I have worked hard to become more authentic. I used to present a face to the world that I thought they wanted to see. My mum raised me to be a confident outgoing little girl. She didn’t care if that’s what I was comfortable with, it was what she wanted.
I grew up and became a teenager, in a dysfunctional home, and I then had to present a new face, that of the perfect home. There’s a uk show called Keeping up Appearances and my brother and I became convinced we were living in some weird version of the show.
Our home was anything but perfect but in front of family and friends we were expected to put on a happy face.
It became normal for me to pretend I was ok. From the outside I was a confident, strong woman who was intelligent and funny. People thought I had a good life.
This was my standard reply to any and all questions. I used to go to bed thinking that it would be written on my grave, She was fine. Even when I was anything but fine, this is all I said.
I wore my mask well. No one knew I was screaming inside. I’ve written before about the masks I’ve worn and how they came crashing down, bringing me with them. I’ll put a link at the end of this post to it.
The mummy mask
At 18 I gave birth to S1, a beautiful baby boy, he weighed 8lbs 11oz, arrived 18 days past his due date, and I was in labour a mere four and a half hours. From that moment on he was my primary concern.
I’m not sure you ever really take off the mummy mask, I have had a second baby since then and although they are now 25 and 20 they are still my babies and I would slay dragons for them.
No matter what I was going through I would still be there for them.
The wife mask
I met MrH and we got married. I tried to become the wife I thought he would want. I failed. I didn’t get up early and make his lunch for him. I didn’t cook our evening meal every day.
For a short time I tried to present an image for MrH mum of the kind of wife I thought she would approve of.
These were not things that MrH asked me to do. In fact he once sent me back to bed when I tried to get up and make his lunch.
Discarding the masks
After my dad died, I suffered a breakdown and I found I couldn’t keep the pretences up. I didn’t want to waste my life being something I wasn’t.
MrH didn’t question the change. In fact he has never acted in any way that suggests the thinks I have changed. I think he saw the real me from the start.
His love and unwavering support has made it possible for me to discover who I am. I tried different things in order to find out what made me happy.
No more masks
I don’t hide myself anymore. MrH gives me the strength to be me, and know that’s enough. I don’t have to put on makeup to face the day. I don’t have to say I’m fine when I’m not.
I have a job that I enjoy. I work with people who I get along with.
I have a husband I adore, a home I feel safe and secure in, and a dynamic that makes me the me I want to be.
These days if I wear a mask it is a blindfold and that’s always a fun time. We did buy the masks in the featured image to wear if the occasion called for it, or for pictures for our blogs, but so far they haven’t been used much.
I like to think that now what you see when you look at me is what and who I am.
To see more posts inspired by this weeks topic judging things at face value click the link below.