Taking off the Mask

As a widow and a single Mom to two teenagers, I try my best to keep a positive outlook and show only the fighter in me to the rest of the world. By that I mean the encouraging posts, positive quotes, the articles that inspire me and help me to look on the bright side, and my own writings that usually end with a statement about how I’m going to just keep pushing forward no matter what. I think there are several reasons I do that besides the fact that I genuinely want to be positive and use the things I’ve been through to help others.

  1. No one wants to hear a bunch of negative stuff. I know I don’t!
  2. There is such a thing as putting too much of your personal stuff out there for people to see. TMI people! ha
  3. I don’t want to show my struggles for fear of being judged or to be seen as weak. It’s easier to “wear” a mask and put off the appearance that you have everything under control.
  4. People wouldn’t understand anyway. Even if they wanted to, they couldn’t. Until you have been through something yourself you really can’t understand.
  5. This is the toughest one to say and I’m not sure why but here goes… It’s the feeling (true or not) that most people wouldn’t care anyway; at least the ones that you would expect to anyway.

You see, when you have walked this road (mostly) alone, you can’t help but to eventually feel those ways. Quite honestly though, pretending begins to wear on you. Now I am not just talking about pretending with everyone, I am also talking about pretending with myself. Most everything I say comes from a genuine place. I have tried to be strong and push forward. It’s just that while I am doing that, there’s still a reality that is very ugly. There aren’t adequate descriptive words so I will just say that it is heartbreaking, exhausting and painful.

I’m happy to say that for the majority of the last 5 years I have been able to keep myself from allowing anger and bitterness to settle in as well as being angry with God. Yes, there have naturally been some feelings associated with those things but for the most part, they have been temporary; fleeting.

That is definitely not the case in the present. I wish it was different but it’s not. It’s like I can no longer wear the mask or pretend that I don’t have reason to feel those things mentioned above.

As I lay in bed this morning and think about all of the things I am currently dealing with, my mind is racing and going in a million different directions. I think back to what Sundays used to look like and how unfair it is that all of that is but a distant memory now. My heart hurts as I think of how the rest of the world just carries on while we are still drowning in so much hurt, pain and all the struggles that you have to walk through as a result of such a loss. The three of us have to try to live our lives and be a family when we don’t know how to do that without the one who should be leading it.

Here is the conclusion I came to:

You can’t truly work through the hurt and pain until you take off the mask and look it in the face; until you allow yourself to truly feel it. Otherwise, you can’t fully deal with it, put it down and walk forward in life without carrying it with you.

So, I have named the week ahead, “Truth Week.”  I am going to take the necessary time to get real with myself and work through the hurt that I have been pretending isn’t there.  Unless I do that, I don’t think I can move forward the way I need to.  


2 thoughts on “Taking off the Mask

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