Being invisible

Although I grew up in an era when children were seen and not heard, those times made it easier for me to become invisible.

Why do we become invisible?

Being invisible usually happens because of an undercurrent, a disparity between how we feel and how something is. Emotionally, it’s easy to feel distant and feeling invisible is an example of this. Feeling invisible is all about what’s going on internally. How we feel about ourselves and how we choose what we present to the world.

It’s not something others will comprehend or understand, but we know it exists for us. For those people with little understanding, it may even be dismissed, minimised or ignored. Being invisible to the world is only something we notice, to the untrained eye this scenario doesn’t exist, but it’s real.

Being invisible has nothing to do with how we look to another person, or how much physical room we take up, it’s about our worth, self-esteem, confidence and how little we feel we can physically and emotionally present ourselves to the world at any given time. It’s a coping mechanism, one that keeps us safe and secure.

It’s a hide-out, a space we occupy until such a time we feel strong enough to come out. It feels normal and for all intents and purposes t is normal. It’s something we come to accept as the norm, but something that we can change at any time. In my own case feeling and being invisible meant there was no right or wrong way to feel, it was whatever I had to deal with at the time.

It simply meant I had somewhere to go when things didn’t feel right. It was my retreat, one that I visited frequently. Being invisible allows us to tap into our emotions, to explore our thoughts, feelings and emotions and being able to explore those shapes, how we will eventually go on to see the world and other people.

I believe being invisible doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice ourselves individually, it simply means us not having to be assertive all the time and choosing when we decide to fit in. Choosing when we fit in may begin to reflect a deeper sense of our self-confidence than us having to stand out, even if no one knows.


24 Feb, 2017

8 thoughts on “Being invisible

  1. In the 1960s we all grew up being invisible, but it was obviously different for you, because you knew you were different, but that difference was denied to you and you took that and turned it to something positive.

    I was too busy getting into trouble to be invisible. Invisibility might have been quite a useful super power for me! Or looking back maybe I got into so much trouble as I felt I was being treated as if I was invisible?

    1. Thank you. Yes being ignored is being invisible, primarily because the attention isn’t on us, but as you rightly say, getting into trouble in the way you did, made you far from invisible. You were very much visible for all the wrong reasons.

      Being invisible is something we can use to our advantage. Being invisible saved me from having to tap into my life, particularly in stressful times.

  2. Being invisible is one of the ways I survived my childhood. I learned at a very early age that it was a way to avoid having to deal with a mother who was kind of not in her right mind and oblivious to what was happening to us.

    She only paid attention to me when she wanted something, but the rest of the time it was like I didn’t exist. Why do people even bother having children if they don’t want to deal with them? People probably think it’s horrible when I say that I sometimes wish I had never been born, but they didn’t go through what I did.

    She eventually broke my spirit and turned me into something I didn’t want to be. It wasn’t in my nature to be so vindictive and judgmental, but I went along with it because I felt like I didn’t have a choice.

    Obviously this led to a lifetime of feeling like I never had a choice with decisions in my life. A prime example was going into the Army when it was the last thing I wanted to do, considering I don’t like following orders!

    I had other choices but I felt like I wanted to do better than my father did, but it turned out to be so much worse. I have carried that guilt, shame and remorse for the past 30 years, for not doing better than I did. I have spent most of my life making decisions that were always better for someone else and rarely considered what it was that I really wanted.

    What I want to do will require me to be no longer being invisible and that fills me with dread. Now I just have to figure out how to handle this, seeing as I can’t change what I did; but can only change what I do NOW.

    1. Thanks Randy. Try not to beat yourself up over your childhood. Your childhood is not about you, but about your parents.

      All you can do now is move on and change your life so you leave your past behind. Being invisible is something we do, primarily to hide ourselves away, but in order to change and move on we have to stop being invisible.

      Although the initial moment of having to make the change can be quite scary, standing still is even more scary, because of the life we’re ignoring that could actually change how we see and live our lives.

  3. I’ve been feeling invisible lately, to my family and close friends. I think a lot of it has to do with being home all day, with no place to go (don’t own a car) and no one to see.

    A lot of it, is also over thinking of course. Our mind can play major tricks on us, as I feel unproductive.

    1. Thanks Bonnie I feel your pain. Being a mum isn’t the easiest of jobs, particularly when our children come along.

      Our main role is raising our children and although we may do other things, it’s not the easiest job. Being a stay at home mum is even harder of course. It’s easy to feel what you feel, particularly when you have other issues to work round too.

      That said, I do think children today behave differently to when you and I grew up. Because their priorities have changed towards family and the environment they’re growing up in, they’re more emotionally independent, but not necessarily more mature; which can make us feel redundant.

      Feeling redundant brings other issues for us like feeling invisible. I get that but this isn’t about you Bonnie. It’s about others’ opinions and attitude towards you, which is making you feel like that.

      If your family were more attentive and you had more of a role to play with your family, you wouldn’t feel so much like this. Always happy to chat on PM.

  4. Being invisible is how I saw the scene without being seen; I was invisible on purpose.

    I guess that’s my way of not getting too close to the nonsense.

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