The Reason Why I Don’t Wear a Mask


Warning: Abuse triggers


I found out at the start of the mask mandates that I couldn’t wear a mask. The very first time I put one on while walking in a store I didn’t last a minute before I was blacking out and stumbling into shelves. I literally ran out and had a flashback in my car of my grandfather holding his hand over my mouth or around my neck while he raped me. Then the nightmares for weeks, still some two years later.

Every time I try to put a mask on I black out. A shield put me in a near catatonic state the one time a doctor demanded I wear one. I always hated scarves, turtlenecks, ski masks, etc. my whole life, so never wore them, so there’s always been a reason.

I was abused from such a young age, and on at least a weekly basis, that I have body memories, but am often unable to vocalize or remember them. At 54 I thought I had worked through those issues, but now I am subjected not only to those repercussions but abuse on almost every trip I take in public.

I’ve been screamed and yelled at, called a medical biohazard, had filthy masks thrown in my car window, refused service, and kicked out of numerous stores. People in restaurants and stores will not even hand me change or receipts like I’m a leper. I kept my trip to once a month to pick up groceries (even though with AISH I can’t afford all the fees!) for TWO YEARS! I live alone, but I’m scared to go in public, and above the max dose of anxiety meds aren’t enough to help.

I have had a medical mask exemption letter from the very beginning because of my reactions, but that doesn’t matter when people want to take their fear and anger out on someone. I too have missed holidays and family! I have DVT, heart condition, arrhythmia, etc., and refuse to vaccinate. But some of my family and friends ARE. That’s the whole point— it’s a choice! But I don’t get to do simple things like fly to visit my dying Uncle, and all the other restrictions I’m subject to.

I have been suicidal because there is no joy anymore, I can’t even walk my dogs OUTSIDE without people crossing the street to avoid me. I spend all day every day at home in my apt. When I drive my daughter for errands — I stay in the car to not upset her with people’s attitude (she wears a mask!)

The vaccines are another red flag for me. I am on blood thinners (Xeralto- which doesn’t have a reversal vitamin K like Warfarin) and I have an arrhythmia. Fibromyalgia means I’ve had “long Covid” symptoms for 14 years now!

My fear is that the vaccine won’t kill me, just give me a stroke so my daughters will have to care for me. If I am presenting clots in both arteries AND veins, chances are pretty good of this is happening. I cannot risk something like this, and when they started threatening those who were unvaxxed, my alarm bells went off — and I will die starving in the dark, homeless before I take that shot.

I am dreading winter, the threats are beginning again, and I can’t believe people are allowing our PM to speak the way he does. There are so many people suffering from the rhetoric and fear-mongering – so many are literally on the edge of a breakdown. You can see it in people’s eyes. I can’t stand it most days when I go in public anymore, even now. It’s too painful.

I am not writing to state a political agenda — but trying to explain to those who are using fear as permission to be abusive to others who are unable to speak up. I tolerated my treatment with empathy because I understand the reaction to something that you have no control over. But the next time you see someone who doesn’t seem to be “complying” maybe take a look at the panic in their eyes and their body language and show some compassion. Our true repercussions of the past years will in fact be the long-term effects of mental health.