The emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual pain from trauma can cause you to do many different things to try to escape, or cope with, the pain you are feeling. It can cause you to turn to drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, pornography, cutting, denial, anger, and other self-destructive behaviors. The pain is so real. The pain is so intense. The pain can also cause you to wear a mask around others. You don’t want others to see how deeply you are hurting.
Trauma includes emotional abuse, mental abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, spiritual abuse, ritual abuse, molestation, rape, death of a loved one, divorce, accidents, and natural disasters. The levels of emotional pain that we can experience from trauma vary greatly. As it becomes more severe, the emotional pain from trauma can, and often does, cause physical illness.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is pervasive in the world today. I believe that many more people are walking around with PTSD than anyone realizes. It can lead to all of the behaviors I mentioned above and that last, most self-destructive action of suicide.
Many people just don’t know how to cope. They may try to get help, but it may be unsuccessful, or even cause more damage. So, they may eventually turn to wearing a mask, not letting anyone know how severely brokenhearted they are—not letting anyone know the level of pain that they are carrying. However, the more that you wear that mask, the more that you try to please others, the more the mask becomes part of who you are! The following poem by Helen Joseph, The Mask, addresses this very well.
Always a mask
Held in the slim hand,
Always she had a mask
Before her face–
Smiling and sprightly,
Truly the wrist
Holding it lightly
Fitted the task:
Was there a shiver,
Ever so slightly–
Holding the mask?
For years and years and
Years I wondered
But dared not ask.
I looked behind,
Behind the mask
Nothing–She had no face.
She had become
Merely a hand
Holding a mask
I have quoted the above poem during my Healing the Brokenhearted Ministry seminars and workshops for many years. There has always been a very strong reaction to the poem from those in attendance. Many people can relate to wearing a mask. It is not socially acceptable to wear your pain on your sleeve—to let it be known to others. Unfortunately—very unfortunately—in the Christian Church, in the Body of Christ, there is so much pain, so much emotional pain being carried by believers and they are afraid to be real with anyone. They have been hurt too much. They may have been spiritually abused. They don’t want to take a chance that it will happen again.
You can go to a church service and look around. You will see rows and rows of people wearing their masks. If you ask them how they are doing, they will answer, “I’m doing fine. I’m doing good. I am blessed.” Yes, Christians are blessed because Jesus came, died, and rose again so that we can spend eternity with Him and the Father in heaven. However, life on this earth is difficult to say the least. It is not a bed of roses even for, and sometimes especially for, Christians. We have all experienced emotional pain and trauma!
The answer, however, is not to walk around wearing a mask! The answer is not to worry about what others will think. Our Most High God is the only One we need to please. Wearing masks does not please Him. If we please Him, then we will be pleasing those people He wants us to please. We cannot do that while wearing a mask!
Instead of continuing to wear a mask that will draw you deeper and deeper into isolation from others, you need to find someone with whom you can share your deepest pain. You need to allow that mask to come off. You need to be careful, because as we have all found out, not everyone is safe. However, you’ll never know who is safe unless you take a chance. Ask a Christian friend or family member if they know of a safe believer that you can contact for help.
JESUS is always safe! Talk to Him. Pray. He will lead you and guide you. You can also send us a prayer request on our PRAYER REQUESTS page (CLICK HERE). In addition, we have added a HELPFUL RESOURCES page (CLICK HERE) on the menu at the top of the website that includes suggestions for ministries that you may want to contact for help.
May the Lord Jesus bless you as you seek His healing and freedom from past pain and trauma. I pray that your heart will be open to receiving that healing and freedom and that nothing will stop you from pursuing it. I bless you as you determine to stop wearing a mask long enough to get the help you need so that one day you will not have to wear that mask. May Jesus Christ strengthen your heart and give you courage. May you see the goodness of the Lord as you remove your mask!