The invisible woman.

invisible
adjective
1. Not visible; not perceptible by the eye.Dictionary.com1
2. You can’t see me, I’m a ninja. – The Nut


I have a habit of disappearing in plain sight.

I don’t exactly know how I acquired this power or exactly when, but it’s been one of my strengths as long as I can remember.

Of course, when I was a teenager and meaning of life was being popular, I considered this less of a strength and more my worst nightmare. I had friends, supposedly, but despite my efforts to be engaged and interesting at social gatherings, I would always be talked over and ignored.

It wasn’t intended maliciously, as far as I could tell, but it struck a nerve all the same. So eventually I would decide that being intentionally invisible was preferable to being unintentionally invisible, and I’d fade into a quiet corner to wait for my absence to be noticed.

It never was.

I didn’t understand. Were these people my friends or weren’t they? Wasn’t someone finally going to wonder aloud, “Wait, where’d Nutty go?” and start looking for me? “Hey you, come on, you’re missing all the fun!” they were supposed to say when they finally found me, taking me by the hand and leading me back to the party.

But it just didn’t happen. So after a half hour or so, I’d give up on the waiting game and rejoin the party, because at least getting the odd word in edgewise was better than sulking on my own in a corner.

At least that’s what I thought, for a while. But it wasn’t long before even that was too unbearable and I opted to just stop accepting invitations out at all, because if I was going to be bored and lonely either way then I might as well cut out the middle man and be disappointed on my own terms instead of letting others do it for me.

Flash forward to today, when people inexplicably find me funny and likeable and genuinely enjoy listening to what I have to say, and all of a sudden my cloak of invisibility is all that stands between me and certain mental breakdown in the face of overly chatty office mates or masses of tipsy strangers at corporate outings.

As one more well-meaning coworker comes over to ask me all about my recent vacation, I start to wonder why the me of all those years ago was so anxious to be noticed when being in the spotlight can be such a pain in the ass. Being liked is enjoyable; I can’t truthfully argue otherwise, but it’s also exhausting. And after working so hard in recent times to perfect my “I don’t give two shits what any of you people think of me” aura in the face of near-crippling social anxiety, even the enjoyment feels like a bit of a step backward.

So when it gets to be too much, I play to my strengths and vanish.

No “backward” to step to if you don’t exist.


Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter I, the number 0, and the Mrs. Cellophane Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

1 “invisible” Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, 2016. Web. 11 April 2016.

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12 thoughts on “The invisible woman.

  1. I’ve noticed in recent times that I’ll sometimes start a conversation with a group of friends (maybe at lunch with colleagues or something), and then just sit back for most of the rest of the conversation while everyone else carries it (and I can continue eating my lunch undisturbed). Not quite the same as invisibility, but I suppose the result is similar

    Liked by 1 person

    • That tactic definitely comes in handy for my closer friends who are less likely to just let me fade into the wallpaper when I need a breather. Get them onto a topic you know they can ramble about for days, and then sink into the role of quietly chewing observer. Works like a charm.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It bothers me that people are often spoken of as being introverts or extroverts as though we’re all one or the other. It’s a broad spectrum and there might be some at the extreme ends but most of us, I think, fall somewhere in the middle.

    And invisibility has its advantages…and its disadvantages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m an on-demand extrovert. Which is why most people I know don’t even realize I consider myself an introvert. “But you’re so friendly and bubbly!” Yeah, for the ten minutes we were standing in a circle chatting over flutes of champagne at that corporate shindig. But did you see me again for the next twenty minutes after that? Nope, because I was outside in the shadows, feeling the breeze, looking at the stars, and utterly de-people-ing myself until my social battery recharged enough to go back in.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I felt like this at my actual wedding reception when I was way younger. At one point I went upstairs and watched my reception out the window — which was taking place in the yard below, and wondered when someone would say “where the hell’s the bride?”. Somehow, some way as I got older I lost that invisibility. Now everyone wants me to be the initiator of conversations, the spokesperson for groups. I kind of miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nutty Hubby and I managed to hide for a bit during cocktail hour at our wedding, and thank god for that. We cut out of the reception early too; would’ve actually managed to exit unnoticed if that darn sharp-eyed wedding planner hadn’t caught us at the last second and had the DJ announce our departure. Although apparently most people were so soused by that point they still didn’t realize we’d gone. 😛

      Like

  4. Some days I honestly wished I was invisible and people won’t notice me anymore.
    Thank you for such a great post. I look forward to reading more from you, I’m glad I found your blog on the a-z challenge list

    Liked by 1 person

  5. After being invisible for years in high school I finally had my moment. Turns out I’m a sucker and it was planned by the bitch who liked to bully me. Moral of the story… If you bully someone who is actually really cool you will end up really fat (because that’s how karma works) and the girl you bullied will have a great irl and online friends. That didn’t seem to go with your post. Maybe I should get to the corner.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like that- ‘on demand extrovert’. My favourite job ever required me to be outgoing and enthusiastic with groups of strangers, but only for 3 hours at a time, then have a break and recuperate. And I can be very chatty and friendly at the school mums things that we do, but then in the days following it never occurs to me to phone anyone up for follow up coffees or chats or stuff like that. i’m not avoiding them, I’m just… forgetting they’re there? … I’m weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is basically my entire social life. If I don’t see someone every day, I pretty much just don’t ever think about them. Then we’ll run into each other or one of us will see something the other posted on Facebook or something and get chatting, we’ll make plans to hang out, have tons of fun…and then go right back to kind of forgetting about each other.

      Low maintenance friendships like that are pretty much all I can handle these days.

      Liked by 1 person

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