I wanted to just title this invisible, but I think it’s deeper than that. A few days ago, I mentioned on twitter that I often feel, and have felt, invisible. This may spiral into a ramble, but it’s been on my mind.
I’ve talked about that before, feeling unseen. Honestly, it’s this something many girls, many people, have dealt with? My feelings are real and valid, but I am not the only person to feel that way.
What I have been trying to do is to work through it.
Often times, when I say I feel invisible, I mean I don’t feel seen or valued by those people I want to be attracted to me. What even is the source of that vulnerability? That need to be seen and viewed as desirable, wanted, delightful? It’s funny because I know people are attracted to and notice me. I had a man call me beautiful as I walked by a few days ago. But trauma runs deep, doesn’t it?
Therapy is magical and no one will convince me otherwise. Okay, maybe not magical, but it is incredibly eye opening. Having someone else ask the questions, take what I feel is just ramblings about my day, and dig a little deeper into the things I’m really feeling. In this, I’m discovering the source of some of my feelings of invisibility.
My therapist does an almost family centered management of the emotions that live in us. Addressing each deeper issue and the emotions that protect them. It’s understanding whatever values trauma has allowed us to believe and changing it so it’s more aligned to who we are. Lots of exploring the mental plane and what those emotions can look like physically. Allowing them to speak so we can change them. Man, do I have issues, but I’ve learned to look and recognize how tangible those are instead of ignoring them so they can overwhelm me.
I’ll tell you a bit about how my invisibility looks internally
It’s a small child, dirty, and living in a cage. Not trapped because it feels safe in there. It’s funny how being caged in this case feels safe because it’s protecting me from everyone else. That desire to be noticed wars with the fear of what happens when I am. I’m currently addressing the desire to be noticed and my therapist gave me a task. Approach that caged part of me, reach out to it, and tell it I see it.
Lately, when I’ve had those moments where the feeling of invisibility is most intense, I do this. It comes on when I want to be tended to quite intensely so I sit, quiet my mind, and reach out to that part of me. No, I don’t quite know how to change the things that part of me believes yet, but I’m finding as I say “I see you” I feel less vulnerable. Less distressed about what I’m not receiving. I haven’t really fixed myself, but I’m seeing myself. It has had an interesting effect on me. I do feel less invisible. Yes, I still want people to want to spend time with me, value me, and want me. I just don’t feel quite so depressed if I don’t get that.
I can’t make others want me. In exploring kink, trying to find partners, and trying to have my needs met, it drives that point home hard. While I can’t get others to see me, I can change how I respond to things like rejection or being ignored. Over the last week, it’s gotten better.
It’s all about discovery, yes. Maybe my kink life is in a serious lull, but my emotional self is moving in the right direction. That’s just as important.
I saw this photo on Twitter and came here to comment on how powerfully lovely it is. Then i read your words and I am completely blown away. I sometimes feel invisible too, but confronting that part of me, acknowledging her, allowing myself to see her, that had never even occurred to me and it’s really powerful stuff. Definitely going to be thinking about this for awhile. Thank you so much for sharing this!!
It’s very important. My therapist ran me through similar exercises, where we named each of the parts of me and engaged with me one by one, accepting and learning to see and value them. It did help. I don’t do it much any more, but at the time, it was healing to simply validate the internal hurts and scars. I wish you luck on that journey and hope you find a way to meet both your emotional and kink needs.
“That desire to be noticed wars with the fear of what happens when I am.”
This feels very familiar, though the details are different. I think I’m afraid of being seen because in my family that has always seemed to result in me feeling inadequate. And outside of my family, it often meant being used.
Over the years I’ve had a few hobbies that involved performing and I was always torn about wanting to be on stage but wanting people to not actually pay attention to me. It’s been weird. I think this is part of the reason that I post photos – I’m putting myself out there but from a distance and on my own terms.
What you’re writing here is very relatable. I was nodding along almost with every word. You conveyed what you’re feeling so well
It is great you are writing about it – that is a kind of therapy too – and it will be good for others to read, may help them with any issues they have – although of course not everyone IS as beautiful as u x
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It’s affirmation, I think.
When you desire affirmation – in any form: sexually, emotionally, physically, professionally, spiritually, etc. – but are not receiving affirmation (from others, or in a form you recognize as affirming), then you have to create that for yourself.
Often people talk about affirmations in a Buddha-OHM kind of Zen-ish way, or consider them to be simply ‘pats on the back’. And while both of those perspectives have their place, I think that they can also be a bit simplistic. Affirmations – to use an analogy – are like pillars or fortifications. When we’re stretching ourselves forward, like a bridge over uncertain waters, trying to get from Where We Were Before to Where We Are Going, affirmations become the structural reinforcements that hold us steady above the waves.
If that makes sense.
And desiring the delivery of those reinforcing stanchions is a vulnerable place to be. You need them in order to bridge over, so to speak, but *seeking* them means being seen. And while on the one hand, being seen on your cross-ocean course is necessary, it’s also a risk. Because those who see who you are and what you’re doing will JUDGE what they see.
Affirmations are (positive) judgments.
But not everyone – including ourselves – will judge us thus.
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