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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Some Things are too Private to Share

Each of my volunteers was given a questionnaire to answer as previously discussed.  One question was about whether there were things that they hide that they did not reveal or write on the mask.

For most people, there are some things that they feel they cannot talk about.  There are some things that are too private and they are not yet in a place where they can reveal them to others. I know that this is certainly true for me. There are things that are not on my mask that I haven’t yet fully admitted to myself, so there is no way I am ready to share them with others. I am hopeful that that project will help me to do this in the future.

For some, memory issues caused by their underlying medical conditions means that they may have unintentionally missed things out.

Other comments included that they use their confidence as a mask and that underneath they are shy and introverted.

Several commented on their lack of body confidence and body dysmorphia. People around do not see this.  All they see is a confident person, happy in their skin.  Again this is close to my heart, as I portray a confident, couldn’t care what others think attitude. Yet inside, I care what people think.  I wear bright clothes to make it look like I am happy when I am not.

Feeling like you are a disappointment to your family and close friends is debilitating and experienced by many people. Acknowledging this is one thing, but writing it on a mask is too much when you are trying to deal with this feeling.

Volunteers chose to tell me things that they hadn’t told many others before; in some cases, they may only have told one other person. These included stories of sexual abuse and self-harm. These things are kept off the mask for fear of upsetting others – partners or parents. I am not going to expand on these as I am not comfortable sharing the information via this blog (even though in some cases the volunteers were happy for me to share). I am not sure sharing these things in their entirety will necessarily add to the impact of the project; what they have shared on their masks is powerful enough. As I said at the start, some things are just too private to share.

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