Pretending is something I'm afraid I know too well.
I find myself pretending all the time, especially with
those whose lifestyle is not the same as mine. I have
masks, different faces I wear every time I am around
someone who doesn't understand who I am. I find that
now, as a vegan, it has become even more difficult to
stop pretending -- now, when the only one like me is
When I'm with my family I find myself pretending in
order to keep the peace. I am always surrounded by conversation
that makes me uncomfortable, and I have to wear my "this
doesn't bother me at all" mask. There are holidays when
I am expected to participate in a feast loaded with
animal foods spread across the table, and I have to
wear my "mmmm, that smells good but I'm already full"
mask. I long for the day when my masks will come off
and my true face will be revealed to them.
With my friends I find myself pretending in order to
keep our friendship strong. But that doesn't make any
sense, because if I feel I must wear a mask around them,
we do not really have a friendship at all. It is so
difficult to maintain close relationships with those
who do not share my views, particularly my views about
compassion. Even though I love my friends, I long for
a day when my mask will come off and I can be myself,
Pretending has been a way for me to please everyone
in my life, but it has made me feel empty. I am a lonely
woman, full of family and friends who do not know the
real me. By writing this I was forced to look within
myself and find the person behind the mask. My family
and friends are the ones to whom I should be writing
-- all of the people in my life who want to love me
for who I am. They are the ones who have been robbed
of the wonderful person I am inside. So I will stop
longing for that day to come, for that day shall be
today and every day from now on.
e x t e s s a y -
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