else out there.

When I look around inside my house I see friendly faces and smiles, loving arms and encouragement. I want to be part of that and reciprocate, but always seem to come up short. I want to be the support upon which all others rely and I know now I’ve never been that; I’ve never found the way to abandon self for the sake of the other.

I’ve stared out the windows of my mind for a long time, but they’re cloudy and dark now, in desperate need of cleaning. The glass is warped and foggy with damage, but that’s another story. The world beyond those windows seems so different than it did when I stood taller, wore a smaller belt, carried myself with assurance. Now I’m stooped and bent and I find myself trying to assert in stupid, useless ways which only hurt the ones inside the safety barrier, the ones who deserve most to be fought for, not against. I look at myself with disdain and realize I’ve never held anything else for myself. When I speak about the things I’m good at it feels forced, arrogant, conceited and false. And it is, because I don’t feel I’m good at much of anything most times. When I do feel good about myself in some aspect, it comes out in inappropriate ways and sideways and bass-ackwards and all wrong. Wrong. Then it’s gone and I feel lousy at it again.

It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, where I’m going or where I’ve been. It’s always the same cycle of arrogance and self-loathing, and it always leads me back to a depression and doubt in my abilities. The ability to do things well, do things right, and be what I have to be when I have to be them.

The mask I show the world is the confident and self-assured person, the person who is strong enough to find solutions, get things done, and isn’t afraid of everything and everyone. But that’s a mask. It’s not the real person. Sometimes I hope that, like a good actor, I can forget who I really am and become what I put on. That hasn’t happened yet though. I have forgotten many things, to be sure, but none of them were the times I want to forget.

But no one sees me reminiscing behind the mask.

-JDT-

Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved

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4 thoughts on “Behind the mask

  1. Depression and loss of one’s self is a dark hole that is deep and difficult to climb out of without some help and often asking for the help is almost as difficult as the problems. I know, I’ve been there and I fight that battle quite often. Let someone help you.

    Thanks, Delaney, but don’t worry. I’m not depressed, it’s just a bit of insight.

  2. “I’ve never found the way to abandon self for the sake of the other.”

    This is interesting to me.

    We all wear masks. Some just wear less masks than others, and sadly, some don’t realize the difference.

    It’s one thing to view the world around you, but another to view yourself, exactly as you feel you are.

    It’s a sad statement that I can be a husband and father, and not be focused on my family MORE than on MYSELF. 😦

  3. It’s normal to go through a Dark Night of the Soul every once in a while, especially after you’ve gone through a lot of major stresses. You’ve made some pretty big changes lately. Even good changes are stressful. Hang tight – you’ll get to the other side of this.

    Thank you sweetie.

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