“Please don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off and none of them are me. Pretending is an art that is second nature to me, but don’t be fooled, for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression I’m secure and that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name, coolness my game, that water is calm and I’m in command and that I need no one, but don’t believe me, please don’t believe me.
My surface may be smooth, but my surface is a mask–my every varying and ever concealing mask. Beneath it dwells the real confusion, fear and aloneness. Beneath lies my smugness, my complacently, but I hide this–I don’t want anyone to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed. That’s why I frantically created a mask to hide behind– nonchalant sophisticated facades to help me pretend– to shield me from the glance that knows– but such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation and I know it. That is if it’s followed by acceptance. If it’s followed by love, it’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself, from my own self built prison walls and from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect. It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I cannot assure myself, that I’m really worth while, but I don’t tell you this, I don’t dare–I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid that your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love. I’m afraid you’ll think less of me and you’ll laugh and your laugh will kill me. I’m afraid that deep down, I’m nothing and that I’m just no good and that you’ll see this and reject me.”
Don’t Be Fooled by Me, Charles C. Finn