The Many Masks of Emotional Pain... what they are and why we wear them

What is the cause of our most serious emotional pain?

The following are only a few of the many ways we can be afflicted with emotional and/or psychological pain in our lives...

1) It can stem from a childhood, or early life, experience that was beyond our control, like...

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Loss of something like a pet or any cherished object
  • Divorce of parents
  • Loss of someone you were deeply in love with through breakup, divorce, separation or abandonment

2) It could come from one, or more, deaths of someone you loved, or cared deeply about, for example...

  • The death of a friend, relative or loved one by natural causes
  • The death of a friend, relative or loved one from an accident
  • The death of a friend, relative or loved one who was murdered

3) It can be from being teased about your looks or some natural proclivity that you have, or did have

4) Physical pain can trigger emotional pain, like an ailment

5) It can be "Self Inflicted"

  • This can be something that you are imagining to be real, but otherwise would not be, or something you caused to happen yourself. We may all know someone like this. And typically this is also a result of #1 above, or it could even be from "Empathy" (feeling and/or sharing the pain of others)
The Many Masks of Emotional Pain... what they are and why we wear them


  • DRUGS (both legal and illegal)
Im Cool Man!
I'm Cool Man!
Is this really going to take away your pain for good, or just until the next day when you start again?
Is this really going to take away your pain for good, or just until the next day when you start again?
  • SEX
Is Sex the permanent answer for your pain or just a temporary fix?
Is Sex the permanent answer for your pain or just a temporary fix?
Are you stuck on the carousel of violence and anger because of past suffering, abuse or mistreatment?
Are you stuck on the carousel of violence and anger because of past suffering, abuse or mistreatment?
Has your pain led you down the path of crime?
Has your pain led you down the path of crime?
Are you delusional about your past, present and/or future?
Are you delusional about your past, present and/or future?
Is focusing on your work 24/7 really the way to mask your pain?
Is focusing on your work 24/7 really the way to mask your pain?
Is your pain hidden behind a smile which is really a mask of depression?
Is your pain hidden behind a smile which is really a mask of depression?
Does your pain hide behind a mask of disorder and/or self destruction?
Does your pain hide behind a mask of disorder and/or self destruction?


Is it possible for serious emotional pain and trauma to be overcome?

The simple answer is ...YES! ...but it is many times more easily said than done in most cases. For example - you have to WANT TO fix it ...not everyone really does.

I know this sounds incredible, but some of us like living behind our mask, it is like the box we are in that we don't want to come out of, or are addicted to, even though some of these masks can be self destructive in both the short, and long terms.

The Many Masks of Emotional Pain... what they are and why we wear them


Now, it is confession time and I am only admitting the obvious to those that might know me on GAG because I am hoping that it will make it easier for you to feel free to identify the mask you are wearing, since "identifying a problem is the first step to overcoming it".

So here goes ...I wear two of the masks that I mentioned that I interchange. I don't think mine are self destructive, at least that is what I keep telling myself, even though they easily could be.

HINT - I don't drink or take drugs of any kind. I am not violent, don't commit crimes and am not delusional nor plagued with any disorders. Thus, by the process of elimination, and based on my list, you have the two masks that I wear obsessively to try and mask my emotional pain...


What is my pain caused from? ...well, for me, it is the last reason on the #1 list - "Loss of someone you were deeply in love with through breakup, divorce, separation or abandonment".

MY PAIN WAS DERIVED FROM: "Loss of someone I was deeply in love with through breakup and abandonment".

Are you "Somebody That I Used To Know"? ...when will the mask come off? Listen...

I just love Ms Lavendaire ...please listen to her advise on Emotional Healing as this will help you immensely! ...


I have two very serious questions for you regarding this post ...I mean "VERY SERIOUS" and here they are, but it is only for those of you that can relate to this post, and maybe as a start to your healing if you're not healed already ...

  • What is your pain derived from? (based on my list or add your own reason) ...and,
  • What mask do you wear to deal with your pain? (based on my list or add your own mask)

Please be honest with yourself and other members. Sure, use anonymous if you want but answering these 2 questions can be the start of your healing know I'm right!

One last song before you answer the 2 questions and go off into the sunset ...Ms Natasha has a song about Recovering and is beautiful beyond words...

Please "RECOVER" from your pain without any self-destructive masks! ...PLEASE!

...and thank you so much for reading my confessional post! ...and for those who commented, thank you for being so honest with us in your journey toward healing! ...I LOVE YOU!

The Many Masks of Emotional Pain... what they are and why we wear them
Add Opinion

Most Helpful Guy

  • Finchie40
    I try not to dwell to much on my past life experiences but you are totally right about it taking an effect on our lives even though we try not to allow it but it is there , and yes a lot of us will put a mask on just to hide from it and help us move on best we can , Some people can’t really let go from their past. And some people know how to bury it and not let it effect them to much , which I pretty much do for myself. Sometimes we meet someone that has gone through similar things and it’s good to vent to someone that kind of understands the pain we went through , so that’s really the only time I will open up about my past experiences but I try to live my life moving forward , I always say life is a journey and we all aren’t perfect people. But if we do are best to move on from the past then for are own sanity that’s best thing to do , to keep a smile on are faces. I tend to do things that make me happy to help me not think of the past so much , I like to consider myself a content person , I appreciate the little things around me , it doesn’t take much to keep me happy cuz I value you what I have earned and what I have achieved. All the negative things that happened in my past I put a blanket over it and walk away from it as much as possible with hopes that it won’t wake up
    Is this still revelant?
    • It sounds like you have healed from any unpleasant experiences of your past, that is perfect!

      Yes, they still shaped us and can effect how we react to many things but not always for the worst, many times for the better :)

    • Finchie40

      Wouldn’t say I healed
      From it but able to bury it and move on from it and not allow it to really effect me much , but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hit me from time
      To time I just don’t allow it to really impact my present life , it can make me angry, sad , etc. The thing is we can’t change what happened in the past all we can do is move forward and pray we never get put into those situations ever again , and if some how some way it does come again my instincts will hopefully protect me from it. I look at my past like it was a learning experience and it made me who I am today , Am I perfect? Not at all Do I blame my past for how I am today? It might be part of it. but I don’t use that as my excuse. Which people like to do. Is blame their past for how they are , only you can make your current choices , that’s why I choose
      To be content and do what I have to do to get by , we all don’t know what the future holds all we can do is pray for a better day , we can set goals to hopefully achieve but it isn’t the end of the world if we don’t all we can do is keep moving forward , Half the time I get
      lost and think what do I really have to live for? Love? I tried that plenty of times and it never seems to last , but I keep trying I guess , Love to me can only be guided all I can do is treat someone the same way I want to be treated , if’s their choice if they choose to stand by me , if they choose to walk away let them go all we can do , the things I enjoy in life that make me happy is sex with connection and beer on the weekends lol is that bad?

    • Finchie40

      Thanks beautiful for MHO

Most Helpful Girl

  • First... One of the best if not the BEST mytakes I've ever seen on here ♥️♥️♥️
    Mine: I have a few... The loss of my husband... And since... Feel like I'm slowly kidding my kids... Maybe they blame me for their fathers death... It maybe I didn't handle it like I should of... The feeling like I don't for into today's world, society... How do I love in a world I hate... If the events of the last few days haven't shown how toxic society and the world has become I don't know what could... And I hide behind false strength and humor... Even tho sometimes I'm crying as I'm posting things that make others laugh. Again, great post Laurie and couldn't come at a better time ♥️♥️
    Is this still revelant?
    • *losing my kids

    • Thank you so much for saying that. I put many hours into this post and I was thinking of my pain, your pain and the pain of one other GAG member when I wrote this.

      I have felt your hurt in several of your posts and my empathy absorbs much of the pain of others and I can feel it.

      As you know, none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes without exception, I''m sure your children know that too because they make their share as well.

      Be sure that when the dust of life's events settles, they will love you no matter what, as you love them.

      We are all here to lift up and encourage one another and if it doesn't seem to be happening, it will.

      Remember, when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hold on.

      You are a super good person Ms BBB and there are many that love you I am certain!

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • 1stranger
    For me, the reason for emotional pain may be what I experienced in childhood. And my masks;Sometimes a cold, angry and nervous face, sometimes silence, sometimes invisibility (meaning, not wanting to appear), sometimes workaholic. Laurie, I like this mytake very much. It causes people to face themselves. You did a good job. That's great. Thanks.. I love people who are aware of their strengths/weaknesses and know themselves.
    • 1stranger

      Oooff sorry Laurie... As I write these, I put spaces between sentences and paragraphs. But the result is such a mixed answer like this.

    • I love your answer! ... you are so sweet! :)

  • Lliam
    When I experience negative emotions like frustration, hurt feelings, outrage, fear or certain kinds of sadness, it tends to manifest in what looks like anger. Not violent anger. And it's usually not mean. It's more like vocal outburst and angry body language. It can be an unconscious way of concealing the actual emotional trigger or it can be more like a safety valve that quickly releases pressure. It's harmless but can be momentarily upsetting for people who don't know me.

    I think it is similar to the way my dad coped. He was a super mellow, nice guy, and it would be surprising when he blew off steam like that. It was very rare and was usually directed at the TV news. I'm guessing I may have picked up that behavior from him.

    But there is another factor. Guys are raised to conceal their feelings. They aren't supposed to cry. So how are those emotions supposed to escape? They get hidden behind something more manly and more aggressive. We can cloud over and say "Damn it!" rather than bursting out in tears.

    This isn't to say that I don't have a soft side. I'm perfectly capable of displaying honest, tender emotions.
  • EriFrancis1994
    This is powerful. Everyone wears some kind of mask in their life and if they say they don't, they're wearing a mask of denial
  • Jjpayne
    This was a great take! We do indeed wear a lot of masks but I'd argue, the most scary mask is the one with a smile because people can't see the real one underneath
  • Tunasub
    My pain stems from when my marriage was coming to an end. I knew it long before my wife did as I wanted out but I wasn't right within myself to do anything about it. I was scared, so I stayed and I stayed... until my actions and what I was doing to my wife and family was no longer tolerable for my wife. I became distant almost non existent... but I was the father to our children that she wanted me to be but I wasn't the husband that she deserved for me to be. I started drinking functional enough to still be able to finacially provide but it just drove the distance that I originally started to grow farther. Depression set in... yes I have been clinically diagnosed with depression. I am no longer on the medication but I still have minor bouts of this debilitating condition. No one would ever know this if I didn't tell them. I am writing this because I've seen all of you share your story. I may joke and play around on here but this is a very serious and heartfelt reply to questions that I am so happy to see posted. Your story may help the next person. Remember no matter what you are going through try to sme and say hello to that person walking by or the homeless person on the curb. You may change a life by doing so. With all that's going on in the country lately remember this if nothing else... the problem isn't the problem, our reaction to the problem that will be judged in the end.

    Thank you Laurie.
  • FatherJack
    A great take , I do not " wear a mask " as it were , I rarely , if ever , smile and tend to have neutral , stony expression. Had to deal with bullying in childhood , and non sexual violent physical abuse from a former partner of my mother... sometimes from her too , she had a temper on her !! No wonder I was drawn to combat sports , and did quite well in boxing , Muay Thai & Lethwei , if you are male , you are on your own and you need to make yourself an effective fighter to counter the bullies. Later joined British Army and also got my Para Wings , past experiences made me tougher.. but sometimes more belligerent too. Also thank you for pointing out one underrated factor , loss of pets... I have lost many greatly valued and missed people , friends and family in the last decade , but also last year my beloved mother /daughter ferret pair , the polecat hybrid chunky daughter , Polefat , missing Apr last year , and lost her adorable mother , Miss Woolworth to accidental death in July 19... that hit me VERY hard... here she was with my daughter. Not only beloved
    Miss Woolworth & Lucia
    Miss Woolworth & Lucia
    pets.. but superb ratters too. Miss them so much !!
  • DanOh2018
    Anger, overworking, depression, sex.

    I've been through some nasty abuse and physical injury from which I am still recovering.

    The trick is to be gentle with yourself, while striving to do better.

    To that end I take one day a week usually Sunday to reflect on how I've been doing, plan adjust and negotiate with myself.

    Treat yourself like someone who you care about.
  • Aakash_Hangargi
    Hey Ms. Laurie hope you are doing well, if you would like to share I would like to listen to you 🙂 my life is oddly simple when I started to see the selfishness of people at young age and how one puts down another fir theit own gains. So I decided to stay by myself quite alone I couldn't really connect with people and it had a huge draw back for me I use this platform to reconnect with people and listen to those who are in a bit of trouble it helps to them as well as me gives me gives perspective.
    And I love you too Ms. Luarie😉💐🌹
    • You are so kind, thank you Mr Aakash :)

    • TBH, I never saw this side of you, although I knew the heart break with blue eyed prince charming but never realised you would be in depression if you would choose ever to share I would be there it's a nice and heart felt post👍👍💐

  • monkeynutts
    There is only two states of being, alive and dead. Everything inbetween is called living. You may aswell do it well. I'm not interested in studying the affects of suffering, people should just get on with life.
  • blutwolfe
    I've worn every mask you listed apparently in some point in time and I probably wear 3-4 every day. Not sure if healing is even in the books at this point, it's just surviving or dying.
  • MadBoy
    We have to wear a mask. Because that's what everyone else expects us to do, as they expect themselves to do.
  • simplelikeme
    We let it happen to ourselves. Yet no responsibility is taken so most people put a mask on to hide back pain. I on the other hand I'm not like that.
  • NYCQuestions1976
    Mental, emotional and psychological abuse goes unnoticed, unreported, unrecognized, and unpunished.
  • Juxtapose
    The best way to get over something like that is to turn your sadness into anger, and then your anger into motivation to enjoy what time do you have to live.
  • TonyMetal___86
    Well miss laurie i think that a person who is truly loved, had a real eternal marriage, a lovely family where a husband and a wife are one, the wife is a housewife and the man is the head of the house, a warm happy house, this will make a paradise!

    The union between a husband and his wife spiritually and physically after marriage and after getting the blessing of god and becoming a family, all the negativity, sadness and depression will be eliminated and i believe that this is the only cure and this is a place where the kids will grow happy and wise and make a beautiful new generation...
  • cute_short_nerd
    😂😂😂😂😂😂 child you have so much more to learn... you have barely scratched the surface.
  • Apope16
    I resort to sex.
    • Me too... lol

    • Apope16

      My logic is basically.. no matter what it will take a long time to recover. in order to prevent the full bottom of pain i can at least gain solace in the fact that a girl likes me well enough to fuck me. Plus the pleasure of sex feels good and distracts. the pain is still there but it moderates it. sometimes after a breakup your body memory misses being sexually with that person. so you get super horny.

  • SecretGardenBlood65
    Good take
  • msc545
    Nice mytake,. but is there a question?
    • Thank you!

      No, myTakes are a person's take (observation) on a particular subject, there is not necessarily a question involved.

      You are more used to questions because they are much easier and faster to put together so the vast majority on GAG are questions by both me and others which leaves some people discombobulated by a myTake... lol

      A myTake like this one actually takes days to put together.

      But just for you :) ...

      Do you, or have you ever had, an emotional pain? ... what is/was it? ... and what mask do/did you wear to deal with the pain?

    • msc545

      Some emotional pain of course. I can compartmentalize fairly well but still experience the pain in quiet moments alone.

    • So you have no other "mask" for your pain?

  • Kathy_Scorpio97
    Not mask try forget them.