Effective Masks: Hiding Out Behind Hatred and Sarcasm

I suppose this isn’t a new concept, right?

I am certain a Lifetime movie exists out there where the main character breeds a violent hatred toward homosexuals, lashing out at the only gay man in his neighborhood who is open about his sexuality, while he fumes in secret because this man he hates so much is able to accept the one aspect Mr. Main Character man cannot accept about himself—he is a homosexual.

My point is, the idea that we use effective masks such as hatred and sarcasm to hide from things we just aren’t willing to accept is not new. I am not coining this psychological concept right here. You are not witnessing a birth on your monitor. In fact, I don’t even have a degree in anything remotely psychological. I have a degree in English, and it took me ten long years just to get that. I am glad we cleared the air, to be honest.

I do know that we can be aware of certain common concepts and not see them at work in our own lives.

Here is what I just realized, about….twenty-two hours ago. I have been doing the same thing in one aspect of my life for years. I have been hiding behind hatred of a thing (we don’t need to get specific here, because you don’t come for my personal life story but rather the mild and pseudo-interesting banter) because it was something I thought I could never have.

Now, I haven’t been violent toward individuals or started riots or tattooed my hatred across my lower back or anything. My hatred wasn’t even genuine hatred. I have just been a whole lot of boisterous talk.

“Man, I hate _____”

“I never intend to _____”

“The hell if I am going to _____”

“You’re just dumb if you _____”

“Get that _____ away from me.”

I have been hiding behind that talk for almost seven years, though. In fact, I have been using a disingenuous hatred of a thing to hide my desire for said thing. I did not want people to know I desired this thing because I did not think it was something I could ever have. It seemed so far removed from my situation when I began employing this effective mask of hatred that I felt I had no choice but to run from it in some way.

I am quite certain this is not the only aspect of my life where this is taking place. It is one of the aspects in my life that I was completely blind to until yesterday. Sometimes we just know we’re using something as a mask. For instance, I use a lot of sarcasm, silly dirty jokes, and mild sexual harassment when I interact with the people I like the most—friends, co-workers, loved ones. This is because I have deep social anxiety, and if I wasn’t using this effective mask of sarcasm to smooth my interaction, you would find me hidden in the closet at a party, rocking back and forth with my head in my hands. I am aware of this particular mask, and I note it even as it happens.

Yet, we aren’t always aware, are we? Just as I explained before, with my hatred for something I just assumed I could never have, I was completely shocked yesterday to have the realization that I had been hiding. Of course, the realization happened because I did finally get that thing I thought was out of my reach.

It surprised everyone to find out I wanted it.

I mean it. People are shaking their heads in disbelief and muttering about how I someone must have brainwashed me in some way. My mask of hatred has been that effective for myself and for everyone around me.

We shouldn’t hide out. I know we do. I know I will in the future. I know it is easier said than done. “Oh, let me end this blog post by just telling you vapidly NOT to hide out. All your problems solved by magic! G’day!”

No, I understand it is not that easy. I don’t expect you to do something dramatic as a result of reading my blog post. This is something to mull over. To digest. To consider with elegance.

I guess what I am asking you to do is…well, maybe we could all just try…a little?

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