Monday, April 04, 2011

Conversation, compliance or mask?

"Who is she?" she asked.
"Who?" he replied.
"Stop kidding; you know what I mean. Who is she?"

These opening words of a radio play that I heard today made me think ..... made me think that this conversation (soon to be an argument) must have been repeated in so many homes, and made me think too that at home we sometimes pretend to be the people we are not!

A mask can be a wonderful gift, enabling me, or you, or us, to be both the person we are and the person we are not. What we think and feel and believe may be there, just under the surface, the real me, warts and all. The mask is there for all to see, a shell or peel which can be so attractive, warm, inclusive or loving, a comfortable skin, acceptable to family and to friends, and believed by all except our intimates to be REAL!!

Meanwhile, underneath the mask, a personality inhibited by events is just wasted or wasting, festering, infected with the germs of hurt, anger or isolation. Just as flesh softens, hardens and heats up, hiding the puss just under the skin until the boil bursts in a thick, grey, putrid flow, so our hurts fester behind the mask until it is torn away in a realisation for one partner that truth is health, and for the other a realisation that the truth is (or is not) welcome; living with a mask is tolerable. Living with truth is heaven or hell!

Schizophrenia, that frightening term for those with split personality is often misused by amateurs like me. So few of us suffer from this maladie, but we seek comfort in the divisions we hide. Having two sides may provide comfort and security, and with practice may even become almost perfect. How many partnerships follow this model? At work or at home, so many crave an audience, needing appreciation, gaining satisfaction to sustain a mask. So many others see themselves as misunderstood. For others, the mask slowly becomes reality and one side of the split personality disengages as the other comes to dominate.

What does all this mean? Which is our true self? If the cap fits, wear it! If not, be grateful for peace of mind and heart!

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