Faceless

It all started as a game.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a people-watcher.

As a child, I would watch people for hours before even attempting to talk to them.

I’d scrutinize how you spoke. What you wore. When you laughed. What you liked. Whom you talked to.

I would watch and watch, try to figure out who you were. What you wanted.

And once I put together the pieces of your identity, I would form my own, making sure they clicked.

It was like a puzzle that only I could finish and it amused me to have that sort of power over you: to control exactly what you see.

But under all of that, I’d ensured that I was that girl:

The girl you want to speak to.

The girl you share all your secrets with.

The girl you like.


I flit from one person to the next, as graceful as a butterfly.

Always smiling. Always pleasing.

You come to me when you don’t have anyone else, and it’s my shoulder you cry on, it’s into my ears you whisper your darkest secrets.

I am as smooth as oil, calm as the surface of lifeless water.

I soothe. I comfort. I encourage. I motivate. I charm.

And when I’m finally alone, I laugh.

I laugh at the world, at how gullible you are, to think you know me, to trust me the way you do.

I laugh till I cry and then I cry till I can’t breathe.

The tears never end, it seems, they flow and flow relentlessly, leeching me of everything.

The real joke was on me, all along.

And I’d never realized.


I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the shadow that looks back into my eyes.

I don’t ‘like’ her.

If I was being true to myself, I would say I despise her.

I see myself wrapping my hands around her throat and squeezing until the light slowly fades from her eyes.

And then, I realize the girl is me.

The irony: I’d gained the affection of everyone else, only to realize that I couldn’t win me over too.

Alone, I’m a coward. I’m despicable. Spineless. A doormat. A hypocrite.

I morph myself to suit the people around me. My very identity is built on everyone else’s desires.

I’m no one without someone to please. Nothing without a task to complete.

And there is nothing left of ‘me’ now, of the person I could have been.

Before. Before all the masks.


When I look back, all I see is crushed dreams, and when I look forward, I see an eternity of nothingness.

But it’s what I see when I look within that truly scares me.

Underneath all my masks, I am faceless.


Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash



PS In May 2019, I will be moving to a new web address. I’m shifting to a personal domain and I’m so, so excited for you to see it! Buying my domain is giving me so much more freedom for new features, design, and I can’t wait for you to get started there.

But on the downside, all those of you who’ve subscribed to my blog here WILL NOT be notified of new posts anymore. I’d hate for you to miss out just because I’ve shifted addresses, but WordPress doesn’t offer anything to straighten this out.

So to make sure that the change is as seamless as possible, I’d be so grateful if you’d enter your email ID below so we can stay in touch. You can opt-out any time, no hard feelings. I hate spam and I’ll only be reaching out every two weeks or so for blog updates, I promise.

Thank you so much for all your support. ❤

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387 Comments Add yours

  1. lunarpoet says:

    It is when we come to terms with the demon inside,
    that we learn how to find our true self. Masks sometimes
    are necessary tools, but that is what they are: tools. They
    don’t define you, they change you, yes. But still, once I read your words,
    I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and I guess it was you.

    Thank you, this is a great piece.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Haha, that was really beautifully said…
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share this here! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. lunarpoet says:

      I really have to thank you. Thanks for reading me. 💚 💙

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it ❤

      Like

  2. Wow this was very powerful and educating… ❤❤
    You gotta learn to love yourself and please yourself before loving n pleasing those around u…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow is all I can say after reading this . Thought provoking and oh so powerful . Such honesty and pain . This is extraordinary work . Great job . Please keep writing . ♥️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much, Natasha! It really means a lot to me that you thought so. So glad you enjoyed it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You are so welcome ! You are another one of the amazing writers that I have had the honor of coming across that has true talent ! The art created by writers like you leaves me speechless ! Thanks for sharing this ! ♥️

      Like

  4. Susi Bocks says:

    Hello Natalie! This piece is exquisite! I was hoping to speak to you about a project I’m working on but found no contact page on your blog. Would you reach out to me at mine, so we can chat via email? I’d really appreciate it! Thx 🙂 Susi

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much, Susi! Glad you liked it!
      That’s great! Will do. Love your blog by the way ❤
      As for my contact page, it's right over here… https://thedarkesttunnel.wordpress.com/contact/

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Susi Bocks says:

      Thank you! Glad to be a part of our Mutual Appreciation Society! 😉 I’ll be in touch today.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Natalie Swift says:

      Haha looking forward to it, Susi! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re a gifted writer. I hope you overcome all of life’s struggles.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much! That really means a lot.
      Lots of love! ❤

      Like

  6. This was beautiful and scary at the same time. A true slap in the face…that is neccessary for survival. So…real.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. killerbee442 says:

    Inspiring and relatable. Also terrifying.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. So well written. We wear and/or create masks and emotional fences throughout our lives until the point we can’t even recognize the person underneath. Like acting a part on stage that we can never escape from. I guess we think we’ve fooled everyone, but ultimately we only have fooled ourselves. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Exactly… thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot ❤

      Like

  9. It was awesome. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Glad you liked it, Janella! Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Rajat says:

    True…

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Lynn Marie says:

    Incredible writing …. you capture the dark so eloquently.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much, Lynn! That really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. nickreeves says:

    Rory G was taking photos of bands & people at the Tyne Festival yesterday. I went outside to say hello & how you doing. I hadn’t seen him out with his camera for some weeks. He’s in love. It’s good to be out, he said. ________ doesn’t finish work for a couple of hours so I’m taking photos. I just don’t get the time otherwise. That’s the pay-off, I said. Sounds like you two have a nice balance though. Don’t let it get too far one way or the other. It’s a highwire act, love. Don’t really know why I said that. I barely know either of them. But he said, yeah, we went to the circus the other night in Gosforth. Have you been? (I hadn’t). _______ said she hates circuses, he said. She only told me afterwards. I didn’t dare tell her that I hated them too! – I thought that was odd, what with him being a photographer & in love & everything! Lovely piece of writing, Natalie. You really capture something sad & instantly recognisable. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I relate so much to this post – sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between what I need, and what the people around me need. This made me feel better, and more confident, about that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      I’m so glad you liked it, Madhavi!
      Mmm exactly.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! ❤

      Like

  14. This post was gloomy but very relatable.. as a person I’m saying if you need help in finding yourself .. do contact. I have been in same situation..molding my self to please the world until I started questioning my existsance ..but I worked on it and now I am my own.. so if you too feel that .. we can help..

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Crystal Girl says:

    It truly is a fantastic post. I love it! In a way it is relatable to every person! It’s amazing how you can get caught trying to become what other want you to be that when you finally realise what you have become it’s too late!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Exactly. Thank you so much, Crystal! It means a lot to me that you think so! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Crystal Girl says:

      Your welcome and you should be very proud of your posts they are extremely captivating making me want to carry on reading! 💙 Carry on spreading your amazing posts! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Mrs Chetty says:

    Those are deep words. I am also an observer

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Charmain says:

    Wow ! “The irony: I’d gained the affection of everyone else, only to realize that I couldn’t win me over too.“ sometimes you have to hear someone else’s words to hear your own thoughts.
    Very powerful Natalie – thank you

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Missy Leigh says:

    You are seriously talented. On August 18th I created a digital graphic of a girl crying after a mask had been removed from her face… and I was feeling everything you wrote here. How Bazaar. I’m not surprised though. That’s how collective consciousness works. Groups of us process the same issues at the exact same time. How silly we are to assume we’re all alone. I will give you a heads up when I publish that picture. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      So true… I’m surprised each time by it, that feeling of seeing your own thoughts written by another hand. An odd sense of deja-vu, really.
      I would love to see it!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot ❤

      Like

  19. Mr Nothing says:

    Faceless relentless nothingness.
    Powerful revelation of self.
    Inscribing words.
    Oh how focused I look and don’t see what I should see
    and see only what I want to see when I am good to me

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Anand Bose says:

    I like the way your alter-ego is working through an identity crises. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      That’s an intruiging way to look at it…
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here, Anand! It really means a lot ❤

      Like

  21. GuNNhead says:

    I loved how this was poetically written, it connected with me, and beyond that made me visualize it literally at the end. The imagery of removing the face you see in the mirror and seeing a blank is great!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautifully written…What are we really without our masks…truly? Loved it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much, Kalpana! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  23. This is amazing. I had to read it twice

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Rhodenia says:

    Excellent. It makes a reader feel like seeing her reflection in the mirror. I fell in love with your style.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  25. geniecan says:

    May you find the true beauty God made you to be…underneath all the masks xox Happy discoveries! xox Jeane

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Jonathan Simeone says:

    I like this post a lot. I think a lot of people are like this; being who they think every other person wants them to be at different times. I love the honesty and the effort to work on what you don’t like. Great job!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much, Jonathan! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Like

  27. Hi, Natalie! Such an honest collection of words. Sometimes, we create so many masks to please people that we forget who we are underneath.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. God… do you get your inspiration here on earth? cos I want to see things the way you do. So true so deep… Faceless is the word to describe imperfections… I need to handle this overwhelming feeling before I lose it…

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Beautifully written Natalie. Well done. I like how you protrayed the masks as being ways we change ourselves to suit others and build so many than we lose our true selves in the process.

    Amazing work.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! ❤️

      Like

  30. D.Bacchus says:

    This is an incredible piece. It’s surprising how often people can have unique struggles that still resonate with others who have gone through similar pains. I really like the contrast between the two different sizes of text – that separation really helps your narrative lead. I may try that in a couple of my pieces some time!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤

      Like

  31. Your poetry has a lot of strength and resilience, darkness and mystery. It was a pleasure to read it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  32. Tandi Tales says:

    It looks like this post has touched a lot of people, and that’s probably because you’ve expressed an easily relatable, universal truth. We’re all projecting caricatures of ourselves in one way or another.
    Thanks for a good read.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      That’s really an intruiging take on it… thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! It really means a lot to me ❤

      Like

  33. I relate to this post so much it’s kind of frightening .. great post though

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Haha thank you so much, Shaaer! ❤

      Like

  34. Oh man, this one cuts deep. I think its part of human nature to have a social identity that changes. Eg. I am different around my family than I am around my friends. And I always know and have a role.

    But when I’m alone, I don’t really have a reason or role. It’s that kind of meaninglessness that can drive someone insane. I’d like to think that I’m not the only one who feels that way haha.

    There’s a reason solitary is a punishment in prison.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Mmm that’s definitely something I can relate with… strange how we all think we’re the only ones with our masks, when in reality, each and every one of us hide behind our assigned roles.
      It definitely makes for a hilarious image: a room full of masked people running around, exchanging lies, living our little pretences, never suspecting that everyone else’s lives are facades as well.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. That’s a pretty powerful image. Makes you think about how little truly real interaction anyone ever really has with each other

      Liked by 2 people

  35. Heather says:

    Your writing is incredible. I can’t wait to read the rest of your pieces. So beautiful. Powerful stuff 🦂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      I’m so glad you liked it, Heather! Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  36. thenerdysideofaqueen says:

    Gosh! This is so beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  37. yuldevvv says:

    wow, you present something that everyone (might have) face about themselves in a very organic and sharp way…. goosebumps!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Haha thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  38. agarrabrant says:

    When we look within,
    Do we just regard the void
    Or does it regard us back?

    Liked by 4 people

  39. Alixa says:

    Hi Natalie, I like your writings, very peotic, yet insightful. I like this piece especially, it does speak to me a lot – kinda scary! Hope you have a good day 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much, Alixa! That really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Great writing. It brought me back to a repeating dream that I used to have, that I had no face, no mouth to express myself. Nice work!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Dreams are funny things… insightful in a way you don’t really expect.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts! It really means a lot ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much! That really means a lot<3

      Like

    2. moorezart says:

      Most welcome Natalie!

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Isshin Nashi says:

    Exceptionally beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  42. nightbucks says:

    I was totally astounded with this. Such great inspiration for an aspiring writer like me. Keep it up!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      That really means a lot… thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Shell Vera says:

    I can relate to this in the past. I felt this way for a long time in my younger years. Thanks for sharing this… reminded me to be myself fully and proudly!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Fred says:

    I was at the opposite extreme in that social spectrum. I was the one who had nobody to talk to and could never figure out why. Social life baffled me. No amount of watching and analysis allowed me to understand what anyone was looking for, let alone trying to be it.

    Either way, you end up at the same place. The past sucked and the future didn’t look so good either. Being yourself is hell when nobody else is interested.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      I can definitely relate to that… before I figured out how to ‘fit in’, I was in the exact same place. I thought being ‘liked’ was what would finally make me happy, and I was so confused when I found myself sinking even deeper.
      What’s the actual secret to being happy then?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Natalie Swift says:

      That was really beauitfully put, Fred… thank you so much for sharing!<3

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      Glad you thought so! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤

      Like

  45. Shirobanryu says:

    Hi and thanks for this. The Nothingness You perceive. May and Is simply waiting.?. For what Is and All that. Inside. That seems endless. Written within. To be so freely etched. On. Thus Creating… something of No Thing. Simply and so. So Our World Legends. Do say. Light that Fire. Within. Dark or Light. ‘Tis all a Dream… or Nightmare. Of choices. Yours to make.?. Now. Keep the Pen. Handy. Thank You. Also.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Natalie Swift says:

      You’ve put it so beauitfully here… thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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