Living Life Behind A Mask

Upon reflection of my childhood

I recall masks built for my survival

Lovingly crafted to camouflage

Among those who cherish more than anything

To debase, devalue, control

I had to protect my authentic self

From the childish changes imposed upon me

So that I could better fit your world

You could never change me though

But I allowed you to believe it

The qualities that made me unique were buried deep inside

At least they were safe there from you

To keep me from being exposed as being different

My fears ran rampant of a man with a weak ego and shallow heart

A man so weak he felt threatened by a child

A child that wouldn’t follow in his footsteps

Disregarding his claims for ownership

I’m thankful for your contribution to my existence

What a magnanimous gift your sex had been towards creating me

A gift that I had never asked for, yet was left with an insurmountable debt

A debt that could never be repaid in the eyes of someone with your character

I detest you a little more behind every layer of my being

Like a hate-filled onion, peel me back and start to cry

I’ll become viler the closer you reach to my core

You were able to teach me many things

Half were lessons that I had adopted

Half were lessons in living exactly contrary

To the ways in which you lived

That left me with feelings of disgust and embarrassment

Yet it’s amusing that your arrogance

Would take the credit for all of my success

Yet if I struggled or faltered

It was the result of something or someone else

And I no longer mattered

How did you feel when I finally revealed myself to you?

No longer the easy child as you once said

Who shuts his mouth and nods to your foolishness

I was the one spitting venom and you deserved it all

This venom had been building inside for years

Until you had presented my opportunity to bite

I had never wanted to be like you

But you had always deserved a taste of your own medicine

Few ever returned the cruelty that you bestowed upon them

These past few years had been a struggle

Since I’d decided to leave you behind

Not because of it, but in spite of it

The wounds needed time to scab over and heal

Growing pains occur in trying to lead a life authentically

Disregarding a false self in search of something real

I couldn’t sacrifice the second half of my life

Living camouflaged to be accepted

By men so weak and insecure

The chains upon me needed breaking

For they were limiting

Not to protect me

But to protect you from feeling inadequate

I couldn’t stand suffocating behind that rubber mask

The same mask that’s worn by so many others

A mask created from the fibers of pretense and disillusionment

To survive in a spiteful and unsympathetic world

I had peeled the mask from off myself

And stood there naked to the world

There was nothing left to hide

I had expected the torrents of abuse to find me

To pick apart my flaws from all directions

Yet no abuse had found me

And no worse judgment had found me

Then the judgment that had always been present

It’s funny how the toxins stopped running through my veins

When I had finally cut the head from off the viper biting me

The world was never as vindictive as I had believed

It was always only you

You and those others like you that I had accepted as part of life

I was conditioned to be okay with that

The challenge of being genuine comes not from the need to create an identity

But to destroy all the remnants of dishonesty

To lay naked and vulnerable

Born pure as you once were

Resisting the urges to hide

To own both the good and bad in yourself

With acceptance, without judgment, with self-love

Empowering yourself to never be broken

By the petty hearts and petty words of any other

Only when the love we have for ourselves is stronger

Then the love we look for in others can we be truly free

To be the amazing and unique individuals that we were always meant to be

And to love others with the same compassion





15 thoughts on “Living Life Behind A Mask

  1. Powerful words! I like the candid confessions.
    People do wish to raise their children in their own moulds, their own image is more important to them and arrogance…oh! I have written 3 posts about it and could write many more! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I felt my heart twist and turn as I read your words. This has made my throat swell and I am holding back so much emotion. Thank you for sharing something so personal. I have much to reflect on after reading this. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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