Yesterday, I read more than a few posts about wearing metaphorical masks to blend in (AnonymouslyAutistic and TheBorderBetween), keep calm, blend in, and live a relatively normal life — mostly not make the people around you think that you are a basket case.
With having an anxiety disorder, in combination with one of the rarest personality types for a female, there are a lot of masks I wear to keep my world copacetic.
Concern — trying to empathize with other people’s problems when their problems seem trivial and there are plenty of solutions around them to fix their problems, but they won’t take them. I love S.O., but I know he will go on and on about work bullshit, and I’m like, “Dude, you have 2 months of accrued PTO. Take a damn vacation and make them realize how much work you actually do and how valuable you are when you are on ‘vacation’ for a month.” I’ve said that so many times I sound like a broken record.
But, S.O. is one of those people I can take my mask off with. And it’s been hard, no doubt. I still have a hard time telling him about panic attacks. I haven’t completely told him everything that The Psychological Abuser did to me, and that I’m still afraid he’s going to come back into my life and snatch away all that I’ve worked hard for like some goddamned poltergeist.
Leadership — I hate when people pussyfoot around and I have to take the mantle of leader. Especially in group work. I hated group projects because I was the one that usually contributed the most and did all the work, then the rest of the group will bitch about how it’s done, but contribute nothing. But when someone needs to take charge, it’s usually me. Even if I don’t know what I’m doing, but something needs to be done. Unfinished things on a deadline bother me.
Productivity — I’m really good at looking like I’m doing a lot when I’m really just procrastinating. Literally, right now. My boss hears the clickity clack of my keyboard and thinks I’m hard at work. But, I’m an expert at getting things done at the 11th hour. And doing it pretty damn well. I write all my papers the day before they’re due in a 6-7 hour binge. It kind of helps me in that all of my thoughts are cohesive and current. If I come back a day later or spread out the work, I will lose my train of thought.
Having my shit together — this one I can pull off loosely, but I think I got it. I’m pretty good at faking that one. When I come in looking primped and reared to go and I talk about how I’m going to get X, Y, Z done, but I still end up flaking (which is something I despise in other people — yep, I’m a hypocrite).
Sometimes I get so consumed by making sure I have the right mask that I forget what I want in life. I’m too entrenched in keeping masks on to manipulate how people think of me.
It’s rather sad that this is my life.
I had to take one of my masks off for health reasons. My rosacea is flared up and I cannot wear any makeup lest it exacerbate the issue. I posted a bare faced selfie in that post and that, for me takes guts. My skin hates me and I feel like without wearing makeup, I open up a door for people to come in and criticize or offer unsolicited advice on my skincare routine. My skin has always been a constant source of ire for me. I’m moley with dilated pores from my rosacea, redness, and occasional acne.
Ha. The power of makeup.