My Mask ~ Embracing My Identity

Have you ever hidden the truth for so long you couldn’t tell where it ended and the lie began? 

I did…for 30 years.

For a long time, the mask was easy to maintain. I’d worn it so long it wasn’t a part OF me, it WAS me. It was how I saw myself & presented myself to others. It was the only Torrie people knew. But I felt the mask slipping and it was terrifying. 

The mask never came off. I couldn’t let it slip. They would know. They would see. I couldn’t let that happen. I held on tight, grasping, controlling everything. Anxiety & fear consumed me. Panic seeped in. My grip was slipping. Soon everyone would know.

I am brown.

I can’t let them know. If they really see me, then I’ll be “the brown girl” again. That can’t happen! My heart beats faster. My breath is shallow. Panic.

I’ve been a “white girl trapped in a Puerto Rican body” for so long. I’m white. I’m white. I’m white. Repeating it makes it true. Right? 

I’ve been a “white girl trapped in a Puerto Rican body” for so long. I’m white. I’m white. I’m white. Repeating it makes it true. Right? 

For me, it’s only half true. 

“I’ve worked so hard for so long,” I think. I grasp for the mask. It’s melting between my fingers.
Across the country, people are rising up. They are linking arms, standing together. 
I sink into a bathtub of tears. 

Across the country, people are rising up. They are linking arms, standing together. 
I sink into a bathtub of tears. 

I sob.
I pray.
I’m scared. 

In my soul, I know it’s time. I know I’m at a fork in the road. I know there’s a choice to make – continue the lie OR live in the truth of who God created. 

I want to have a choice. 
I know I really don’t. Not anymore.

I pick up the phone. With tears streaming down my face, voice cracking, I say, “I can’t live like this anymore.” No other words are needed. They know. They’ve always known.
They know the cost will be high. They don’t want to see me hurt. 

I’m already hurting. I’ve always been hurting. 

God made me brown. I’ve hidden it. Now everyone will see. They will know. 

He has a calling for me, but I can’t fulfill it until I embrace who He created. 
I can’t love others while hating myself. 
I can’t lead others to reconciliation while being at war within myself. 

I can’t love others while hating myself. 

I can’t lead others to reconciliation while being at war within myself. 

I surrender. 
For the first time, I feel peace.
I am free.

2 thoughts on “My Mask ~ Embracing My Identity

  1. I’m so sorry you have had to feel this pain and fear. Grateful for you—grateful you are embracing who God made you to be, and challenging white supremacy. Thank you.

    1. Hi Amanda,
      Thank you for your kind words. I’ve grown to understand God allowed those experiences so He can use my story to help others. With the increased awareness, I pray hearts will continue to soften and become open to seeing those who are different from them through the eyes of Jesus.

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