Updated: Apr 17, 2022
If you've read the Harry Potter series, you know what I'm referencing. If you haven't - well, I'm sorry to hear that because it's an amazing series. Just in case you fall into that unfortunate category, I'll explain. In the book, one of the many wizarding tools available to Harry and friends is a Cloak of Invisibility that allows them to roam the halls of their school unseen, so they can do cool stuff like spy on people and find out their true enemies. Sounds cool, right?
Well, somehow, I have acquired a Cloak of Invisibility as part of this midlife madness. I didn't order it on Amazon (although that's about the only thing I haven't ordered). I want a refund. My Cloak of Invisibility doesn't enable me to do cool spy-like things. Mine truly makes me invisible - to everyone in the house. They can't hear me, they don't see me, I just stand under the cloak watching everyone around me continue to function, while I sit paralyzed, under the cloak.
It sucks to not feel seen. Or heard. Trying to explain what it's like to live inside my brain, inside my body, is most times an exercise in futility. How can anyone really understand what it's like to be someone else, right? But to be seen is to have someone say, "That must be really hard and frustrating. What can I do to support you?" I find most people, when confronted with something they don't understand, avoid, turn and run the other way, or try to convince you that you don't, in fact, feel the way you just said you feel. All understandable natural human reactions, but what is most frustrating is when people just simply don't make an effort to evolve - to better understand - to better respond. It feels like you're jumping up and down screaming to be seen, but the Cloak of Invisibility is out of the box, doing its thing.
As I continue to navigate my way through this state of life complete with unpredictable moods swings that go from complete and utter rage to complete sobbing mess, having zero control over any of it, it would be nice to feel seen. As I navigate some challenging physical injuries that are preventing me from exercising to help manage stress, it would be nice to be seen. As I take on the biggest role in my career and manage the stress associated, it would be nice to be seen. While I parent my teenage daughter and 21 year-old son, and two bonus kids, it would be nice to feel appreciated and not taken for granted. While I navigate some complex grief that's a result of my mom's death almost nine years ago that has completely turned things upside down for me and has completely changed everything I thought I knew, it would be nice to be seen.
Being seen to me is simply being nurtured and validated even when the other person doesn't completely understand. Being seen is doing things that you know show me you're thinking about me, and maybe trying to make my day just a smidge less stressful or complicated. Maybe if I keep shouting from underneath this cloak, someone will eventually see me, but I'm less than optimistic. I'm going to find a way to return this thing to sender, if it's the last thing I do.
What about you? Do you ever feel invisible? What do you do to combat those feelings of invisibility?