Book Review: Frock Off- Living Undisguised

Tessa Burns MartinTessa Burns, Trauma

I love to read! However, it is rare for me to read anything that is not a manual of some sort. I read mostly books on relationships, parenting, addiction, etc. But, these books are written by people discussing the most recent research or techniques in my area of choice. I cannot remember the last time I read a fiction book so it felt different for me to read a memoir. I am so grateful that I stretched beyond my routine and read “Frock Off: Living Undisguised” by Jo Diblee. I found this book inspirational on so many levels.

What I gained most from reading this book was a language to help myself and others understand how it is possible to survive through difficult times. I had often referred to the coping strategy of hiding what one is truly feeling with the word “masks.” We wear masks to hide what we are really feeling. We wear masks to hide what we are really experiencing. We wear these masks because we worry that others will not be able to handle what is behind the mask. I thought the word mask really helped illustrate this coping strategy. Then I read “Frock Off” and felt the use of the word “frocks” was so much more powerful as a metaphor. If you have read my previous posts, you will understand how important I believe language is in our expression and experience of life. Encouraging yourself to remove your mask does not have the same power as saying “Frock Off.” Since the statement resembles a very common curse word (you know which one I am referring to), it seems to be able to summon the same energy as that statement. And, we need that energy present when we are moving through a pattern to a healthier way of living.

Using this language, I have been looking at the frocks that I have worn over the years. My most frequently donned frock is “I can handle it all myself.” I have to be very careful that I don’t pull that frock out of my closet because it is so easy to put on as a mother, a wife, and a business owner. I can go weeks and even months wearing that frock. I have been very open with my husband about this frock so he knows that he needs to tell me what he is going to do to help me instead of waiting for me to ask. When I take that frock off, I can recognize that I am able to put a lot of things on my plate but if I am overloaded then I am not as effective in the relationships that matter most.

So, I encourage you to read the book and then start thinking about the frocks you might be wearing. And then tell those frocks to “Frock Off!”