The door finally closes, another day spent,
Another act finished, but I’m not content.
I look in the mirror, stare into my eyes –
Were they fooled today by my act, my disguise?
I lower my mask from behind which I hid
My fears and my worries – all that I forbid
To come between me and the people I know,
The life I’ve rebuilt, and the image I show.
Who am I really, behind the façade?
Who is the real me, broken and flawed?
Behind the illusions I looked deep and true –
Do I know the me that I won’t show to you?
A girl who is hurting, with scars in her past
And countless night terrors that she has amassed;
A woman abused, who was stripped of her dreams,
Who e’en now has moments where tears flow in streams;
A person haunted by another’s wrong course,
Trying to regain what was taken by force;
A face in the shadows, a cry in the dark,
A soul that is battered with many a mark.
I’m hopeless, despondent, and utterly lost –
Can aught free my spirit, held captive in frost?
I lower my eyes as the tears start to fall,
The shame overwhelming, a blight and a gall.
“Look again,” comes a voice, from where I know naught,
“Look deeper, beyond all the shadow and blot.
“There’s more to your character, more to your soul
“Than the flaws of abuse, the shadows, sheol.”
Thus enjoined, I took courage, and so looked up,
Stripped bare the illusion, saw past the makeup
I saw, as a wraith, a young girl, eyes aglow,
Enchanted, excited, determined to show
The world she was capable, diligent, strong,
That nothing could stop her from righting a wrong;
A girl who delighted in the simple things:
In animals, flowers, and butterfly wings –
A bright eye, a quick smile, and a friendly word,
A listening ear and a joy undeterred.
Who would sing anywhere, who danced down the halls;
Found the silver lining in each of life’s squalls.
Why did that sprite vanish? I silently mused,
Replaced by a woman who’s scared and confused.
“She’s still there,” came the voice, “You don’t need a mask,
“You don’t have to fear the questions others ask.
“There’s no need for hiding and no cause for shame,
“For another man’s acts, you are not to blame.
“You’re you, and you’re special, you’re one of a kind;
“You are who you are, good and bad combined.
“Be strong and take courage – a new life awaits!
“There’s hope for the future, despite desperate straits.
“Drop the façade, don’t look so bewildered.
“Just as you are, you are perfect, unfiltered.”
The voice faded out, ringing truth in my ears –
I realized there’s more to me than just my fears;
There’s more than abuse, than pain, than depression;
There’s more than the mask, the pretense, the impression
I want to give others. I don’t need to hide
All my pain, all my scars, all the tears I’ve cried.
Life won’t have to stay a charade, a façade.
I’m me, and I’m proud of it. Though I am flawed,
My flaws make me unique, and I wouldn’t be
Who I am if my past hadn’t happened to me.
The past can’t be changed. I won’t ever be flawless,
But I wouldn’t change who I am to find solace.
I’ve no cause for shame, there’s no need for lies;
I’m flawed, yet I’m perfect. I need no disguise.