Oh my goodness, it is true…!
It is true! If you use the tools and dig long enough in the right place you will hit the mother lode! After years of excruciating work of peering into the crevices of my life, evaluating every move I made and thought I had I finally reached the mother lode and uncovered the most significant nugget of my career as a gold miner. I discovered that I was invisible and for the first time in my life I became visible at the age of 50…
Looking back on my life I realize I had no idea that I was invisible. I was outgoing as an adult. I was out in my community as a volunteer and employee and I was the spokesperson for my children when I needed to be. People saw me as a mother, wife and woman in the community but mostly, people couldn’t recall my name or they called me by some other name. I wouldn’t correct them because I didn’t want to embarrass them and really it wasn’t a big deal. Or so I thought at the time. I recently became aware of how most things in my life are “no big deal” and I’m now realizing how that way of being, throughout life, was a significant indication of my invisibleness.
Becoming Visible – I was five years old when I became invisible, my story is not unlike many children of my age and I suspect there are many people wandering through their lives unaware that they are invisible just like I did. What happened was my parent separated and the one person who saw me, my dad, left our family. At the tender age of five I had been abandoned, my world, as I knew it, collapsed and I became invisible in my family. No-one knew, I didn’t know and the worst part is I was to spend the next 50 years of my life living as an invisible person.
How could this happen and what was my evidence to support this thought? First of all let me clarify that I had not been abandoned as a child in the way we see abandonment. Yes, my parents separated and for a very short time I did see my dad on occasion. I lived with my mother and five brothers until the age of seven when my mother remarried and introduced me to three more brothers and one sister. My mother loved me and my step father did all that he could to provide for what we needed. I had all my basic needs covered including a roof over my head, clothes on my body and food in my stomach. I wasn’t a deprived child but I was a lonely child and I was lost child in the group. You can imagine how difficult it would have been to stand out in a family of 12. Imagine how difficult it would have been to be the parents of 10 kids? When you live life day to day in survival mode you can imagine that love and nurturing were not part of our daily routine. I don’t tell you this to gain your sympathy, I share this to give you insight to how I lived my life as an invisible child.
Don’t get me wrong I love my family and I know my family loves me because to this day I know if I was in need they would be there for me in a heartbeat. What was missing in my life was the day to day show of affection and unconditional love that we all want in our lives and the result of what was missing in my life was more evidence of me being invisible.
I had plenty of evidence as a teenager but then, that is the time in our lives that I think most of us want to disappear. Being invisible as a teenager worked for me. As a teenager, I floated through life relatively unnoticed and without too many life alliterating moments, in fact, I would say my teenage years were fairly uneventful and boring. When I became a wife and mother I had many responsibilities and very little time to think about anything other than everyone else’s needs. Like most mother’s my time was not my own and it was consumed with daily tasks that made time pass very quickly. Being invisible as a young mother was hard and welcomed at the same time.
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