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  • Writer's pictureRemi

28 - MASKS

Illustration @mehdi_ange_r (INSTAGRAM)

"Speaking out liberates as much as it isolates!

This is what one person said to me in a comment when I announced the existence of my blog on the networks, as a warning. I had understood the meaning of this, of course, but had not really experienced it until now.

How to start this new story, the first post-confinement one?

Perhaps simply by telling you that I am fine. I took full advantage of this period to refocus, to recharge my batteries, to get away from the things that were bothering me. I didn't pretend anymore during this period. No more constraints, no more masks to wear in order to be socially integrated and intelligible.

I decided to use this moment, this break, to make "loving oneself" no longer a concept but a real art of living. Since then I have had the feeling that I love others better.

I created a lot during this period and I know that creation is above all a means of expressing what cannot be verbalised.

I also ate a lot. More than six kilos in six weeks. And now I'm questioning myself but without feeling guilty.

My clothes are tight. I know I'm eating in any way, without any pleasure. I know this circle, I've been experiencing it for years.

I talk about it in analysis because it strikes me. I live in silence, I'm alone, I eat, it weighs on me literally and figuratively. I realise that I eat to prevent myself from talking and that it goes back to my earliest childhood, like when my father would put me in front of the TV for a snack on his way home from school, knowing full well that it had been a hellish day, that harassment was a daily occurrence, and surely thinking that the comfort of an orgy of cakes was perhaps the best way to soothe my ailments, when all I wanted was for someone to take the time to listen to my words.

Comfort food, food that regulates emotions, filling your mouth so that you can't speak, eating to give an excuse for silence.

This is one of the revelations I had during this confinement.

Secondly, and not least, I have had chronic hives since I was nine years old (the same period when I started to gain weight) linked to anxiety, which I treat with an antihistamine on a daily basis. One month after the start of the confinement I noticed that I didn't have any more attacks, that I didn't have to take the medication. From one day to the next, this thing that had been chasing me since childhood evaporated like magic.

I told everyone around me about it. I don't think you can imagine how relieved I was to see that it could go away and above all to finally understand its origin. Of course, my hives were linked to anxieties, but I had never been able to identify them clearly. It wasn't simply a matter of having a temporary attack because of a stressful event such as a job interview, taking a driving test or something else... No, the reasons were much more complex, and linked to a much more fundamental anxiety: the fear of the outside world.

Since I was a child I had to learn, in order to survive, to put on masks, to be unnoticed, because at eight years old you don't want to be different, you don't want to be called "faggot" in the playground, in front of impassive teachers. You don't want to be spat on by your friends either. No, we don't want that.

What was the hives then? It was my skin, my body that protected itself from the outside, it was a complete mask because I was incapable of speaking, of defending myself, of reacting, I saw the adults around me who didn't do anything, who left me alone and I said to myself: "Ok, so it's normal, because if it wasn't, the adults would do something about it, right?

That's what I was built with: the belief that who I was had to be camouflaged by blood-red patches and my speech muffled by food.

This has followed me to this day.

Confinement has allowed me to fully embrace loneliness and not suffer it anymore. I know that it will be a long road to erase the stigma of these many years, but I am very serene.

"Speaking out liberates as much as it isolates?

I have never been so little solicited on dating applications as since my blog is attached to my profiles. It's an observation, distressing because it reveals the task that awaits me as an activist, but which nevertheless reflects our world, which in many aspects is completely out of whack.

I have the impression that all the steps I have taken since childhood have prepared me to live through this period, like an armour that has been built up little by little to protect me from the emotional solitude in which I live today. I would be lying if I said that this isolation is unpleasant, I have totally learned to live with it and have found ways to get out of it when I feel the need.

The JOURNAL POSITIF is one of them.

For a long time I wanted to be "normal", to be accepted, to have lots of friends, to be loved, to have recognition. I have long sought validation from others before acting. Until now, isolation, silence, being outside were real ordeals for me, almost insurmountable. Gradually everything has changed and I myself am truly astonished. Little by little I exist, I give value to what I am, I give value to my words, to my body, to what I feel. I no longer make myself invisible. Speaking out simply liberates, and if it results in a certain form of isolation, I can assure you that it is comfortable because it is directly connected to what I am, without armour, without masks, and that I will try never to wear them again.

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