Having suffered from both physical and psychological abuse, I still don't know which one is worst, and I don't think I ever will. All I know is that both leave you with lifelong scars. Some may say that these scars are invisible, justified by the fact that you can not actually see them, but I believe that they are wrong. We can see them just fine if we pay them a little bit of attention. These scars are all over our behaviour and in the way we carry ourselves. Have you seen someone getting jumpy all the time, for no apparent reason? Have you ever had lunch with someone who is excessively apologetic even when there is nothing worth apologising? How about when you meet someone, and this person can not keep eye contact? These are just a few examples of a long list of scars that abuse can leave in a person.
Just because we can't see something with our eyes, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Most of the things we interact with are not visible. Unfortunately, people who are in pain learned too well how to disguise their feelings. I remember recording an entire podcast episode and being super professional and energetic and happy and all that on one of the worse days of my life. The day before, something triggered me so bad that I ended up laying in bed, shaking and crying like a hysterical baby in my boyfriend's arms. But there I was, wearing my "I'm fine" mask. My friend couldn't tell I wasn't okay, and after I found the courage to watch and edit the episode, I was amazed at my ability to hide my feelings. Or should I say eat them? Maybe that's why I'm so quick to notice if someone is going through something. I've done a lot of hiding, so I know a few tricks. I find it scary, you know? Someone you love may be suffering like hell, on your watch, and you have no idea.
The good thing is, I don't fall into this trap anymore. I refuse to suffer and do everything on my own. So eventually, I spoke to my friend and open up to her. I don't feel comfortable hiding my feelings. Not anymore. At this point in my life, I prefer to be open and share things, even if it takes me an extra day to summit the courage to talk about it. Fortunately, I know by now that I don't have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Unfortunately, some people are still not capable of doing it. They did not have the chance to heal that part of them. Therefore, they eat their feelings away and hide them in places where you can not find. That's the pain that no one sees. Unless of course, you pay very close attention to what is behind the mask they are wearing.
If you are wearing a mask, consider to let it go, even for a bit. You will see how everything becomes lighter once you share it with someone trustworthy. If you know of someone who is wearing a mask, provide the space for that mask to drop, and be patient. Most of the times, you don't even need to say a word. You only need to be and maybe say: I am here, I see you. That alone means the world.
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