The mother of a real prick of a family member passed away the other day. I’m supposed to give him some words of consolation and show that I care, but I haven’t worn a mask of compassion in so long that I don’t even know where to begin. This is the man that refuses to gender me properly and that came to my doorstep so many years ago to question my sanity when I first came out as transgender. Maybe I hold a bit of a grudge over it all, but I like to think that I’ve cast him aside into the realm of apathy. However, I am supposed to behave civilly and respectfully, even though I could care less in the end. This highlights a problem that I’ve written about before. The more that I refuse to wear my mask, the harder it becomes to ever put it on again.
I have a narrow social orbit, but I am blessed to be surrounded by those that do not require me to be anything other than myself around them. Callous? Maybe. Indifferent? Completely. They know that I value them in my own fashion, though it may not be misunderstood for love or typical care. Most of my family is either in the dark or in denial regarding my antisocial condition, as they should be. They occasionally grumble when I am particularly callous or apathetic, but they remain willfully blind to my alignment. Since they are deaf, blind, and mute, I can choose to not wear a mask around them. This time may be different, however. They picked up on the fact that I am not particularly inclined to comfort the relative I mentioned earlier. They sense that something is off, but cannot name it.
Eventually my unwillingness to mask will catch up with me. Maybe it’ll be the loss of a relationship or casual friendship, or maybe I’ll lose the blind that give me a free pass in everything that I do. The more the mask is left off, the harder it becomes and the poorer the fit when it is put back on. Even the blind still have touch and they can feel this plastic face. In the scenario I’ve outlined in this post, I suppose that there is limited consequence if I refuse to mask. Time will tell whether I eventually get burned in some other manner.
All of that is a roundabout way of presenting the choice that the antisocial – especially the psychopath – has in choosing whether to mask. For those of us stricken by weak identities, it is possible that the self-affirmation gained by refusing to mask is more important than any fleeting social benefits by masking. However, those benefits cannot be overlooked as the world demands a certain level of humanity even if itself is not a humane place. I am cocky; I will choose to embrace my apathy and callousness rather than succumb to the kings I refuse to serve.