The Day After

Cap Kotz
2 min readFeb 22, 2022
Masks created by youth boxers

Unmasking takes many forms. That which has been hidden, covered up, repressed, or neglected sings for release. I’ve devoted my life to clearing old holding patterns, particularly family and intergenerational legacy. Developing strength is a layered, repetitive process, and clearing and unmasking are the same, only a process of unlayering.

Recently, I called on my Inner Explorer to map an Unmasking Path into the tangled terrain, Not Fitting In. He’s old-school, carries around a blank page notebook to record everything he sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches, and senses. He produced a colorful map, showing some of my biggest challenges on the path of clearing out the severe masking I invested in over the years for covering up feeling I didn’t fit into social situations.

My Symptom Bearer training is always a tough code to crack. My Inner Code Hacker is a wizard, but he often gets stumped with this densely crafted code. It seems Symptom Bearer steps into the driver’s seat in social situations to fit in. If I take on everyone’s projections, I become an essential part of the situation, one of the pack. Except, of course, this technique doesn’t work because, though I get to practice releasing my shunned nature, at some point, I need to take writerly notes without getting caught up in the tangled dynamics filling a social circumstance.

I grasp the concept of releasing the desperation to fit in with social groups, to get on the conversation conveyor belt like everyone else comes with a price. I must unmask not fitting in and be ok with how I fit in or not. For example, I’m keen on using my projections about others as an opportunity to turn around my projections for self-reflection. I tend to interrupt a Point & Blame conversation with a desire to go on a self-reflection trek with my fellow conversers. Typically, this suggestion doesn’t go well, and I’m accused of being too serious or telling others what to do.

The day after a social engagement is the time for a massive sort & file. I fill in the map Inner Explorer provides me, adding accomplishments and discoveries under the appropriate categories. I highlight reactive triggers and patterns, noting where story reset was initiated. Shame Guy lurks, mumbles, and frequently stages massive meltdowns during which it becomes nearly impossible for me to anchor and remember my mission. To unmask, I must have the strength to let Shame Guy rage his poison speak until it passes.

Cap Kotz

Writer and Story Mapping Guide, I follow the life path no matter how challenging.