Dealing with being seen.
After starting to read a post from another blog, its topic bothered me! Yep, she was talking about her reaction to strangers and new caregivers. I sat there reading and my mind was saying: stop; and reread ; hey that might be you; wow!
All I could think about is how I handle ‘me’ and being out in public. Being with family or strangers, matters not. It kind of scared me. It made me look inside myself. It is not like I can go out alone much anymore. So how do I respond to ‘me’ when knowing a room full of people can see me?
Is it fair to me to have to address this part of my new normal? Do I really want to look at myself with honesty? Deep down I wanted to shut that blog page down and hide. Play a game and ignore this bug in my brain.
I did stop reading that post. Yep, I hid. I tried playing a mindless game. I looked on FB. But I could not shut the film in my mind down. I was watching my ‘self’ as I went through my day. I could see my ‘self’ getting out of a car, climbing back in a car, getting out of a booth in a restaurant, sitting in that booth reclining as I waited on food. Then leaving that restaurant and trying to get back into the passenger seat.
That reel kept playing, and I was crying. I was bawling. I could see the before right along with the today’s. We all know what our before might have been. A smile; an acknowledgement to a person who might have been a stranger as you do the simple things like being out in public. Then I could see my today. Never looking another person in the eye as I move about. Never acknowledging they even exist. I can sit in that booth and look at others, I can acknowledge them. Until! Until I have to put my legs up, sit on a foot, or move about the restaurant. Then, if I am in the grocery store or mall and I start getting unstable and need to rest, it becomes tunnel vision. Tunnel vision to zero onto a spot to sit, or prop up against. I won’t even look at the person who tagged along.
Hell, if I don’t want to see my ‘self’ why would a stranger want to see me? Now, if I was glancing at you coming and going I would smile or try to let you know – yes, I see you and you are OK with me. But I realized I don’t want to know if you see me! After having that mental reel play on, in my mind’s screen, I see others as only a haze!
I don’t want that haze to let me know they see me hanging on to a wall, a car, or a shelf for dear life. If you are a haze to me surely I am a haze to you, right? Why? Maybe because it would mean accepting my new normal. From one moment to another I think I have become fully accepting; then, maybe I am not as good at it as I had hoped.
If I only see you, stranger, as a haze, I can pretend!
I have been told that most chronic pain patients are the best fools. We fool ourselves, and we hope we fool others. We think of ourselves as actors. Are we?
I know a lot of normal looking people, who suffer in silence, talk a lot about the comments we get. Those comments are things like — you don’t look sick, you went out today, and all those ridiculous words that come out of mouths. Just because we hope we look that way, we do not want to acknowledge when we do not. We like pretending that all is hunkie-dory; I sure as heck don’t want to know when I have even messed that part up.
Yes, it scares me to think that I am trying to live in a hazy world where I do not accept that you can see me. But I will keep on seeing you, stranger, as a haze. At least I have not just made you disappear. That is even scarier than letting you be a haze. And I will go back to that blog post and give it the attention it deserves. Even if I start crying all over again, I will share the Link to the post, so as a reader you can see that maybe we all live in a make believe world. (https://livinginalimitedworld.com/2017/07/15/the-facts-about-people)