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  • Writer's pictureMarianne Wieland


Masks are something we all wear from time to time. Anyone who says they don't, are just kidding themselves, and that in itself, is wearing a mask. Some people have to wear masks to survive in the real world. This is especially true of those who have been sexually abused. A mask is helpful to move through the day in the workplace, at school, with your children, with your family and friends. The mask covers the mental anguish of unresolved issues resulting from the abuse. Basically, it is for those around you who need to think everything is okay. .

Being a victim of sexual abuse, I am going to use myself as an example. I wear many masks for different reasons. I can't say that I am shy, but I am a deep thinker. I am not all that comfortable in large crowds. I am not the life of the party. But I have been in the public eye in one capacity or another my whole life.

I have a mask I wear on stage. The mask of the performer. With this mask I can be the dancer, the singer, the comic, the dramatic actress. I become the artist. If I am directing, I wear that mask. I motivate you to do your best. I become demanding and tenacious. I may coach you vocally or direct you in an orchestra or choir. I may choreograph. I become dynamic. I have a mask for teaching and public speaking. My author mask. I can talk about the books I write all day.

I have a mask for taking care of your mental health with counseling. I become the boss. But if you meet me face to face, without a mask, I am quiet. I will wait for you to speak first. I don't like to bother people. If we connect, I will talk your ear off. You will find I love games and challenges. But in a group? I sink into the background. I get through life with these masks.

Social media is a different concept. Almost everyone is wearing a mask. You can be anyone. Do or say anything. It is a non-confrontational venue where many try to make it confrontational. This is where you need discernment. Too many are waiting to take advantage of others. To bully, to hurt. To hook up sexually or make a love connection that is anything but. To use and move on. This is where masks can be dangerous. You need to develop caution.

Women, don't tease and provoke. Men, don't be players and heart breakers. Take those masks off when you are on any of the chatting sites. Especially if you form a love connection. Because if you are not enough without your mask, you won't be enough when you meet face to face. Trust me on that. And be very careful. In some cases, your life might depend on it.

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