I’ve been seeing a grief counsellor for a few months now to try and work on my PTSD. It is been super helpful going to a doctor who specializes in this particular field. During the session a few weeks ago, she asked me what it feels like to be invisible. Truthfully I was offended at first but then realized that it was a valid question. Neither sides of my immediate family have ever tried to get to know me, my likes, my dislikes, my personality, my morals.
I am also certain that none of them know what I am pursuing in college. Reluctantly I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, I make excuses and try to rationalize why these people just don’t care. Maybe you’re thinking “well have you tried to talk to them”. My answer to that is yes and no. I really did try when I was growing up, but then you get to a certain age and it feels uncanny to have to introduce yourself to family and discuss the basics. I have tried doing that and it’s uncomfortable. I reach out to a lot of family members to see how they’re doing and whats going on with them – recently I have been receiving the cold (freezing) shoulder from someone who I thought did know me and cared about me.
I really don’t like to be jealous or greedy, but sometimes its strenuous not to be when you are constantly treated like you are invisible and non-existent. My grandfather allowed me to live with him after my mom died. He
managed my money because I was a minor, he claimed me on his taxes and paid himself with my money to “take care of me”. I am grateful that I didn’t have to live on the street, I am grateful that I had a bed to sleep in, but I am not grateful at the same time because of the emotional abuse that came along with living with my grandfather and uncle.
From the age of 14 – now, I have paid for everything that I own. I paid for my cars, I paid for my car insurance, I paid for my health insurance, I paid for my food, I paid for my education, and at one point I paid rent to live here.
When I was applying for financial aid my grandfather refused to cosign my loans, but he cosigned my cousin’s loans.
For my high school graduation, my grandfather bought me an air conditioner – he also bought my cousins them too even though they weren’t graduating.
The first Christmas after my mom died, neither my uncle or grandfather put up decorations or even got me a card.
I found out today that my grandfather is paying for my cousin’s car – she doesn’t ever call him or see him.
I truly am trying not to be jealous or greedy, because there is someone out there who has it much worse than I do, but these people make me feel invisible.
Recently I have been staying with my boyfriend and his family because they are such incredible people. When I first started dating Nick it was hard to adjust to a strong family setting. I used to struggle to go there for holidays because I have to live two different lives. The first 3 years with him Christmas was really hard to manage because I missed my mom, and envied his life and family. It was truly culture shock! Believe it or not, I had to work on that issue often with my therapist so that I could enjoy that part of my life. I don’t like to be fully dependent on him, or his family because I have always been independent and I understand that although we have been together for 5 years we are still young – I don’t want to suffocate him and push him away. In therapy, I often have to work on letting my guard down and just enjoying the moment because if I am always walking on eggshells I am missing out on so much in life. My boyfriend and his family are truly beautiful souls who have welcomed me with open arms – I will forever be grateful for being able to experience what it feels like to not be invisible to those who mean so much to me.
For those who can relate to this post just know that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
*Update: I posted on my FB saying “Both sides of my family never fail to make me feel non-existent” … soon after I got a call from an angry aunt who told me to stop posting stuff like that because it makes the family look like shit and to find another way to express my emotions. Hmmm… wonder what she would say about my blog lol. This is my life, my story, and my experiences… I’m frustrated with those trying to silence my truth.
Thanks for keeping up with me!