Dancing in the Shadows by Laura Bryannan
Making masks can be a good way to get in touch with hidden emotions
and awareness buried in the psyche. As you contemplate a particular "face," new ideas
and feelings will come to the surface. Some survivors are quite amazed at the power of
the masks they have made. The mask can be drawn on paper, created with paper mache,
or painted on a ceramic one bought at a craft store. There are several different ways to
go, depending on what you want to explore.
Spend a few minutes contemplating the ideas presented below. Which mask
seems the most appealing? Which one seems the most uncomfortable? Pick a mask you
want to create; go with the idea that has some energy for you--one that seems exciting or
fun, or scary and disturbing. Feel free to go with any other mask ideas you may think
of. If you let your imagination have its way, you may be surprised at what wants to
appear on it. A mask of yourself as the abused child, for example, may not want to have
a mouth or eyes. The mask of your abuser may not even look human!
Whatever mask you decide to create, make sure you also create its counterpart
to stay in balance with yourself. So, if you make a mask of the parts of you that you
don't like, make a mask of the things you do like in yourself also.
- Make a mask that represents the parts of you you're most unhappy with:
the parts you most want to get rid of, the parts that seem to be hanging on no matter
what you do.
- Make a mask that represents the parts you want to enhance in yourself: the parts
that represent the highest aspects of yourself that you are aware of.
- Make a mask that represents your abuser's negative emotions.
- Make a mask that represents your abuser's positive qualities.
- Make a mask that represents the energies of your enabler(s), the people who
knew about your abuse but did nothing.
- Make a mask that represents the energies of someone who supported and
- Make a mask that represents you as the abused child.
- Make a mask that represents the aspects of you that enabled you to survive.
- Make a mask that represents an emotion you have a hard time expressing in
your life, such as anger, determination or grief.
- Make a mask that represents an emotion that has allowed you to carry on in your
life in a positive manner.
- Make a mask that represents one of your own "masks": a false persona you
fall back on when in stress or anxiety, such as the "know-it-all," the "ditz," the "hysteric."
- Make a mask that represents an aspect of your "true" self.
Go to Table of Contents
Last Updated: 1 feb 99