Thank you, Deborah, for the article “An Introduction to Title IX and the Clery Act in Higher Education.” Because of the dynamics of Title IX, the education system is facing tremendous decisions and changes. Therefore, Deborah and I are discussing a series of writings about this topic in 2018. So stay tuned!
“The Mask I Ware,” by Dr. Joyce Kelly, brings an appreciable closing to our One More Thing Campaign. Dr. Kelly is a returning contributor to our site. I thank her for her desire to minister through her love of writing.
Sharing poetry throughout October has been uplifting and satisfying to many of our readers and followers. I can speak to this because of the new followers and those that expressed liking what was published throughout the month by And He Restoreth My Soul Project.
Remember: Domestic Violence Awareness Month is only a success because of you!
I Serve at the Pleasure of God
Darlene J. Harris
Biography of Dr. Joyce Kelley
Dr. Joyce Kelley fondly known as “Dr. J” has a heart and passion for helping others. She gives unselfishly of herself in the pursuit of sharing the healing power of forgiveness.
Joyce holds an Associate Degree in General Studies. A Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies. Joyce also holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree. She is currently pursuing a 2nd Master’s Degree in Theology. She is the CEO/Founder of Exalted Consulting a venue to share the Power of Forgiveness through seminars and workshops. Joyce is also the CEO/Founder of Hip Hop Step, a venue to transform walking apparatus for those in need. Joyce is an avid reader and writer.
Joyce resides in Southern CA. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. “ (Matthew 19:26b, KJV.)
The Mask I Wear
The mask I wear has many names, it is hurt, it is pain, it is betrayal, and it is shame. The mask I wear is whatever I need it to be whenever I don’t want people to see the real me. The mask I wear covers my secret past. It is durable and is made to last. Just in case it begins to show signs of wear, I have a spare. And a spare for the spare I am never without the mask I wear.
The mask remains on no matter the cost. The mask I wear is protection; it is my very own superhero. When I wear my mask all of the hurt, shame and pain are invisible just like me. The mask I wear is my personal force field, when my mask is on one can harm or hurt me. They can’t get close because my mask protects me. The person looking in my direction can’t see me, they can only see what is in front of the mask, and not the real me because of the mask I wear.
The mask I wear has been on a long time. I have spent most of my life behind it. There is safety behind the mask. There is peace behind the mask; there is protection behind the mask. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t have it on. The mask I wear does not come with a price tag. It is not found in the mall, and you can’t buy it from Amazon or eBay. You just need to have an experience that pierces you down to your core. That pierces you to your very soul. The mask then appears almost like magic to begin protecting you. And should I need a different mask it is there for the asking.
The mask I wear is interchangeable. It goes with everything I own, it even matches my favorite shoes. It fits no matter what my weight is. I never leave home without the mask I wear; everything I do revolves around the mask I wear. In case of damage I have a spare, and a spare for the spare.
You ask why I wear my mask? I wear it because of hurt, shame, depression and for protection. When you have gone through what I have it is better to wear a mask. People on the outside are judgmental and look down upon me. I am labeled as damaged goods. I wear my mask so that no one will know my life, no one will know or see the real me.
I have struggled behind the mask that I wear. I have always thought I was ok, and I believed this was how things were meant to be. But today something changed, I challenged myself. You see I have never had mirrors in my home. I requested that the bathroom mirror be covered up before I moved in. When driving I avoid the rearview mirror. I try to avoid mirrors everywhere I go. Today I made a decision, one that has been a long time coming. I bought a mirror. I am not sure what is going to happen when I put it up, but I am hanging it as soon as I get home.
I want to know what will happen when I remove the mask I wear. I wanted to see what it would feel like; how things would look without the mask I wear. At first, it was difficult quite cloudy in fact. The longer the mask I wear was off of my face the clearer my vision became. I walked around the room to get a better view and to grasp the concept of not wearing the mask that I have worn for many years.
After a brief period of time, I started to feel differently than I have ever felt. I walked past the mirror and I saw something I had never seen before. Something that I have wondered about, but was afraid to see. Afraid to see who I really am. I got closer to the mirror and I saw the real me. I am not the horrible person I thought I was inside and out because of what happened to me. I know now that what happened to me was not my fault. The reflection looking back at me was not the face of the person that suffered abuse. The face was not ugly, the face was beautiful. The reflection looking back at me was not a victim of abuse, not a victim of rape. The reflection was that of a conqueror over abuse, a survivor of rape. A champion. When I looked in the mirror without the mask I wear I saw a vision of beauty and triumph.
I SAW THE REAL ME, NO MORE MASK AS I AM FREE!