I’ve learned that mask we often wear to hide portions of ourselves and our lives is more of a prison for ourselves than protection from ridicule and pain at the hands of others… When we wear a mask, no one is able to get to know, care for, and love the real us… So when the real US shows up – whether it inability to hide it because it’s spilling over, or we’re tired of keeping up the facade; the people that we love have a hard time supporting, relating, and helping us because they don’t know us in that space…they aren’t sure how to support this version of us because they’ve never been privileged to know it. And this leaves us vulnerable and alone, which many of us fear the most. Isn’t it ironic that we put up all these walls and barriers to protect ourselves from the heartbreak of being abandoned and being seen for whom and what we really are… Only to be equally if not more heartbroken because we end up abandoned and heartbroken through our own protective measures when the real us decides to show up?