My surgery (gastric bypass) date is about 30 days away and already, I’m mouring the loss of my best friend: invisibility. I find solice in not being seen. If you’ve ever been fat, you will understand what I’m saying when I tell you the obese (not just overweight, but obese) are often overlooked, seen through, or even flat out ignored. We aren’t aesthetically pleasing to the skeleton skinny bodies our culture has been brainwashed to appreciate. We live in a shallow world in terms of what is considered beautiful and what is considered disgusting, aversions to acceptance and love. And being skinny (or fit as I want to be) means, people look at you. They notice you. People want to be around you because you feel better about yourself. Stressing!
But this is not he only aspect of invisibility I love/hate. My invisibility is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a safe place. Warm, cuddly in a dysfunctional way, and mine. I created it. I made my cave with sharp corners, dark halls, the cool dampness warding off the weak. A James Bond like keypad keeps intruders out. I’ll give you the code, but you must first prove yourself. The last person who truly saw me and to whom I gave the code destroyed all the hidden places I let him explore and bring light into.
I spent the last year with in a tug-o-war between what I’ve learned in a life-emotional bootcamp program and the urging to shut myself in the cave permanently. Thank God, the good, the light kept nipping at my heels. To be honest, I don’t want to be that weak girl, scared and huddled in the corner. But, this cave is what I’ve known for so long. What I’ve found safety in. What I’ve found isolation in. Maybe being a recluse, a hiding little girl cold and scared in my cave is just who I am. I don’t think this is the case. I think this who I have become after conditioning and experiences. When excrutiating things happen to us, it’s not uncommon to withdraw into ourselves. To hide. Deep in a cave of numbness.
The thing about living in a cave is, well, it’s lonely. I may not want to be noticed, but I still want to be seen. Sometimes I want to be left alone, no one to talk to or see or worry about. Perhaps this is residual of the depression that almost took my life 2.5 years ago. Over the last year I’ve worked to let light into my cave, to allow a visitor or two when my strength builds.
I have many friends, don’t get me wrong. But being a friend and being a friend who I let in are two very different things. Despite living in my cave, I am venturing out and spending time in the light of the world. And when the time is right, I’ll even let someone in, just a bit. Until he proves he won’t shatter the tender parts of me.
I’m not sure if this post even makes sense, sometimes I just write from my heart and don’t think about what’s coming out – no editing. Sometimes what comes out is pure poetic truth. Sometimes it’s schizophrenic drivel.
If you see me out and about, away from the confines of my cave, give me a wave, will ya? I’d like to know you saw me.