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Friday, 2 November 2012

Am I a Superhero?

Everybody wears a mask. It's the face we put on for whatever the situation might require; there's the 'I'm-talking-to-someone-more-important-than-me-therefore-must-be-polite' mask, which we use for our boss or teacher or parents when we're in trouble, for example. Everybody needs a mask to get by in society, or we would be outcasts. Having your moody mask on whilst out on a dinner date or your fun and excitable mask on at a funeral are two such examples that are not acceptable, even if those are our feelings at the time. We need to be accepted, be liked, hide our emotions and we sometimes need to lie and deceive people. Without our masks we would be bare and naked, with our emotions laid out for the world to see, and most people are not prepared for this vulnerability.I am an extreme example of this. If you met me, you would never guess that I suffer from depression. I am upbeat and chatty and generally very likeable (so I'm told).
I have created a mask so flawless that even I sometimes can't tell I'm wearing it. It has been a way for me to hide from all the emotions I have boxed up for so long and a way to hide the fact that I've got those kinds of emotions from other people.
I'm a well known gossip-er and know-er of everyone elses business. I even gossip about my own business. However, the true me, the one with all the feelings and mushy rubbish, is hidden away and not many people have seen this i.e. me when I'm not wearing a mask.
So far it's been a very effective way for me to hide from the fact that I'm not fine and that there are problems that I need to resolve. But even though I've accepted this now, I still can't seem to get rid of my mask.
It's not necessarily a negative thing, because it allows me to function normally and socialise and such; but at the same time I feel as though it's causing me to bottle up everything that bothers me, increasing the pressure on my already exhausted emotinal side. 
I like to think that this makes me like a superhero. Superheroes never complain and are always prepared to drop all their plans to come to the rescue. They deal with every situation presented to them and always come out on top. Nobody knows their true indentity, except a select few. Their personal lives are completely disrupted by all the saving they have to do of course, but at any time could they choose to stop and lead a normal life? No. You can't run from destiny.
So why do they hide who they are? Why not just say 'Hey everyone, I am Superman. Deal with it'? Well the baddies would find out of course! And then everyone associated with them would be in danger.
Superheroes have no choice but to put on that mask, save the day, and pick up the pieces of their real lives later.
That's what it feels like to me.
I have to hide who I am to protect the people around me. I don't want them to see me when I'm not alright so they don't have to deal with it. I don't want to be a burden on other peoples lives.
But it takes a lot of strength to keep the mask up when emotions are furiously bubbling up under it, the same way that it takes a lot of strength for Superman to lift up a bus to save the child trapped under it. It's getting to that point where I can't keep it up anymore, and sometimes the emotions leak through, and the mask has become cracked and worn. People can tell that there's something not quite right about the way I am.
It's like that bit in a Superhero movie where they've fallen in love and all the mysterious disappearances at the same time as Superman showing up somewhere start to give the game away.
In the end, the girl always finds out the true identity of who they thought was a normal guy, and she always wants to be with him anyway, despite all the danger.
Is it the same for me? If I remove my mask completely will people still like me and still want me around?
If not, well quite frankly you can feck off. You either take me as the full package or don't take me at all.
I am Superwoman. Deal with it.

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