Mask Drop

Doing some thinking lately about who I am. Where I stand. What matters most to me. I’m turning 49 this week. The ‘9’s have always been my years for growing pains and self reflection. This one, the midpoint ‘9’ is even more so.

I’ve always been clear, internally, about exactly who I am and what matters.

Being an introvert and a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, I tend to keep much of myself to myself. I tend to avoid conflict as much as possible–it’s too stressful and exhausting.

Since I’m using so much of my energy just trying to get through the day, I don’t have energy left over to fight big fights. I don’t have energy left over to hear why someone hates what I’m feeling, thinking, or not saying.

As it turns out, I’m hearing and fighting those battles anyway, internally. And that takes just as much energy as hearing and fighting out loud. I’m exhausted AND I’m not standing up and saying who I am or how I feel. That’s much worse.

I’m also not leading by example, which is important to me. How will those who need my support and my compassion even know I’m here if I don’t tell them, if I don’t keep light on for them and for myself, too?

I’ve spent too many years trying to be the girl everyone else wanted me to be.

I didn’t start out this way. In high school I was known for being fully true to myself. I loved myself unconditionally. I refused to compromise my personal vision or conform to the herd mentality.

But before I could begin to truly explore the adult I was becoming, a boy swooped in. He started tearing me down by degrees in incremental bits. By the time I realized the destruction , I was so broken and pliable that anyone could waltz in and begin sculpting me into yet another form, another vision.

It has taken 30 years or more for me to fully realize how pliable I’ve been, how many masks I’ve worn to suit the people around me.

I’ve been a chameleon, changing to match whatever or whomever happened to be surrounding me in the moment. All because I somehow believed it was necessary for simple survival. I’ve fought too hard to reclaim my life, repair my broken parts to allow that to continue.

My dreams and my capacity to love have always been much bigger than simple survival.

Even recently I’ve caught myself hiding who I am in order to protect things that no longer need protecting. Friendships, other people’s feelings about me, my sewing business.

I’m a costumer with mad skills and a pretty good following. I’m an artist. I am a magical being. An eclectic pagan girl following a multifaceted spiritual path.

It really shouldn’t be a shocker for me to live as though there is no box whatsoever to try to cram myself into.

My husband has never asked me to hide anything about myself. He’s just there, loving me unconditionally. So, too, my lover, Zen–Yes, I am polyamorous. I am pansexual–no big surprise there either. Most people knew that one before I did.

My kids love and support me as I love and support them. I breastfed them and practiced attachment parenting. I don’t bully them into being good people–they simply are. They are probably my biggest fans as well as my loudest cheerleaders.

My friends? No one who is really my friend would ask me to be less than I am either. Why is it that I am the last person to become aware of these facts on a deeper level?

This is and is not a coming out thing. Those closest to me already know everything about me. Those who would judge me will fall away, if they haven’t already.

Those who need the light of my glowing, glittery, firework self will see it whether I speak out or not, I imagine. They always have. It was only myself who existed in darkness and denial.

So here I am –loving, sharing, shining. If you want to judge or criticize who I am, please do so privately. If you want to ask real questions and have thoughtful conversation around the answers, I’m an open book.

Let’s have tea together. I prefer unsweetened iced tea and dark, bittersweet chocolate. Blessed be.

2 thoughts on “Mask Drop

  1. Manderley, hope you know I love you whatever your choices. You have been an excellent friend and will continue to be so, I’m sure.
    Annie G-B

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