I need release. At this point I may even need it more than my next breath. I’m overwhelmed. I think this mask I wear to face the world has consumed me. I can’t get it off – and even if I could, it’s far too late now. I couldn’t possibly show my true self. No one would believe this hideously scared, broken, scared creature is me. No, I’m the star, I’m special, I’m the one with so much potential. I’m the one whose career is taking off at a breakneck speed because of my hard work and intelligent tactics and dedication and patience and skill. I’m the confident one, a natural leader, a team player. I’m the one you rely on when you need results. Hah! If only they knew…

If only they knew how afraid I am of failing, how far I still need to go to be a great leader, how lacking I truly am in patience and restraint and good judgment. Forget the mask of who I am, I can’t even take off the mask of what I am. How can I say no as they hand me my dream? I want this, but I was supposed to have to work for it, work up to it! This was supposed to come in 10 years, or, maybe, five years. Not now! I’m not ready. I will let everyone down. I’m not stable or confident or experienced or knowledgeable. I’m in way over my head and I’m sinking faster day after day. And through it all is Mr. Casual Friday, right there and utterly out of reach. I won’t ever be able to take off the masks for him, let alone give myself to him as my very being begs to. Am I never going to find a master, am I never going to get to be 100% authentic, without fear, with any other human being?

The masks are laughing at me. They own me and control me. They no longer serve me as they were made to, no. Now they exist and I’m stuck watching the life they live from the sidelines. I’m so isolated and alone. And I need. Where does it end?