Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Putting the mask back on

People always say to just "be yourself" and that everything will be fine. What they don't consider is whether "yourself" if someone that will be accepted by others or not. In my case, it is not.

I'm 31 years old, and I think I've lived a relatively successful life so far, in spite of my issues. And I lived most of those years wearing masks. I have very little (if any) sense of self, and have a tendency to adapt quickly to the people around me...that is, I will try to become like the people I am with, in hopes that they will like me. I bottle things up a lot, in fear of causing conflict. And when conflict does occur, I usually run away (metaphorically speaking) and start over somewhere else...because to me, it always feels like its the end of the world. Sometimes this works for me, and sometimes it doesn't. But overall I manage to get by.

Late last year, I decided to try something new...to try "being myself", to stop bottling things up, and to start trying really letting people into my life, without fear of judgment or rejection. So, I told people for the first time in my life about my then and past bouts with depression. I've since told people about BPD. I've even told people all the wonderful things I've been trying to do to "get better". I created a facebook group of close friends and family, which I hoped would act as a support network. And I started blogging.

First of all, I want to say thank you to all of you who read my blog and comment back...knowing you are out there, listening, and that I am not alone, has made a world of difference. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You make me feel like I can be myself, whether on a good day or bad, and it's ok. I will continue to be my true self with you...

As for the rest of the people in my life...I feel so judged and rejected. I understand how all of this is a lot for people to handle, but somehow I thought that if for once I let people fully into my life, sharing my stories with them and opening up completely, basically standing naked and vulnerable in front of them, that they would support me. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be true :(

I guess I was on the right track before when I would just fake it and pretend to be someone I'm not. Turns out people prefer that make-believe person after all. So I'm putting the mask back on.


  1. I don't know why it is that people can be harsh with their judgements; I just know they sometimes are when it comes to anything different that they can't understand. Being authentic is difficult when you are different, but I think it can be done. The thing is learning to be real without sharing our vulnerability with those who don't know. Not an easy task! I don't even share most of my "stuff" with family because they don't understand and get impatient.
    I totally understand what you are saying here Lost Girl.
    Take care,
    Linda of Blue Skies...

  2. People who won't judge you but love you are one in a thousand, but they do exist. I hope you find them soon.
    Till then keep blogging. We are far and basically strangers, but we care and are here for you.

  3. I'm sorry that the people around you don't get the real you. Please understand that this is not about anything being wrong with you. This is them being stuck in their ways and wanting everything simple and to fit in nice little boxes.

    Well, little boxes are boring and they can smother those of us who don't fit. Be careful who you trust with tender stuff because you don't deserve to keep being wounded just because they don't understand. But I don't think that's the same thing as not being yourself. Maybe be a toned-down version with those who are still learning.

    Until then, you're welcome to be my friend on facebook. I'll support you. Just make sure to add a message if you send me a request telling me that you're a blogging friend. Otherwise I might ignore you and that wouldn't be good for anyone. I'm Robin Reed Grosland, if you're interested. If not, no worries.

    Hang in there. People who will accept you are out there. Obviously not in your present circle, but if you keep looking I believe you'll find them.

  4. Oh LG! I can completely and utterly relate to what you say here. It was only very recently I started this blog and made the odd reference on Facebook that there was something wrong, without ever coming out and actually saying it. Everybody who follows my blog are fantastic, wonderful people, who often take the time to comment. I think there is one person on Facebook who has ever bothered. Actually, a bunch of old work colleagues collectively removed me from their facebook friends, altogether, one day, and I never knew why and could only assume that because of my illness, I was not to be spoken to. Hurt like hell! Still hurts like hell. I don't think I have any answers; I'd like to think that people simply do not know what to say or how to handle a mental illness, and then I could understand. But in my heart I think some people are bloody horrible and simply do not care. So many people have walked away from me since they found out I was ill, and I am still trying to learn that those people are simply not worth the effort. But it does hurt, and I do keep the mask up generally.

    I wish I had some answers for you, but I feel exactly the same and feel the same pain you do about it. All I can say is, like you, I am so thankful for my blog family, who accept me however I am feeling.

    You are not alone, and we are all listening and supporting you. :-) xx

  5. Hi LG! I know exactly what you mean! I understand what you say about putting on the mask, but remember, the most important person in the whole world is YOU!!! As long as you are happy with who you are, don't pay any attention to what other people say or think.
    I know it is hard, especially since we are a "social species" and we have to get “along” with other people. I don’t know about you, but most of the time I am really comfortable with myself, and fortunately, I have my 2 cats to love me for who I am!
    Please, don’t stop blogging, since we are here for you, ALWAYS!!!

    Pixie: I so relate to your story about your colleagues! I actually don’t want to go back to work since I know in my heart that there will be judgement all around!

    Anyway, please take care, and I am sure I will “read” from you soon!


  6. I *HATE* feeling judged. It seems like wherever I am I feel as though people are constantly judging me or thinking negative, mean things about me. Just reading this comment aloud to myself seems silly, but I know it's something many of us struggle with. May we all find the strength and courage to truly discover ourselves. *hugs*