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  • Charli

Mask

We all wear some sort of mask – well most of us do. We adapt and change to suit our audience, whether that is comprised of colleagues, friends, family, shop keepers or acquaintances. We have learned to show only a certain side of ourselves.

So why is it that when people tell me that I will LOVE someone they know I always hesitate   and often get a sinking feeling. It’s because I have only shown one aspect of my personality and even then what I have emitted can be absorbed in very different ways by different people. If I’m not giving fully of myself how can you know who I will or won’t get on with?  I only show you one aspect of my personality and that might not even be intentional, it’s your interpretation of what you see or want to see.

Some people, of course, are unable to put on a mask, because they have such an under-developed sense of self because of additional support needs. One of the boys I work with was aghast yesterday when we went out for a walk. His usual teacher was off sick and so was the support worker so it was just him and me. He knows me well enough but was quite perturbed when I put a hat on because it was raining outside. He doesn’t speak as such, but can say a few words. He reached over and tried pulling the hat off my head, shaking his head as he did so and scowling. I explained that it was raining and put his hood up. That helped a little but he wasn’t convinced. It is unlikely that he will ever be able to put on any kind of mask, and in many ways it is rather lovely that his naive and innocent approach to life will always remain simplistic.

With social media these days we are less inclined to wear a mask and instead open ourselves up to friends and ‘friends’. I’m not sure why but there is obviously an inherent need or desire for this. Here am I blogging away, revealing a little bit more of me and my life as each day passes. I am finding this very therapeutic. Thank you.

I have looked at the various ways of developing this page to become a web page with images and clever links to other clever things but I rather like the simplicity of the word without the image.

My premise is to write at least 250words day and then a poem. I know that some days will be better than others and the same goes for the poems but I’ve reached a stage in life that this approach suits me: I can wear a bit of a mask but reveal enough as I go a long.

Many years ago at a family event it was remarked by my then husband that I had so much make up on that I looked like a  clown. I was hurt and embarrassed but recognised exactly why I had adorned myself in that way. We were struggling in our relationship and it was my way of ‘putting on a  brave face’.

Ironically I can’t stand clowns – too much make up hiding who knows what. I had a bad experience with a  family friend when I was little more than 8yrs old. He was having a breakdown, poor thing, had assumed the role of magician at a Sunday lunch we were hosting, with the result that I was locked in a room alone for at least 2 hours in order for the magic to work. I was told I had to wait under the dining room table. He was so ill he forgot about me until Dad found me much later, and to make it worse I had to go in the car with Dad while he was taken to hospital. It was such a long time ago but I can remember it so clearly and I still hate being kept in the dark when plans are being made or if someone tries to make a fool of me.

Mask – a poem

What are you concealing behind your painted smile?

That outfit you have chosen will humour or beguile.

Don’t try to reach towards me, I will swiftly turn away,

for you have no way of knowing just who I am today.

Don’t pigeon hole me or categorise it isn’t fair to do

to make assumptions based on how I reflect in you.

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