it was a tough weekend for brian. lots of family. people who love him. but for him having to work hard to look ‘okay’ can be draining. he says no one has a clue how hard he has to work to appear well, that inside behind the mask, he’s deeply and incredibly sad.
he smiled, laughed, joked around…everyone was telling him how great he looked. no one would believe it if i told him, just how hard he was working to appear normal. he was exhausted after being around my 13 talkative relatives.
i heard on npr the other day about PAD – post-anxiety depression. they interviewed a woman who suffers from it, and her acquaintances. and it reminded me so much of brian and his struggles. all her friends thought she was so friendly and funny. but when she goes home, she crashes into a deep depression. that’s where he was all day yesterday.
we actually talked about it. i asked him what would happen if he didn’t put on his mask. he said that it would be like a baseball player showing up for a game, and not being in uniform. he’d be letting the whole team down. so in a sense, the player meets everyone’s expectations by showing up, doing what he’s supposed to do for the team and fans, but only when he’s in uniform. without the uniform, he’s somebody else.
he went on to share that inside he’s truly sad, and that all his life he’s been “hiding from my sadness”. he remembers hiding in his room, listening to his parents fight, and then going out to protect his mom, only to have his father hit him in the head with a book.
my heart was breaking.
our issues are in our tissues (deepak chopra says this), and i can see it in my man. he is the most sensitive, beautiful soul i’ve ever encountered. as he opened and shared his sadness, i sensed a change. i sensed a desire to open just a little, to let some of that real injured boy out.
he says he even wears his mask when he’s alone with me. as he begins his healing, maybe one day his tissues will find new, loving issues. i can’t be the one who heals him. as much as i love him, it’s not my love that will make him feel better about himself. it has to come from within.
maybe one day he can love himself, as he so deserves.