good insight, D!
i have always been aware of my masks - and was very conscious of keeping them firmly in place. i valued them because they kept me - if not safe - then, at least feeling a little less vulnerable. i guess i was taught to create and wear at least one - the "good boy" by the parents - so that no one would look too close or question or discover too much about our family. but i soon began creating others for different situations - and was quite adept at switching them almost seamlessly.
i discover as i go on, i have a desire to be know for who i am behind the masks. that version of myself is probly most clearly seen right here on MS. but even here there is a degree of self-protection. i think as i become more whole, the mask i wear comes to resemble the real me behind it more and more.
"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"