As a child, there seemed to be more proof that I was invisible even when logic told me this wasn’t possible. I could see my body. I could see my reflection in the mirror, not that I looked much.
But this is what told me I was invisible:
The teachers didn’t acknowledge me.
I didn’t get much acknowledgment in my chaotic family with 6 siblings.
And kids at school paid very little attention to me.
So, without sounding too dramatic, I really did feel like I was invisible. I was a painfully shy and introverted kid that no one really seemed to see.
So it came as a great relief when I found out that I was visible even when my world said I wasn’t.
In grade 5 we moved from a rural community into a small town. I loved to walk down Mainstreet where all the stores were. This was not because I liked to shop. It was because every few steps I saw myself reflected in the store window.
I remember feeling the apprehension as I approached the store. What if I didn’t see my reflection? What if my fear of being invisible would prove to be right. So when I saw my reflection, I felt relief in my whole body. It felt calming to get the confirmation that I actually was here.
It feels a bit silly to write this, to admit that even as a 12-year old I was wondering if I was invisible. For those of you that have kids in your life, you know that I was way the past the age of magical thinking, but yet my experience of not been seen was so profound that it had this impact on me.
The good news is, I no longer wonder if I’m invisible. I have a small group of really lovely people in my life that really see me and value me as I am. If you’re in a place of feeling invisible, I would be happy to talk to you about this to see if there is a way I can assist you.
Tracy, a fellow introvert and therapist, helps introverted people manage anxiety, find success in the workplace, and build better relationships.