Take Off The Mask 


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You work in a place where you have to attend to people constantly, so you smile and speak kindly, but that’s until 6:05pm when you step out of the office. You’re driving home and you’re screaming obscenities at other road users and splashing puddle water on pedestrians and driving forward completely ignoring the traffic light that has just turned red. Your partner cannot even say welcome because he/she’s scared that you’ll find some fault with just the fact that he/she’s breathing. You’re like a volcano hidden in a mountain and waiting to erupt, your outside looks beautiful and people appreciate it from a distance, if only those people know what’s hidden within. 

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Your wife won the best employee award again for the third time in three months, you’ve never been best employee. She earns a lot more than you do and brings it all home to you. You are not satisfied. You feel like you deserve it more than she does after all, she’s just a woman. You are afraid that if she gets more successful, she’ll start practicing insubordination. You take out your anger and frustration on her, you hit her until you notice the blood. It’s the fifth pregnancy she’s losing, thanks to you. When your relatives ask why you don’t have children, you do not tell them that it’s your fault and they still blame her. If only they knew that their beloved son is a murderer. 

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You’re the chorister that everyone loves at church. When you sing, it’s fire and power and glory. You sing and people are shedding uncontrollable tears and running to the altar to repent. They don’t know that right after church, you’re going to buy misoprostol. You don’t even know the guy responsible for this one because you’ve slept with almost all the fine men in church. Their married status does not faze you even though their wives are also in the choir and these women trust you and love you like a sister. If only they knew. 

When you take off the mask, who are you really? Is the you everyone sees really you or is it just a makeshift camp? Are you an angel in public and a demon behind closed doors? Do you smile all day and then wet your pillow with tears at night?

Why is it so hard to be just you? Simply, plainly you! I’ll tell you why, it’s because you hate yourself. You cannot stand yourself and you know that if people know who you really are, the things you really do;  they will not be able to stand you either. Nobody really likes trash. 

I have good news for you though. You can change, you can be different. If you don’t like where you are at right now, feel free to move. Let God really work on you, talk to someone mature, see a psychologist or counsellor, attend seminars and meetings with themes related to your battles. Do everything except staying at that point. Like a child that wants to be lifted by his parents, you must also lift your hands and your heart so that you can be lifted out of the mire in which you’ve found yourself. 

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