I Am Not Invisible

I Am Not Invisible

I am not invisible, damn it. I have felt invisible and very, very insignificant since Phil’s death. I should have felt that way during all of the days leading to his death because I was very shy and quiet. I liked lurking in the shadows and I didn’t mind living in the corners of my husband’s life or that of my children. I knew who I was—a simple girl that provided a safe mooring to those whose stars shone so much brighter than my own. I was the warm fire blazing at home that made it easy for others to do what they needed to do. I have changed in that though I wish I could hide and I wish I was that girl that was the warm place to land, that isn’t an option. I couldn’t figure out why I felt that way until last night.
I have come so far, but feeling like I am invisible and that I have no merit on my own is a thought and belief that has dogged me since I started emerging from the fog of having lost everything I worked for and invested in. Part of that brokenness was not knowing who I was when I wasn’t a wife, key spouse, or a full time mamma to children at home. Overnight, my status and my place in my little corner of my world ended. People looked at me differently and treated me differently.

I can walk into a crowded church and instead of being treated like a family that walks in, I get treated like a (gasp) marked single woman as in what is wrong with me, I must be divorced, or I must be gay. Nobody considers the other choice. In the military world, I was once part of the head table; now? I get relegated to the single airmen table. I get seated with the airmen young enough to be my children. I like them, but it shows me that I no longer fit or have merit. Where once I hung out with couples, I am a third wheel and often people speculate and gossip about my life. It is all very different, overwhelming, and it makes me feel like a woman wearing a Scarlet Letter. I have a story that most people cannot see beyond. They see my journey and they assume that is all there is to know about me. They simply cannot see beyond my loss. They treat me like I am fragile, broken, or like I get every good thing in my life because I am a military widow.

I am nothing special, but I have merit far beyond my loss. My imploded life is certainly the headliner, but it isn’t the final story. I have a wicked sense of humor, a wild sense of adventure, fierce loyalty to those I love, and I am a dreamer. I am the fun person to travel with because I am always up for an adventure and I rarely lose my cool. I just love life—always have. I sing off key, but I like to sing. I wake up ready to go and breakfast for dinner is my favorite. I like stomping in mud puddles, walking under the stars, and riding screaming roller coasters. I have always wanted to make a difference and I have never felt like I have been successful. I love children and they love me—I miss teaching and coaching. I have a strong sense of kindness and a strong work ethic. I love being outside, being in the water, hiking and doing anything. I calue time with the people I love more than anything. While I am well aware of my faults and there are many, many of them, I am more than my story, more than a broken girl, and more than what people see since that day in 2011.
My closest friends know my story, but that story is very rarely a part of the conversation. I didn’t date for 4.5 years because quite simply no man could see beyond my story, my journey, or my public persona. Only one person has looked at me like I am more than that—like I have merit on my own. Only one person has taken the time to get to know me insecurities and strengths. Only one person has chosen to see the story as part of what made me who I am and that is the person I run to now. It is in that being able to see beyond the masks that I wear that I am seen. I am not invisible. I am awake and alive because I am Linda, the simple girl standing in front of you.

Comments

  1. Linda I can relate hiding behind the scene and being the back bone for the family. You are a wonderful woman and thank you for your unknown encouragement you do not see from me often 🙂 God bless!

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