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Invisibility October 25, 2012

Posted by shelleygblog in Uncategorized.
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Seems most people fear invisibility. They want to be noticed…. for their looks, promotions, children’s accomplishments, cleverness, courage, altruism. If recognition does not come naturally, well, that is okay because they can pin it, Facebook it, tweet it, scrapbook it, or blog it.There is a tightrope dance that teeters between “I am putting on my pajamas early tonight” (who gives a damn?) and “here is what chemotherapy meltdown looks like, really” (wow, how can anyone be so bravely honest?).

For some, including myself, the biggest fears lie in being seen. I have spent a few dozen years trying to blend in, fit in, stay in, melt in…even right into the walls. I have stood in the back row despite my petite frame, avoided cameras like the flash will make my skin dissolve off my face, worn little or no make up, even starved myself to seventy-two pounds so I could slowly fade away. I suppose some are naturally shy, and others, like myself, have been beaten metaphorically into submission through belittling, shame, and outright verbal abuse. The results are similar: my straight A’s were not A pluses, my breasts were too small to be sexy, college was too scary without alcohol and drugs to ease the tension, the awards were too easily obtained to be meaningful, my experiences were not worthy of an audience.

Then, in the span of a few months, I ran into some coaches, some blogs, some authors who all seemed to be gathering and telling me to speak.  People came into my life that appreciated my wit, my insanely smart ass sense of humor, my tiny frame, the way I moved, my sense of fairness, and my willingness to be truthful and watch the chips fall. In short, they love me…not the potential me, not the polite me, not the “I must act this way in public” me. They love the woman who wears sweat pants too often, then slides into something bordering on “please do not let my mother wear that” in nature. They love that I can shop in the girls and junior departments for clothes and shoes, but swear ferociously even in everyday conversation. They let me be quiet, they read my long emails, wipe my tears.

I am no longer shopping in the men’s section, hoping the fabric will not touch my skin and show its shape. I am no longer quiet when I am angry or hurt. I smile for the camera, enjoy and surrender a body I once tried to destroy, I write my heart out, I tell my mother off, I voice my sometimes unpopular opinions, I dance in my living room and forget to shut the blinds. I am visible.

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