I want to start with a story A man howls from behind his mask.
“I was waiting for the subway the other day when I heard a heart-piercing howl. I looked around and there he was, a man in a winter hat howling like a wolf, the mask covering his face. Most of the face, howling again and again from the depths of his gut.
He didn’t say anything, didn’t ask for anything, wasn’t violent, just stood still, bothered by whatever was bothering him, and howling like a wolf from behind his mask. Moments later, others on the other side of the tracks howled in response. “
People made comments like, “Oh, this is New York, what do you want.” I wondered how that scene reflected what we had become after three years of biological poisoning and psychological abuse. Howling from behind a mask while waiting to be taken away, that’s where we are now.
Many years ago, I was married to an abusive man. He was sweet at first, then – gradually – then – suddenly – he turned into an irrational lunatic who was messing with my head, acting violent, then apologizing like crazy, blushing big Yelling, cheering me on, driving me crazy, then acting violent again, then begging me not to tell anyone because he was embarrassed, etc.
The irony is that this marriage had a very nice facade, nice in-laws, etc. and I was too ashamed to tell the world the truth behind the facade, or even admit it to myself. I just faded into the shadow of my formerly curious self. I became terrified of going to the store to buy a can of juice or something because I felt like I would end up buying the “wrong”. I am only alive in name.