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Do you ever stop long enough to hear that voice inside? That voice inside, that knows your truth, may sound something like this:

Looking through the window, I know you see my successes – the glorious position at work that so many dream of, the house that I live in, the husband I have, the car I drive, the kids playing in the backyard, the degrees on my mantle, and the books I’ve written on my coffee table.

Unfortunately, what you do not see are my hidden masks.

The masks of fear, failure, regret, and shame. The masks of not feeling qualified, always second guessing my decisions or not believing that I was ever good enough. Let us not forget the constant questions of whether I am actually fit for the position I have or the life I live.

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The stories that we do not tell are the sorrows that are stashed away in the crevices of our soul and the secrets we keep to ourselves because of what people will think of us if we unveil our masks. Our many masks trump our degrees, our salaries, our marital status and even the achievements of our children.

I struggle with depression and loneliness even as a married woman. I struggle with not always feeling up to being a mother, a friend, the Shero that everyone depends on. I struggle with the expectations that others place on me, yet I continue to smile.

The Stories Black Women Do Not Tell: Unveiling The Masks We Wear  was originally published on

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