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I feel invisible


#1

I have been battling this feeling for most of my life. My older sister was the one who was a part of every club and had the best grades in school; whereas, with me, I struggled hard core. My parents didn’t really know how to help so they tried using her as a motivating technique and compared her success to my failures. Needless to say, it didn’t work. Even though my parents acknowledged me, I was still in my sister’s shadow and I feel like this is where it all started. Growing up, I did try to reach out and really make friends at school and church, but I felt disappointed. I would try to talk to my youth minister about how I was feeling and what I was going through, but he would either just walk away mid-sentence or just brush it off completely and the other youths either excluded me or bullied me (I did make a few friends but either they were older than I was or it was hard to see them outside of church; with school I made a handful of close friends but I felt like I needed more) I’ve always had problems fitting in.

Flash forward to today, I have gone to therapy and have processed through most things from my childhood and adolescent years, but I still feel invisible a lot. I’ll be in a party chat or group message and I’ll say something or send a few messages and no one will acknowledge me. Even in person, I’ll say or do something and its like I don’t exist. I don’t understand what it is about me that just says that I’m a background character. I do the same thing as someone else, and everyone notices the other person and I hardly get glanced at. Flip side, I do something for me or that is unique to me and still no one notices. I try not to let it get to me because I know that I’ll dwell and ruminate, but it still gets to me on some level. It’s a very weird place to be in mentally. I know I’m not invisible and I know that nobody does it in a malicious way, but there’s a part of me that says “why even bother or try”.


#2

Let me start off by saying: you are not alone. I think sometimes we can be surrounded by people and family and still feel like the most alone person in the world. I battle with this on a daily and it’s hard for me to give myself credit. First kudos to you for going to see someone. Professional help always helps place things in perspective because our minds have been so conditioned to think a certain way…the bad ways. For me, I can be on top of the world and one thing goes wrong or I lose control of something and those emotions/feelings of childhood come rushing in.
I grew up with 3 older successful sisters. I always felt like the runt and when I would speak out, I’d be brushed off. I felt this sort of ‘she’s the kid’ vibe.
My family clearly loves me and I would not be the woman I am today without them, but I also learned I would not be who I am WITHOUT ME. My resiliency is there. Find it for yourself and let it drive you in all you do.

For me, going back to school was a huge step. But it was here that I learned to make a voice for myself and although I know what areas I am not an expert in, I know what areas I do have a voice and I do have a say.
Find organizations that do things you like, chances are…you’ll meet like minded individuals that are wired similarly. Do something for yourself and draw that fine line that separates you from your sister. It’s there, you just have to find it. And it’s the journey of finding it that takes courage and leads to some pain. But, you’ve processed this type of pain with your childhood…I had to do the same. It got better once I understood my place and my views on my own family. I write this knowing whole heartedly that I struggle with this on a daily. It is not easy. But the clarity that can come from this is priceless. Please know you are not alone. I feel you and I hope you can find some peace in what I said. You have a friend here. Best of luck to you.


#3

Thank you so much for your response! It did help me out knowing that I’m not alone in this struggle. I’m about to embark on a self discovery journey and while I did separate myself from my sister (she’s a teacher for the visually impaired and I’m a hodge podge of different careers) I think it’s time for me to really own who I am and accept me for who I am so I’m not focusing on other people and be okay when these situations happen. I appreciate you and you have a friend here as well!