We Wear the Mask

February 28, 2018
By SebaWill BRONZE, Mebane, North Carolina
SebaWill BRONZE, Mebane, North Carolina
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation

You build up hope but failure’s all you’ve known
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go
(“Iridescent” Linkin Park.  A Thousand Suns)

This quote shows what everyone needs to do whenever they feel lonely, uncomfortable, scared, angry, depressed, etc.  They must let it go.  There are thousands of people who do not know this.  Very few people realize this.  I was one of the few who did, but I was too late.  I changed.  I became an angry, bitter person at age nine.

I used to get teased on a daily basis.  I would get bullied about skin colour one day and height the next day.  I’m Hispanic and wasn’t as tall as everyone else.  I was programmed at an early age to know that height, weight and race mattered in a person.  I was thrown into trash cans.  I hid on the floor behind the seat that was all the way in the back of the bus because idiots didn’t want to move their lazy butts over and let me sit down.  I would cower in pain as my markers were thrown at my head over and over again.  I took it all.  I bottled it away.  I never let go.  And I had no idea that it wasn’t healthy.  It escalated as I got to middle school and high school.  I came home with bloody noses and twisted ankles, and I told my parents that I had fallen.  I left out the fact that I had been tripped and was kicked repeatedly in the bathroom.  I used to be a sweet little child.  I use to be so loving, so innocent.  Being teased transformed me into the angry shell that I am today.  In 2015, when I was 13 years old and a freshman in high school, I learned that it was unhealthy to bottle your emotions.  It was way too late.  I was already angry and bitter from my years of being teased.  However, all of those years of being teased taught me an important lesson.  They taught me that there were many people who had no idea that they needed to let it go.

Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote the poem “We Wear the Mask”.  This poem talks about how everyone wears a mask to hide their true emotions.  Most people wear masks of happiness, and when they laugh, they laugh with “...  torn and bleeding hearts...” so that when others look at them, they don’t see that they are actually very, very upset.  I want to help them.  I help my friends, my family.

I was among the few people who was able to cope with a traumatizing past.  I became absorbed in my work.  Volunteering, swimming, running, science, anything that could shift my attention.  I taught myself how to continuously take whatever energy that surged through me whenever I thought about what I had done and place it into my work.  I was able to accomplish many things as a result of this, such as science fairs.  I was still hurting inside, but I was taught how to deal with it in a healthy way.

There are so many people out there who have traumatizing pasts; too many.  And too many of them are unable to cope with it.  The lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Charles Bennington, was one such individual.  Abused sexually and physically as a child, and suffering a divorce at age 11, he became a singer.  He hid his emotions and channeled his energy into the songs he wrote, but it was not enough. July 20, 2017, at age 41, he was found dead, suicide by hanging.  He was unable to keep his emotions from controlling him, and it killed him.  Too many people have done just that, and I was thankfully not.  However, if people are helped, nobody will have masks to wear over their emotions.  It may seem like it is too late for some people, but I learned through my experiences that it is never too late.  Those experiences do not bring you down unless you let them.  On the contrary, they bring you up higher than ever before.

The author's comments:

The content in this work is true. Many suffer every day. But we can overcome that. I wrote this in hopes of helping others see this topic the same way that I do.

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