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9 Emotional Masks We Wear

What is up, everyone? It is Saturday, October 28th of 2023. We are back with another support group. I call it the family education and support group but it’s really for any human being here that might be interested in learning a little bit about various topics such as personal development, mental health, addictions, communications, boundaries, understanding how our life experiences impact us in the present moment even if they happen days, weeks, months, years, or decades ago, and a little bit of everything in between. So this is an interactive community. So for example, Miss Jess, one of our fellow group members says, “What’s good?” Marilyn says Hi and people kind of share from where they are. Feel free to let people know where you’re from. I can post up your comments, I can post your questions and it’s going here. I love this talk, well I love talking to you guys. We got Katalin, we got Tony Dupree, counselor Tony, we got Mom and Dad in the house which is always nice and I’m gonna go ahead and talk and we’ll get there.


So a quick introduction about myself: my name is Parham. I am your weekly host of this talk and we won’t have one next week because of basketball but I’ll talk about it later. Let’s be present and not worry about next week. I do have a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy with an emphasis in child development. I am a licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor which also includes addictive behaviors and patterns and processes. I am a high school basketball coach as I just shared that I’m going to be missing next week because of a game and I’ve been doing that for 15 years. Very grateful for the opportunity and I am in recovery myself too, so we’re recovering from something that takes the pain away but I am in recovery and June 13th of 2008 is the day that I changed my life around from damage and destruction to self and others to healing and recovery and rebuilding community. And so hopefully my personal experience, my professional background and all that provides a platform to be able to deliver some content for you that might help you in your life. 


And pretty much this group is for any human being that firsthand or secondhand has experienced any type of pain as a result of addictions, mental health, or mental illness, trauma, or grief and loss, and so I believe that a majority of people, if they kind of tune into what I’m saying they’ll be able to gather something from this. These talks are there for free and they’re provided on a weekly basis for the most part. Feel free to share them with anyone you want. I’m not big on plugging all the social media stuff but feel free to share them with whoever you want and we’ll go from there.


This talk is one that I’ve done now, this is the fourth consecutive year, around the same time of year. I do this talk (it’s a little dark in this room is it let’s see I got this new camera that I’m working with. Let’s get a little light in here, yeah whatever. As long as you can hear my voice.) So let’s get right into this specific talk and what I want to share with you guys is that Halloween is coming up and Halloween is a time that we all associate with people wearing various types of costumes and masks but what if I told you that Halloween isn’t the only time of year that people wear masks? What if I told you that people like you and me oftentimes wear masks consciously or unconsciously as a result of our life experiences? The Japanese have a very famous saying that I love, and they say the following. “We all have three faces. The first face is the face that we show the world. The second face is the face that we show our friends and family. And the third face is the face that we show to nobody, in that third face is our truest self.” Now when I say that and we use that beautiful Japanese kind of proverb if you will, what does it make you think of, and where does your mind go with it? I want you to know this. That all of us, including myself, wear masks throughout the year. Now the goal is to be able to be aware that we’re wearing a mask and the second one is to be able to remove it when necessary to be able to be fully authentic and fully stand in our own space and our own presence and to be able to communicate with others mask-free. Okay, so this talk is going to identify nine different masks, emotional masks, that human beings wear, why they wear them, what’s the background, and for you it’s to think of, “Oh man, I know I wear a few of these, or I know I wear one of these, or I know I wear all of these,” and it’s not just to say, “Oh that person in my life wears this mask, my my son, my daughter, my mom, my aunt, my uncle, my siblings, they wear these masks.” Well, what if they wear something? You’re wearing something too. I want you to know that and again this is interactive so if you want to pause me, slow me down, ask me questions, feel free to and we’ll go from there.


So these masks that I’m talking about, these emotional masks that we wear, are a byproduct of adverse childhood experiences or negative experiences through our lifetime that caused a little bit of potentially negative impact or trauma. I’m going to go through them one by one and I’ll give you some good examples to really help you understand and grasp the concept and see which ones you identify with.


1. The very first mask that human beings wear and there’s no specific order but it’s called the Humorist. The humorist is also known in layman’s terms as the class clown we all know what that person’s like. No matter what the situation is, they deflect with humor. They could be dealing with something super sad or overwhelming and somehow they’re cracking jokes in the middle of it. Or it’s like a Class A kid in the classroom – they’re just constantly acting out to the point they got to remove them from the class and say, “Yo, something’s wrong here.” And the best example for a professional humorist or Class Clown would be our beloved stand-up comedians. Not all of them, so if you’re a stand-up comedian watching this and you’re saying, “This is BS. I had no negative childhood experiences. I just like to make jokes and make people laugh,” that’s a different story, good on you. But for the most part, if you read the autobiography of most funny human beings their childhood is riddled with pain. 


The person that I love the most when I think of stand up comedy is rest in peace Mr Robin Williams. Oh did I love this human! Robin Williams made human beings of multiple generations laugh in moments of darkness and despair. Robin Williams brought laughter and joy to the lives of people who desperately needed it. I know a personal example. I was 10 or 11 years old and I moved to the country of Iran after living in the United States for the previous five years. I’m in Iran and I’m just depressed. I’m in an all boys school wearing a uniform. I can’t read the language, I can’t write the language. I just don’t want to be there. It’s oppressed, it’s Islamic, it’s just horrible. I want to be in the US and I remember we got this bootleg video of Miss Doubtfire and I probably watched Miss Doubtfire a thousand five million times. That’s not even a number but God, did it take me out of my mind, and God did it make me laugh, and boy, did it bring me some joy in those moments. Robin Williams, yeah rest in peace my friend, absolutely rest in peace. And when you look at Robin Williams’ life behind the camera when no one’s around he struggled with major depressive disorder. When you look at Robin Williams’ life he struggled with cocaine abuse and alcoholism. When you look at Robin Williams’ life it was far from funny. He struggled and he’s open about it and ultimately it led him to believe that the depression was so severe that a person that successful and well known had to take his own life because he couldn’t live another day feeling the way he felt. 


So if you are a humorist, just know that the reason for it is coming from some type of sadness that you experienced in your life that was so overwhelming that instead of dealing with it you just crack jokes about it, crack jokes about it, crack jokes about it, and you’ll never let anyone close. It’s one thing for the kid to be the funny kid but when you’re an adult and you’re the funny adult that’s always cracking jokes and never takes [ __ ] seriously you might want to look at that.


2. The next one that we have here is – oh I can identify with this – I told you we’re all guilty of these, and Bam! here I go – the Overachiever. The overachiever is something that a lot of people can get away with. You want to know why? Because society rewards you for this one. Society says, “Oh, you’re really, really good at something,” or “You’re really, really good at a lot of things,” and you do everything really well. But it comes with a cost so why do certain people become overachievers? It’s oftentimes because they have this innate inadequacy. They don’t feel good about themselves and who they are and how they live so they overcompensate with accomplishments. They overcompensate with making sure that they are doing the best of their abilities at all things they can do and they’re burning at the both ends of the candle and they’re just always on the go and they’re trying to get good grades and they’re trying to be good at work and they’re trying to do good at relationships and they’re trying to be the best at everything. Because they feel that by doing so they can receive the love, the recognition, the acknowledgement, whatever you want to call it, of the world, and when they don’t get it it’s an empty feeling. So if you’re an overachiever there’s nothing wrong with that. 


I want you to know that – I say this every week and I’ll say it again – we are human beings, not human doings. If you only identify with the things you achieve and not who you are as a person you’re going to be set up for disaster. And overachievers oftentimes come from dysregulated family systems. If there’s a lot of moving, if there’s a lot of chaos, if there’s a lot of dysfunction, if there’s a lot of instability, they think that the X Factor is going to be by accomplishing everything I can accomplish. And this can lead into things like perfectionism which causes significant impair in life. And again, society pats you on the back for this one. Society pats the standup comedians on the back too. So we got to be really careful when we’re wearing these masks on days that are not Halloween. Do we have the time, space, the moment to take them off and actually identify with the person underneath the mask? 


So far we got two of these masks in and by the way for the humorist I’m going to show a video that’s pretty emotional from my favorite show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, so that’s coming at the end, just to personify what this actually looks like. And whoever came on said Hi. We had Hamid Joon, Hi. Eileen, what’s up? Bita, what’s up? Jim, there you are my man! And Fariba, what is up?


3. So the next one we have here is the Martyr. Let’s put the Martyr up because if we don’t put the Martyr up the Martyr is going to complain that they weren’t up. See what I did there? Okay so the Martyr is the one that is always self sacrificing themselves for their environment, for their people. And the most annoying thing a martyr does is they tell the people around them,
How much I’ve sacrificed for you, I’ve given up my hopes, my goals, my dreams, my ambitions for you, and this is how you reward me.” The Martyr always feels like he or she is the victim in every circumstance of their life. I want you to know this if you are a martyr. First of all, I know you get defensive to be called a martyr but if you are a martyr I have compassion for you even if I’m saying it with a goofy smile. Do you want to know why? Because at some point in your life there’s a very high probability that you actually were the victim. There’s a high probability that your needs never got met, that your self esteem was never nurtured, that you were never given the love that you deserved. What you’re doing now is you’re going through life, giving everything and anything of yourself to others to just feel loved. And when they don’t love you back the way that you’re loving and when they don’t give back what it is that you’re giving them your expectations get shattered and you start to feel resentful. 


See, I’m not saying it’s wrong being any of these things I’m just saying when we over identify with these personas it becomes our reality. I mean someone that is a martyr or a victim, they just happen to be that way everywhere they go. I was at the grocery store like A Mother’s Market where for the most part people that go to Mother’s Market are a little bit more health conscious, they just think a little bit differently, they’re willing to pay a premium to get a product for their health and this and that. We’re just standing in the checkout lane, and bless their heart, there’s one person working over there and I’m in the line and it’s probably going to be like a six to seven minute line. And the person in front of me is just losing their mind like, “This is ridiculous. We have stuff to do, we got places to go. I’m here right now trying to get this stuff and this is literally what’s happening. They’re making me wait for 5 minutes. I mean, how hard is it for them to get another cashier in this place and make this go by faster? I’m missing out on the opportunity to go do XY and Z.” It’s like, “Yo dude, chill out! just wait for five minutes, grab your groceries and walk out, be grateful you’re buying groceries.” But that mindset doesn’t just apply to the register at a grocery store. It applies to their loved ones and their relationships and their children. 


Parents oftentimes come from dysfunctional homes themselves and then they also have a loved one who is struggling with drugs and alcohol, they sacrifice everything of themselves for their loved one. It’s codependency 101. But they’re doing it with good intentions and that’s the other thing. A parent that sacrifices everything for their kid, they’re doing it with good intentions, not knowing that the help that they’re giving them is actually crippling them and enabling them to continue doing what they’re doing. That’s a whole different talk but it’s something that’s very important to consider.


4. So the next one that we have here is – and again if you have any questions about any of these feel free to ask. This is what this conversation is for. The next mask that people wear when it’s not Halloween is the mask of the Bully. So we all know what a bully in school looks like, and I know I’ve experienced bullying when I was a child growing up. I remember vividly going from the US to Iran and sitting in school and it was just tough. They make fun of you for being an American. I’m like, well I was born in Iran. They make fun of you for not being able to read and write or the way you speak has like a certain accent to it, or sounds cute or funny. And then when I came to the US in my high school years, my formative high school years, sophomore, junior year, nobody was overtly outright mean to me but I would get really bad comments and stuff. Like if you look at my face up close I don’t know if you can see I have all these like acne scars on my face and I think this camera is a little polished so it’s removing them but I was to the point that I was afraid if someone touches my face, my face was going to bleed. I had so much social anxiety. I have this thing called Vitiligo which is like these little white dots or spots that I have on my hand and I get made fun of for those. Or people wouldn’t want to touch my hand because they thought it’s contagious and this sh just hurts. It really hurts a human being but here’s the thing. Let’s just say there’s a fifth grader that’s a class bully, like one of those fifth graders that we all know about, that just says mean things to kids and hurts kids and does harmful things to kids and everybody gets mad at the bully. 


I’m not justifying their behavior by the way. I’m not saying it’s right to be a fifth grader and be a bully but if fifth graders oftentimes are like 11 or 12 years old, if you had a chance to watch that bully walk home all the way to his house, like bird’s eye view and go inside of his house, and put a little camera and observe what happens inside that kid’s house, there is a very high possibility /probability /predictability that that child is experiencing some type of bullying behavior inside the home, or is observing and watching some type of bullying behavior inside the home. He is just doing to others what is being done to him or what’s familiar to him. I’m not justifying it but I’m saying that’s the reason why it’s so painful to watch that or experience that, that you go out and you do it to other people as a coping skill. It’s another mask that people wear. Now when it’s a child we can all say, “Well, that kid is a victim of their circumstances and surroundings,” but where I start to have a challenge and an issue is if that you’re a bully and now all of a sudden you’re 18-20-25-30 years old and you’re still bullying other people, it’s no longer on the environment that brought you up. Now it’s on you. Because if you’re aware of it you must do the work to change it. Because if you don’t you will do to others what was done to you, even if it was painful, and if you want to break multigenerational patterns of dysfunction in multigenerational patterns that get passed on the negative ones you got to break that cycle. 


So finding out why I lash out or act out and bully other human beings, why do I exert my dominance? By the way, bullying sometimes can come in the form of intellectual stuff. So some people that are really smart can use intellectual kind of comments, and they can intellectualize things, they can use sarcasm as a form of bullying somebody else’s intelligence. I mean it’s ridiculous but the bully is someone that at some point in their life was feeling it. Nobody just randomly becomes a bully ever, ever. So that’s another mask right there.


Let’s see what Marilyn said here. “My grandma always says… (by the way grandmas are cool because they got some wisdom and they got some nuggets)… my grandma always said if you can’t say something nice to someone you don’t say nothing at all. Just give them a smile. Kindness goes a long way. Bullying must stop.” Yeah, I mean, the wisdom of all generations is beautiful. There’s a book there Marilyn. I have a talk – I don’t think you were with us, like you weren’t following us consecutively when I created it, but it’s a book that I read that inspired me to do a talk. So go look it up. It’s called ‘I learned everything I needed to learn in life in Kindergarten.’ I love that topic. I love that title so much but it pretty much is that one. Let’s see. “It seems that the bully feels so powerless that that is the only behavior that makes the bully powerful.” Yeah, it’s a pursuit of power, it really is. There is no ability to go and feel that they are something in life because they feel this big so when they go and yell and scream and push and act it makes them feel bigger. But they oftentimes go home and they remember that they feel this big and they repeat the cycle. Let’s see what Jess says. “This is exactly what happened with my son’s bully a few years ago before we moved. I have seen him walking to and from the bus stop by himself, even from like second or third grade. We didn’t live in a nice neighborhood either. It was a pretty decent walk and his parents never came to the parent-teacher things or events. The one time his dad did, he was awful.” First of all Jess, I want you and your son to know that I’m sorry that your son had to experience that. It’s not fair to the child but I’m proud of you for being big enough and having compassion enough to not personalize what’s happening from this little child, and to know that there’s the bigger picture thing going on. Because if a kid – and not saying like a kid’s walking home is a bad thing – but if it’s a bad neighborhood and it’s always all the time and the kid’s walking a long long distance and he’s just always kind of down and out by himself, if that’s happening out there, it’s also happening in the home. That kid ain’t going to a home that’s emotionally present and loving and caring. He’s going home and there ain’t no one there. And when you said the father finally showed up, they never came to anything, and when he came he was awful. If someone’s awful at a parent-teacher meeting where you’re supposed to put your best foot forward, imagine what that person’s like behind closed doors. Imagine what that person’s like behind closed doors. So a very good lesson to teach and to use your personal example for it, thank you.


5. The next one that we have here is number five, the Control Freak. Some of the parents are like, “Oh oh! He’s getting personal. Now he’s starting to talk about us.” Yeah, I wouldn’t go that far but I’m talking about you control freaks. So how does one become a control freak? It usually happens as a response to adverse childhood experiences when our environment, the people, places, and things in our environment as we’re growing up were out of control. Maybe there was family discord, and maybe there was fights, and maybe there was abandonment, maybe there was a lot of moving, maybe there was a lot of noise and chaos, maybe there was a volatile socioeconomic status, maybe it was just a very difficult upbringing that was out of the control of the child, so the person starts to overcompensate by engaging in thoughts and behavior that are kind of overly controlling. This can happen with our environment. Things like OCD, people that have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that are in a constant strife and need to control things. It could become with our physical bodies, people that have eating disorders – there the only one thing you can control is yourself. If you can’t control the environment it can come in relationships and people do this with their loved ones all the time. So the control freak is a response. So remember it’s a response and an adaptation for someone who growing up, experienced adverse childhood experiences that were related to things being out of control. And the control freak annoys people because nobody wants to be around one. I call those helicopter parents. They’re just always around and it’s like they want to know every little detail and for them they’re like, “I’m doing it because I love my kid,” and they know their kid says, “I can’t stand my mom or dad. They just control every aspect of my life.” So the intention is good: “I love my kid.” The actual interpretation of what they’re doing is, “This person just doesn’t trust me. This person hates me. This person is just XYZ.” 


And by the way Jess just included one more thing: “We’d seen him a year ago and he was hanging out with much older boys. It’s really sad.” People always say these little kids go into gangs. 12-year-olds hanging out with 16-18 year olds. It’s like, “Hey, why are these kids hanging out with such older kids? Why don’t they hang out with kids their own age?” Because when they go hang out with the older kids it’s the first time in their life that they experience love from somebody that’s older than them. And we all need that. If you talk to gang members about what they get out of a gang do you really think they talk about, “Oh, I get my watches, or I get money in my pocket, or I get respect”? What they say: “I get love, I get family, I get loyalty…” That’s what they’re striving for, that’s what they’re looking for. 


6. So the next one we have here is the Self Basher. This is the person that their environment was so hypercritical on them and was so overly intense on them that they start to believe the stuff that was told to them. I tell parents all the time, “Be careful of what you tell your children, because one day it will become their inner critic, the inner voice inside their mind.” So, if you always tell your kid, “You’re not good enough, you’re not doing it right, you should have done it this way,” do you really think they just take that and say, “Oh thank you so much, I appreciate you Mom, I appreciate you Dad, for telling me that. I didn’t do it good enough.” They start to internalize that. “When they told me that, it means I’m not good enough. I’m inadequate. I’m not smart. I’m not worthy. I don’t deserve.” And guess what that inner critic becomes? Their inner voice. And it starts to become their identity. They over-identify with it and believe the BS that they’re telling themselves. And they bash themselves and they bash themselves and they bash themselves. “Oh I can’t do it anyways, what’s the point? Why even try? I’m stupid.” How many people say they’re stupid when they’re not? How many people say they’re not worthy of love or happiness when they are? Where do you think all this comes from? It’s a mask they put on, adaptations to adverse childhood experiences. It’s sad when I see someone being super critical of themselves. You know what I tell them? Start to, at the end of every day, identify three things that you did well. Just three. Maybe it was a conversation you had with somebody, maybe it was a few tasks that you had to complete that you got done. Maybe it was the way that you loved yourself and you went around the block and took a walk and ate an apple and meditated and slept early. Whatever it is, whatever it is, start to identify the positive, and the positive will grow. Keep focusing on the negative, and the negative is all that there will be. 


And Mr Jim, “Having to deal with the core belief of not being good enough can be a real challenge.” Yeah and so Jim used the clinical word. Jim’s a counselor, if you guys don’t know. These thoughts, these ideas, these experiences start to become something called a core belief. Now a core belief is something that we hold as true about self as a result of the life experiences we had, however it’s not the truth. It’s just the belief that we have that we over identify with. So he says that it’s really challenging to overcome. It is, because we over-identify with it. And it’s trying to say, “Hey, how can I overcome who I am?” It’s not who you are. It’s who you think you are. It’s who you had to become. The beauty of life is that we could transform our story and we can create new core beliefs, ones that are around and geared towards our personal and professional development, ones that align with our true self, who you actually want to be in life. Nobody wants to be these things. Nobody wants to be the Class clown.  Nobody wants to be the Overachiever. Nobody wants to be the Martyr. Nobody wants to be the Bully. Nobody wants to be the Control Freak. Nobody wants to be the Self Basher. Yet so many people are all of those things. Curious to know why.


7. The next one that we have here is something called the People Pleaser. This is for my codependents who are like, “Oh I like this one, the people pleaser.” Just kind of says what they think that others want to be told, they do what they think others want to be done, and they go where they think others want them to go. There is no sense of self. They get their entire self worth of becoming who and what they think they’re supposed to become for the environment and the people in that environment to approve of them, accept them, and ultimately love them. But guess what? It’s never enough. And in that pursuit of being accepted and loved, in that pursuit they completely get disconnected and lose touch with who and what they actually are. There’s a lot of people in the recovery rooms that say, “Hey, I’m just like a chameleon. I could be anything I want to be. I could talk anyway I want to talk. I can do what I got to do because that’s what I am.” No, that tells me who you exactly are not. There is no sense of self, there is no truth, there is no realness, authenticity to you. If you could be whatever color paint that you have to be to look a certain way on a wall, what does that say about you? And here’s the reason why people do that by the way. It is because it all comes from low self-esteem. It all comes from lack of self-worth. It all comes from inadequate receiving of this thing called love growing up, and they go on this constant pursuit. People Pleasers, they have a really hard time and they start to experience a lot of things around the world of anxiety and depression, a lot of things.


8. The next one I have here is the Isolationist. So we have these words, introvert and extrovert. Those are kind of healthy expressions of human behavior and personality. We can be a little bit introverted, we could be a little extroverted, we could be a little bit of both, we could be more leaning or more dominant on the other one, but the isolationist is completely on the extreme introvert side. And here’s the reason why. Because if I go put myself out there, if I connect with other people I’m going to get hurt. It’s safer to be by myself than it is to be in the world. I’d rather do everything on my own, than expose myself to the possibility, the potential of let down. And the introvert experiences extreme loneliness and sadness in life, extreme. Somebody that’s an isolationist, because what is a human being? What is the human experience all about? It’s about the connection we’ve talked about in these rooms, that the opposite of addiction is connection. So the opposite of misery and sadness and loneliness and all that stuff is connection. So if you’re an isolationist I get why you do it – because the world hurt you. But I’m also telling you that the cure for sadness and loneliness is connection. It’s a double-edged sword. Eventually you got to start to learn to trust and you got to start to learn to try and you gotta start to take some risks – small ones – to break away from that. And you might always be okay with being an introvert but not an isolationist. 


9. And the flip side of it is this thing called the Social Butterfly. And we’re like, “Oh, it must be really cool to be like that person.” A social butterfly can’t be by themselves. It’s the opposite and by the way why is that the case? Because when they were by themselves growing up they were probably just around some intensity and all they wanted to do was get the heck out of the house. Get the heck out of the house and be anywhere but there. They just wanted to be with people 24/7. They can’t be by themselves. They just go and go and go and they just kind of feel like that’s the way that they’re going to be okay. But as soon as the lights are off and the cameras are off and the people are gone and they’re by themselves again they get very, very, very uncomfortable. The exact opposite of the isolationist. So the social butterfly is draining, oftentimes to keep that persona up, things like drugs and alcohol have to kick in, or just some type of a you-gotta-be-a-chatter-box that drains the heck out of me. I’m a big, big talker. I could talk for 12 hours in a day but trust me, I got to go home and plug myself into the wall, if you will, and just disconnect. 


So I want to show you what one of these roles looks like. It’s a 3 minute clip. Yeah, Jim just said it right there. “We all need solitude sometimes but none of us need isolation.” Isolation is not for humankind. What I want you guys to know is my favorite show growing up was this thing called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and it was Will Smith and he was a child from Philadelphia, from like the hood. An adverse childhood experience was when his dad abandoned him when he was a child. He eventually moves over to Bel-Air where he had an aunt and uncle somehow but his dad pops into his life after a lot of years, like 14 years of not being there. So the dad comes into his life and Will Smith is like a freaking humorist, the humorist mask. He’s a funny guy. This scene is going to show you what’s underneath it and how he quickly taps into that mask before underneath it comes out. So his dad comes and one more time his father says, “Hey sorry son, I gotta go.” So his father comes in and and they’re about to go on this road trip for a few weeks and he’s so excited he comes and he’s like, “Dad, I’m here,” and his dad’s right about to walk out and he says, “Hey son, something came up and I gotta go again.” And immediately Will just goes, “Okay whatever, take care!” He’s like, “We’ll do it some other time.” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever. We’ll go,” and the dad walks out and Will turns around. His uncle’s there and his uncle’s like, “Hey Will, I’m so sorry that your dad did this to you again.” And then Will says, “Oh it’s not a big deal. Actually I’m happy that he’s gone because all the girls in school at summertime, they’re going to be wearing nothing, they’re going to look good, I’m gonna go play ball, I’m going to party, I’m gonna have a good time,” and then he’s like, “Will, it’s okay to be mad,” and he says, “Why should I be mad? It’s not like I’m 5 years old and I’m waiting at the window asking my mom when dad’s going to come home. It’s not like I had 14 birthdays without him. It’s not like I learned how to do all these things without him,” and he starts to get angry and then he starts to say, “I’m gonna graduate college, I’m gonna have myself a bunch of families, a bunch of kids, and I’m never gonna be what this guy was, because he never taught me what it’s like to be a dad.” And then it’s a really overwhelming scene and then he just starts crying and he says, “Why can’t he just love me?” So immediately when he got hurt he started cracking joke joke joke joke joke. Underneath it was, “Why can’t he just love me?” And I want you guys to know that whichever one of these masks we share today, underneath it there is a wounded self. This mask is protection. 


So in conclusion, Halloween is not the only day of the year that people wear masks. This talk was to inform you and notify you that all of us, including myself, can wear these masks any day of the year, but please make sure that you take these off once in a while and you look at the person underneath the mask and honor that person and make sure you connect to that person. Because the Japanese say, “We all have three faces. The first face is the face we show the world. The second face is the face we show our friends and family. The third face is the face we show nobody, and the third face is our truest self.” So to that known self, be true my friends. Make sure you tap into that. I love and appreciate all of you. I’ll see you back not next week – I’ll put an announcement – I got basketball, but the week after that. Take care, Bye everyone!

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Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.