Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why The Mask?

I have been quiet for as long as i can remember.
When i was younger, around the age of 1 and 2. I was not quiet. I was opposite of what i am today.

Both my parents were working when i was younger. So we have a live-in maid. And mind u, I was a very noisy and rambunctious child. So the maid always pinch me on my bum when i make noises. To the point where there were huge blue blacks. I think i was 3 or 4 years of age. So i turned quiet and shy after that. I was afraid of strangers. My parents eventually found out and fired her. I don't actually remember the pinching taking place but i remember the hospital visit. I remember having to show my bum to the doctor. And I have a whole album with pictures of the markings.

But i bounced back from that. I was me again.

Then, I am not.

I was 8. I was happy. I was cheery. Light was always shining onto me.
Then, I got Bell's Palsy. Its a condition where I have partial paralysis to the right side of my face.

I was young and i didn't understand what it is really. I just know that twice a week I had to go to the hospital for physio therapy. I loved the people there. They become my friends. But I hated the treatments. I had to go electric therapy where they stuck one pad behind my neck and the other pad on my face. Then they send small currents and it was painful. I hated it. I cried having to go through that. Then there was the ice treatment where they use a cone of ice and rub it on my face. Its not painful but i was horribly uncomfortable.

Then there was the medicine. The horribly large pill which i couldn't swallow. So mum crushed it and mixed with honey for me to eat and I hate it! until now i cant drink pure honey drink.
Then when i was 9. There is this television crew that came to film what they do at the physiotherapy centre and they want me in it. I remember I really didn't want to be on it. I hate cameras. I didn't want to be shown on the tv and i hated electric treatments. That day I had to do both at them at the same time. I remember the camera crew pointing their huge black camera onto my face and i couldn't stop covering my face with my hand and the physiotherpist just kept pushing my hand away. But despite all of this, I was relatively still me.

But when i hit 11. That light shining on me closed in and my world turned dark. It hit me. I now know i was different for other people. I can't smile. I can't laugh. I hated the electric treatments. I hate the way people looked at me. i hate it when they ask whats wrong with ur face.

Then I got my first period. Everything was just too confusing. Too much for me to take. When i was ten I was away to another state for a year. Also at 11, when i got back, nobody was my friend anymore. I was in a less than friendly class. But i made one friend. the others were just fake friends. Kind of like we pretend we are friends but just for the company. So my world closed in and I became somebody I was not. I was rude. I was mean. I was failing at my studies. I hated life.

I decided to turn a new leaf when i turned 13. I became more of me but with that huge mask. I became shy and reserved. I never smile. And when i laughed I cover my mouth with my hands. I came across as anti-social. But the truth is, I love people. I love to be around people. But i just didn't know how to make friends. Instead, people have to make friends with me. I hate being in front of cameras but i do like being behind them.

This is who I have become today.

I don't like it. But its better than 11-year-old me. But everyday I try to become even better. But its an excruciatingly slow process. But i have learnt. I can make eye contact and i can hug people without feeling uncomfortable. I can open a little of my feelings. And i can smile to people. I can wave to them. I can say hello to people without waiting for them to say hello to me first. There are probably more but these are the ones that made me who i am today.

I just told a personal story. Nothing I will tell anybody in this details.

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