I am 12 years old and I have always lived behind a mask as far back as I can remember. Do these pandemic masks really “show you care?” Are we really “all in this together?” Do they really “protect those you love?” Do they really “keep you from getting sick?” Wow…please give me one of these “super mask!” Will everyone feel that they are “invisible” because now “everyone is looking down”, not just me!
My reality mask I have always worn is one of “survival.” It masks the hurt, the pain, the anger, the distrust, the loneliness, the fear, the guilt, the uncertainty, and all the chaos that takes place in my unstable environment. I mask all these emotions so that I do not suffer more abuse at the hands of “those who are supposed to love, care and protect me”.
These “super masks” worn by other kids are worn in public and removed in the safe environment of a loving home. My “survival mask” is worn 24/7, in private and in public. I wish there were a “magic mask” to make my parents like me.
I wish this “super mask” would let me keep going to school. A safe place for me where my teachers “smile” at me and don’t “yell” at me. A safe place where my teachers “hug me” and don’t” hit” me.” A safe place where they tell me I am “smart” and don’t call me “stupid.” A safe place where my teachers “look” at me like they “see” me.
Some of these pandemic masks seem to make some adults even angrier, sadder, and meaner. More like what I live with in my “home”. I used to wonder if I would survive “my world”. Now I’m beginning to wonder if anyone will survive this “new world”.
Does God see us behind our masks? I think he’s the only one who really does. I don’t understand what is going on and I don’t think we will get answers on this earth. But, I have to believe in miracles and know we need one now. I don’t think even these “super masks” can protect us from each other, make us happy, make us kind, or make us care about each other. There is no laughter in my house, never has been, but I do miss seeing happy people, people laughing like I used to see in public because that gave me hope. Hope that some day I could remove my “survival mask” and be in a safe home where someone would love me without it.
**Even though this is a fictional story, I believe it speaks to the heart of many children in homes right now who need a safe home and need help because the number of cases of abuse of children is escalating. Geary Foster Foundations believes that every child deserves a safe home.
Susie Black Holamon
Geary Foster Foundations