Gadzook:

Nice writing. It continues to amaze me how the same we all truly are. What you say makes perfect sense, and I can't help but admit feeling the same way. Perhaps one of the hardest things about taking away the mask and showing our "true" selves is that after the abuse and our reactions, it's hard to know what that is again. Yes, we know we're hurting, but we also know that we are not fully the abuse. Yet, the abuse has affected so much of our lives that it's tough to really see anything but the abuse.

You know what I have come to believe...the key is "faith." Sometimes we don't have all the answers and don't know how we can get from one point to another...how we can open up the whole world again. Instead of despairing about it (not that you were saying that or anything), I try to move on. I pray and hope and recognize my dilemma, but I try not to take me down even further.

Anyway, it's late and I'm probably just babbling, but I just really wanted to say that I agree with what you have said. I would only add that even in our masks, we should not despair. I know I still wear this mask, and I pray that eventually that too will truly fall..."patience is a virtue" a friend of mine once said. Indeed with that faith and patience, I have been consistently surprised at how opportunities slowly fall into my lap. Do not misunderstand...this is not a suggestion to just sit and wait, but rather just to say that when one MUST sit and wait, then one should be patient and continue to hope. It's not easy to remove that mask as you know. It's become almost a part of ourselves, and one need not despair over it. Instead, one should try bit by bit to peel it away and not be despaired by how much more there is left to peel.

Patience is indeed a virtue...Our masks will indeed fall...this I believe for all of us. In fact for me, this site has been a first step, and going with your imagery, I think my eyes are showing. I know this because now I can truly see what's important in life once more \:\) Thanks for your writing.