I hope you won’t be fooled by me, for I wear a mask.
I wear 1,000 masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off, and one of them is me.
I am likely to give you the impression that I’m secure, that confidence is my name and coolness is my game, that the water’s calm, and I’m in command, and that I need no one. But I hope you won’t believe me.
My surface may seem smooth; beneath I dwell in confusion, fear, aloneness.
But I hide this, I panic at the thought of my weakness, and I fear of being exposed.
That’s why I frantically create a mood to hide behind, a nonchalant sophisticated facade to shield me from your understanding.
But such understanding is what I desperately need…
And I know it.
If I don’t keep the mask in front of myself I’m afraid you’ll think less of me, that you’ll laugh, and your laugh would hurt me deeply.
So I play the game, with a facade of assurance without, and a trembling feeling within, and so my life bears a front; I idly chatter to you in suave surface tones.
I tell you everything that’s nothing, and nothing of what’s everything of what’s crying out within me.
So when I go into my routine, I hope you won’t be fooled by what I am saying I hope you listen carefully to hear what I am not saying.
I want you to know how important you are to me, how you can help me be the person I was created to be if you choose.
But it will not be easy for you. A long conviction of worthlessness leads me to maintain distance.
The nearer you approach me, the blinder I may strike back.
It is self-defeating but at the same time it seems the safest thing to do. I fight against the very things I cry out for.
But I am told that empathy is stronger than walls and therein lies my hope.
I desperately want you to understand me in spite of my distancing tactics.
I dislike the superficial phony game I’m playing. I’d really like to be open, genuine, spontaneous.
I want your help in doing this. I want you to risk approaching me even when that’s the last thing I seem to want or need.
I want this from you so I can feel safe to be me.
Each time you are kind and gentle and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my courage to risk sharing myself with you increases.
.We remember that Hurt People Hurt People and Themselves.