This is the third part in a three-part series.
I didn’t know it at the time, but remnants of the mask clung to my face and my life. My marriage was not what it seemed and no one believed me when I shared my pain. I threw myself into what I could impact in a positive way and hoped things would turn out alright. When it all became too much I sold the café and walked away without regret. I was proud of what I had accomplished and knew I was a richer person, though not financially, for having done it. It was then that I knew my marriage was over. When the person who I trusted and loved most of all and considered my partner in life admitted to me that there was nothing in our marriage to fix I withdrew.
I turned to my writing and my fat community and longed for something more from life. I sat each night, writing and struggling with the agony of seeing the lie that I had been living. The mask, so alluring and deceiving, yet comfortable in its way. I thought I had left the mask behind but it is never so simple. When those closest to you close themselves off to you, when you are shut out without truly knowing what or why, you begin to wear a mask without consent.
I grew suspicious of the world and of modern society. The intent of every person in my life was in question. How could I trust anyone? Is everyone wearing the damned mask? How do I get rid of it once and for all? My heart was on the line and I was a wreck. Once again faced with doing something or accepting the false reality I was living, I ripped the band aid off and moved out on my own. It was a chance at a new life, a real one, one of my choosing. I left my marriage in the physical sense, but emotionally I clung to it like the last remnants of summer before school begins.
I had to learn to trust myself again. I had to find a deeper trust in me than I’d know before. I struggled and resisted my own company and solitude until I couldn’t anymore. I discovered the beauty in my own vulnerability and the incredible power that being confident and loving your body provides. I met new people and tried new things. I got hurt by those I loved and thought loved me equally. I was mislead and disappointed. I trusted too soon, too fast. I wanted too much. I wanted authenticity from everyone…unreasonable at best.
Today I find myself looking back and reflecting once again and it is now that I see the mask is finally gone from me. I can’t say that it is for good, but I know that this is the realest and truest me than any incarnation before it. I know what I want and need in my life and I am working hard to attain it. The lies have been brought out into the light and my emotions wrung dry with more tears than I knew I had the capacity. I now see that I can only truly trust me.
My instincts are right and my heart, while young and strong in its own ways, tells no lies. I now meet people with an open mind and can see behind their masks, if only briefly. I keep my distance the best I can, but I want them to know that there is a better way to live. Happy is something you choose. Happy is something inside of you right now. The mask will never lead you there and its delusions will only keep you off track. When you are ready to strip away everything that is holding you back and weighing you down you can finally see the life you want and will do anything to get it.
People will only believe what they are comfortable with; there is nothing you can do to change that until they are ready to see it for themselves. I hope this will change soon, but right now I do not feel that I can trust anyone. I have seen things in people recently that have proven this to be true. You can never truly know a person if they don’t first know themselves. This is a harsh thing for me to accept. I always want to believe that if I care and love enough that it will somehow help and inspire and heal others. It just isn’t real, though.
Trust. It’s a rickety bridge we all choose to cross. We can place our feet on each new plank with the solid belief that it was well built and thus sturdy, but in the end it’s only ever going to be as steady and as stable as we fool ourselves into believing. Once we see the truth behind the mask, we see that it’s held together with nothing but lies, glue stick and glitter. Attractive, of course, how else to get so many weary travelers to cross? When you’re out there in the middle and hanging on for dear life, who and what do you trust?
I would prefer a harsh truth over a pretty lie any damned day. I choose the truth as I would choose freedom or breathing. I can only honor and be my most authentic self when I am carrying the truth within me and fighting for the truth to be told. When I accept others lies and allow them to continue to betray my trust, I allow and accept the mask and the lies back in my life and support the life that that will surely create. And I refuse to do this anymore.
This may all sound like some bitter rant from a jaded fat woman hurt by too many people, but I awoke with a deep feeling that things are not what they seem. That the people I trust and love are not who I thought they were and while it’d be easy to just ignore it as paranoia and let my gut feeling subside on its own, I refuse. I want more and I want better. I have not worked too hard to just let all that matters to me go. If they aren’t what they seem and my suspicions are correct, why continue to nurture what isn’t real?
So I am trusting me and I am doing my best to stay open to the new and the good in my life. I am blessed and grateful for all that I do have that is real and true. I cannot force or persuade others to see what they refuse to believe even exists and so I must let it go. It is so painful and hard, but necessary. I can’t continue to trust in anyone that doesn’t trust me with the truth.
My love, respect, kindness and honesty,