~ Masking ~
Hard to play the parts
Adapting and adjusting
Twisting into forms.
It is a way of surviving that is easy to loose yourself in at times as you try to protect yourself. Masking, adapting, and adjusting to numerous social situations in order to navigate the world and its many occurrences. Many who are neurodiverse are used to this and have this extra weight to carry daily in life. I often find for myself I’m smiling politely a little to often when I’m raging or nervous or uncomfortable inside. Because of a situation, discussion etc. Where I internally fall into a loop of all possible outcomes and solutions and analyzing of the situations and what is the next action, or emotion to convey. Some of us become insanely good at this and loose so much of ourselves in the process as we adapt and function in ways more can relate to. Idk I won’t delve to much into this as its such a different lived experience for everyone.
I think at my old job some of my colleagues could see me mask faltering, after a big event or where I led visitors through the exhibitions, or classes through art projects, or had to just be upfront present and pleasant pushing aside your depression or anxieties to fit a character you played, positive and cheery always on on on. The guest would always leave glowing reviews or mention I was so helpful and knowledgeable. This would only help for a short time as I was so disconnected to begin with. Usually in these situations I would immediately retreat to a small room once I was finished, where I could turn the lights off hyperventilate and have a moment to myself a moment of darkness and calm to recuperate and recalibrate and continue my work. At times I felt like the mask molded with my flesh, I was not able to remove it I was not able to calm or relax. Once home I would crash but often times while my partner drove us home I’d pass out in the middle of a conversations sleeping the rest of the way because I was drained. I had nothing less to give. I share this as there are many who share and have brought this to the forefront, and it feels good to say I don’t and cant mask all the time I refuse to, people who like or enjoy me have to know and enjoy all of what makes me, who I am.
We all have a mask of some sort, some are heavier than others some are transparent, light and airy. While some are solid and all consuming. If we are lucky we find those we can surround ourselves with so that we can let the mask fall and shatter exposed, free and seen.