She walks the halls, not but a ghost within its walls. A spectre with a beating heart. She speaks, but no one listens. Those closest to her cut her off mid-speech. Whatever she has to say is of no importance. Their deeds and needs are what matters.
Other people come before her. Perfect strangers hold more precedence in her family’s lives. They rule against her. Take others’ sides. Her opinion does not matter. She is an invisible essence, a household item. Something unnoticed; not a person with thoughts, ideas, feelings or importance.
She fades deeper into the background of her own life, while those around her soar. Her successes go uncelebrated. Her wishes unfulfilled. Her needs barely met. Her affection often unreciprocated. Now and then, she is thrown a bone. A bribe to ensure her loyalty. A false sense of importance to quell her minor laments. Then the neglect falls back into place and she drifts away again.
Tears lie just below the surface. She gets so mad she feels she might burst. Yet all her emotions go unnoticed. Day after day, she is expected to soldier on unaffected. To drop whatever she is doing to accommodate the needs of others. To help fulfill their wishes, goals and dreams while hers fade away. She wakes each morning hoping she will be given a shred of acknowledgment. That her voice will be heard, her opinion warranted.
In all other aspects, her life is satisfactory. Her general existence holds no complaints. If only she was visible to those she cherishes, she would be whole. She yearns to be a person who matters. One whose opinions, ideas, thoughts, feelings and accomplishments aren’t thrown aside. Who is respected, not rejected, neglected, disregarded and forgotten. A person whose heart doesn’t smoulder with betrayal, but is alight with affection. A person who is seen, heard.
For centuries, on every continent, women have felt like wraiths in their environments. Disregarded not only by society, but by those they love, nurture and befriend. Their actions taken for granted, emotions overlooked, opinions unappreciated and general presence ignored.
In some cases, they are seen as nothing more than ornamental assets or unintelligent beings of servitude. As insignificant as the furniture decorating their homes.
Daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, grandmothers and girlfriends the world over have experienced a period in their lives when they’ve felt invisible. Women of all ages, professions and walks of life. Yes, men are also capable of harbouring such feelings of unimportance. However, it is more often a feminine woe. Perhaps this is because men are more outgoing, more self-assured, held in higher social regard or simply less sensitive than women are. Who knows?
Unfortunately, you will not find the answer here. It seems to be a question best left to the psychiatrists. All I know is as a woman who has been ignored most of my life by various platforms, especially those closest to me, and who has witnessed other women experience the same treatment, I can attest to the fact that female invisibility is a common issue.
I cannot even count how many times I’ve been in a one-way conversation with a friend or family member. Cut off mid-sentence, not given the opportunity to reply or having my words go completely ignored as if I wasn’t in the room. Friends have complained of the same treatment. It may be understandable from a stranger or other vague acquaintances, but not those close to home.
It begs the question, why are our voices any less important than theirs are?
We’ve all heard or joked about how a friend or family member has “selective hearing.” How someone says something and it goes “in one ear and out the other.” A common occurrence and a wonderful example of how apt people are at ignoring each other. You would think our family, friends, significant others and such would be the ones to cheer us on, make us feel important and be eager to hear what we have to say.
Some say this perceived oblivion is a reflection of the person. For instance, teenagers commonly go through a period where they feel misunderstood, ignored, unseen and so on. Therefore, it is easy to dismiss their feelings as a passing phase.
Introverts are considered undesirable individuals due to their preference for solitude. People don’t take into consideration that when they are in public, they would still like to be acknowledged. Housewives or stay-at-home mothers are instantly thought of as uninteresting candidates for sophisticated conversation and are tuned out by their peers.
A person can be a social star, yet find themselves ignored at home, or vice versa (acknowledged at home but ignored socially). There is no right or wrong personality type, age or lifestyle. Those who struggle for recognition, whether socially or within their households, are not at fault. We need not change to suit others. In my experience, it is all about association.
Some couples and families remain engaged with each other their whole lives. Others aren’t so lucky. Why is this? It could be a lack of mutual interests. Time and familiarity are also as dooming. Long-term association seems to breed boredom and disinterest.
Some people are too self-obsessed to give others the time of day. In this case, you will always be invisible to them. No matter how much you scream “notice me,” the likelihood is slim. However, we are not invisible to everyone who crosses our path.
We are our own pillars
Sad as it sounds, those who ignore you aren’t likely to realize their mistakes and change them. Does this mean you should cut your losses? Not necessarily.
The power to dissolve our invisibility lies in our hands. This does not mean you have to reinvent yourself or uplift your life in the name of change. The solution could be as simple as joining a social media group based on your interests or seeking out new friends who find your conversation stimulating.
If your life is otherwise satisfactory, then you can maintain a relationship with those who under-appreciate you and receive the acknowledgment you crave by broadening your social scope.
There is nothing more solitary than the belief that your thoughts, opinions, feelings and overall self are of little to no importance to those around you. We are all our own pillars. Yet, even the tallest tree in the forest is desolate when it stands alone.
It is a big world out there full of people. Cherish the ones who matter the most to you, but don’t let their inability to acknowledge you turn you into a living ghost. If those closest to you cannot see you for how important or special you are, there is someone else or many out there who will. Explore and you will reappear.
«RELATED READ» AWAKENING: I have been frozen and am beginning to thaw»
image 1 Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay 2 Image by ibrahim abed from Pixabay 3 Image by Achim Scholty from Pixabay