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#408270 - 08/28/12 11:07 PM mask - unmasked
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3745
Loc: somewhere in Africa
I wear a mask,
a stony easter-island face,
rigid, rough, unyielding,
opaque and brittle,
giving no hint of
thoughts, feelings or reactions.

It has been carefully sculpted
to conceal, to hide, to divert
the curious, prying eyes
of those who would try
to dig beneath the surface,
to penetrate my shell,
to find out what and who
is really inside.

There are several of us:
One is the toddler,
abandoned, lost, alone,
who left his father
in a cemetery
and still cries for Daddy.

Then the little boy,
kindergarten age,
confused and troubled by the differences
between the step-father’s body and his own,
craving a father’s touch –
but not that way.

After that, the adolescent,
bullied and beat up,
taunted and titillated,
mocked and molested,
wondering why he is
the scape-goat of the school.

Next in line – the teenager,
a fragile, tender knot of emotions,
a contradiction even to himself,
smouldering and whimpering,
trembling at the touch of
kindness turned cruel.

Later – the newlywed groom,
a storm of attraction and repulsion,
paralyzed in the conflict,
torn by self-doubt and unmet expectations,
unable to understand himself,
petrified by his past.

Last… the bewildered man,
wandering the dark labyrinth,
confused by the tear-ravaged faces,
deafened by the silent wails
of pain and loneliness,
trying to join hands with enigmas
who evade him and huddle together,
lashing out in anger,
at the one who seeks to
embrace and mend.

And all the while –
the mask never slips or cracks or changes;
no one knows the difference.
The mask has become me.

- lee
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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#408621 - 09/01/12 07:13 AM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3683
Loc: South-East Europe
This is so great poem Lee...
You succeed in showing us your mask, I think that I've seen at least one crack there, are you sure that mask never slips smile ?

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#408692 - 09/02/12 05:18 AM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3745
Loc: somewhere in Africa
pero - you see the real me here. i am so glad to have a place to be totally known and unafraid. but in "real life" i don't dare let anyone see beneath it except my T and partial glimpses to my wife.
lee
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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#408975 - 09/04/12 10:41 PM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/26/14 08:23 PM)
Edit Reason: SILENCED

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#475635 - 01/20/15 05:32 PM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 5196
Loc: O Kanada
great poem.

the parade.
the masquerade.
the charade.
the part i played.

"Whoever looks into the mirror of the water will see first of all his own face. Whoever goes to himself risks a confrontation with himself. The mirror does not flatter, it faithfully shows whatever looks into it; namely, the face we never show to the world because we cover it with the persona, the mask of the actor. But the mirror lies behind the mask and shows the true face."
- Carl Jung
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#475637 - 01/20/15 05:53 PM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
Shyshark Offline


Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 578
Loc: Canada
Courage lies beneath the mask ...
and though it seems
an impossible task ...
and maybe just too much to ask ...
it may be time
to take a different tack
and get the monkey
off your back
and let some see ...
a little more
of who is me
through just a crack
and let them know
though it doesn't show ...
Courage lies beneath the mask.

Fantastic poem my friend.
_________________________
Experience is a brutal teacher.

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#475655 - 01/20/15 11:56 PM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
nltsaved Offline


Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 893
Loc: Kc,Mo
Bravo sir awesome poem conveys much
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-uYCAfpxrY
TRIGGER WARNING
Video of me telling my story
you are not alone never were
WRITTEN FORM
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=339159#Post339159
Why i hate Religion but love Jesus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

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#475937 - 01/25/15 01:55 AM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
bluesky Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/04/13
Posts: 314
So many masks we all have used,
seldom do we remove
it covers the pain, shame and scars that we hide,
but strangely when I ask others if they see
what I think is me.
I get a reply
beauty,strength,caring,loving,kind,giving,smart.
It has taken me much time and reflection to start to believe what is true about me.
I still wear my mask to cover the pain,shame and scars
but it is thinning, becoming brittle little by little.

Thanks Traveler for you inspiration and wisdom.
Bluesky
_________________________
Bluesky

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain."
Frank Herbert

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#476117 - 01/28/15 05:41 AM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3745
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Thanks for the encouragement, guys.

Since i wrote that poem, i have changed the way i see my self. it used to be as several distinct individuals - me at each individual age, with only tenuous connections between them and to my present - but quite compartmentalized. now i feel more "whole" - as if each previous version of me was more of a "capture" from a continuously morphing image along a timeline. my present self is definitely more connected to the earlier identities.

the other big change is that i no longer feel the need to wear the masks as often. i have totally revealed the CSA to my T, to my wife quite completely, to each of my 3 adult "kids" in at least outline/summary form, in varying degrees to my small group at a WoR, to a support group in a faith-based 12-step program, to a few select friends, and to the counselor at the school where i now teach.

i used to have a "nightmare" that involved masks. i can't remember if i saw something like it in a movie or it it all came from my own imagination/subconscious. in it, i was wearing a mask - quite an unpleasant looking one - not monstrous or horrific but somewhat contorted and with an ominous, forbidding expression. i had been wearing it for some time and finally decided to take it off. i stood before a mirror, removed the mask, and was horrified to discover that my own features had grown to conform exactly to the contours and appearance of the mask. ughhhh!

i no longer fear that loss of identity or feel the compulsion to hide as much. once in a while it kicks in when i am especially insecure, but it is a good feeling to be free of the mask most of the time.

wishing you all well,
Lee
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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#476179 - 01/29/15 12:00 AM Re: mask - unmasked [Re: traveler]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 5196
Loc: O Kanada
i found this for you, traveler, as well as for all of you other brothers.



`Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you --
Ye are many -- they are few.

`What is Freedom? -- ye can tell
That which slavery is, too well --
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.

`'Tis to work and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day
In your limbs, as in a cell
For the tyrants' use to dwell,

`So that ye for them are made
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
With or without your own will bent
To their defence and nourishment.

`'Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak,--
They are dying whilst I speak.

`'Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye;

`'Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
Take from Toil a thousandfold
More than e'er its substance could
In the tyrannies of old.

`Paper coin -- that forgery
Of the title-deeds, which ye
Hold to something of the worth
Of the inheritance of Earth.

`'Tis to be a slave in soul
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.

`And at length when ye complain
With a murmur weak and vain
'Tis to see the Tyrant's crew
Ride over your wives and you--
Blood is on the grass like dew.

`Then it is to feel revenge
Fiercely thirsting to exchange
Blood for blood -- and wrong for wrong --
Do not thus when ye are strong.

`Birds find rest, in narrow nest
When weary of their wingèd quest;
Beasts find fare, in woody lair
When storm and snow are in the air,

`This is Slavery -- savage men,
Or wild beasts within a den
Would endure not as ye do--
But such ills they never knew.

`What art thou Freedom? O! could slaves
Answer from their living graves
This demand -- tyrants would flee
Like a dream's dim imagery.'


from The Masque of Anarchy
by Percy Shelley
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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