Don’t be fooled by me, and don’t be fooled by the masks that I wear. For I wear a thousand masks that I am afraid to take off, And none of them are me. Pretending is an act that is second nature to me, but don’t be fooled for God’s sake don’t be fooled. I give the impression that I am secure, that all is sunny and unruffled within me as we’ll as without, that confidence is my name and confidence is my game; That the water is calm and I’m in command, and I need no one. But don’t believe me, please. My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask. Beneath lies no complacency, beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, in aloneness, but I hide this, I don’t want anyone to know it. I panic at the thought of my own weakness and fear of being exposed. That is why I frantically create a mask to hide behind.. a nonchalant sophisticated façade, to help me pretend, and to shield me from the glance that knows. But such a glance is precisely my salvation and I know it. That is if it is followed by acceptance… if it is followed by Love.
It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I cannot assure myself, that I am worth something. But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare. I’m afraid to. I’m afraid your glance may not be followed by acceptance and love. I’m afraid you might this less of me, that you’ll laugh at me And you laugh would kill me. I’m afraid that deep down I am nothing, that I’m no good and that you will see this and reject me. So I play the game, My desperate game, with a façade of assurance without and a trembling child within. And so begins my parade of Masks. And my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk. I tell you everything that is really nothing. But nothing of what is everything, of what is crying out within me So please, when I am going through my routine, do not be fooled by what I am saying Please listen carefully and try to learn what I am not saying, what I’d love to be able to say What for survival I need to say, but what I can’t say. I dislike hiding…. honestly. I dislike the superficial game I am playing, The phony game. I’d love to be genuine and spontaneous, and me, but you’ve got to help me.
You’ve got to hold out your hand, even when that’s the last thing I seem to want. Only you can call me into life, into aliveness, each time you are kind and gentle and encouraging. Each time you try to understand because you care, my heart begins to grow wings, very small, very feeble wings, but wings.
With your sensitivity & sympathy and your power of understanding you can breath life into me. I want you to know that. I want you to know how important you are to me. How you can be the creator of the person that is me if you choose to. Please choose to. You alone can break down the walls behind which I tremble. You alone can remove my mask. You alone can release me from my world of panic and uncertainty. From my lonely person. Do not pass by. Please do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you. A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls. The nearer you approach me the blinder I strike back, and I fight against the very thing I cry out for. But I am told that love is stronger that walls and in this lies my hope. Please try to break down those walls with firm but gentle hands, for a child is very sensitive… Who am I you may wonder, I am someone you know very well….