Removing My Masquerade Mask - The M Word

Removing My Masquerade Mask

When They Can’t Tell You How Their Day Went
December 4, 2018
Baby It's Cold Outside
I Thought The Ban On ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ Was A Joke
December 4, 2018

I believe the glass is always half full

There is always something positive to focus on

I live by the motto; ‘after a storm always comes the sunshine.’

I am strong

I am beautiful

I am confident

I am a great mother

I inspire others

Guest what? It’s all lies!

I hold my head high and my shoulders back, when all I want to do is fall to the ground and cry

I smile and crack jokes every day to make others laugh while inside I’m screaming at the top of my lungs and no one can hear me.

For years I am the woman to help others through hard times.  I coach them in ways to focus on gratitude and what’s good in their life instead of focusing on the negative.  I’m told that I inspire other single mothers by how I manage my life, stay calm and strong.

What they don’t know is that every second of every day I have thoughts in my head telling me that I’m useless, I’m not doing enough for my children, I’m not worth anyone’s time or friendship, I have embarrassed my family by having a broken marriage and cause them stress.

My thoughts snowball! For example, when I can’t get in contact with my kids childminder, my thoughts spiral and I start to not just think, but actually believe that something tragic has happened.  I start to physically feel pain in my chest as if I have already lost my children. I will not rest or be at ease until I see my children are safe and must get to them.

Of all the things that I AM NOT – I know what I AM! I am a great actress!  My family never knew how I felt, my children never knew how I felt, my close friends never knew how I felt… until the mask became too heavy to wear anymore!

I’ve heard before , ‘you don’t have to tell everyone how you feel; just tell one person’ and that’s what I did.  That one friend had the strength to do what I couldn’t do.  She told my brother how I was feeling and in turn my brother told my family.  I wasn’t strong enough to tell my family.  I felt so lonely and abandoned. I felt that no one had my back. I felt lost.  I was screaming inside but yet couldn’t ask for help on the outside.

It’s now I understand!  How could my family help me if they didn’t know how I felt? They saw me smile, laugh, joke, hold my head high – They saw my mask!   The thing about wearing a mask is that it can skew your vision – my family always have my back, my friends want me, they care about me – but the mask stops you from seeing clearly.

Even though I hadn’t the courage to tell my family how I was feeling, I felt like a hypocrite asking for help; the overflowing relief of my brothers knowing how I felt was extraordinary.  It was the first time in at least 12 months I could breathe.

I still deal with the challenge of controlling with my thoughts every day.  I have started counselling because no matter what anyone tells you, you CANNOT control your thoughts or change your behaviours alone! If you’re feeling down, unworthy, lost – tell someone, just one person!

The masquerade mask has come off! This is me!

Fiona O'Neill
Fiona O'Neill
I'm a mum of two boys, doing it alone all the way. I became a Juvenile Arthritis advocate when my boy was diagnosed in 2008. As a mum of boys I've learned the difference between players of Man Utd & City. See you over on Twitter & Instagram at @from_fiona