Invisible women

She slides her sweatshirt cuffs over her knuckles, pulling the sweatshirt tighter around her tiny frame, almost disappearing into it.

She’s nearing middle-age and makes passive-aggressive comments under her breath during her weekly mani-pedi.

She’s drowning in children and noise and sticky stuff that won’t ever come off of the kitchen floor. And she just wants to cry and hide under her comforter.

There’s an invisible woman around you. A woman reaching out for attention through constant noise, or resigned silence, or under the pressure of trying to do it all, be it all, and fulfill her roles all with a smile on her face. Women yearning for a hug, or a “yeah, me too”, or just to know they’re not alone — that they’re seen. That what they do matters. That they are more than their role of daughter, wife, mother, friend.

Because as much as we pretend we have this whole thing figured out, we don’t; and we’re too scared of rejection to really let ourselves be heard and known. And so we keep all the doubts and frustrations inside and it comes leaking out through cracks and holes, through sly glances at other women wondering if they have it all together and fearing I’m the only one falling apart.

We’re all invisible women, asking if we’re seen, and if someone will really know us enough to care and draw us out into the light. 

Recently, I’ve had a friend look me in the eye and tell me that my writing is worthwhile. To remind me that what I write has resonance past my brain and my hands typing away at a keyboard. That what I say matters. That the work itself matters — even if I haven’t or don’t achieve a wider platform. By sharing in the struggle together, she helps me be seen. To move away from being an invisible woman to one who can confidently greet the sun with hope and joy.

We always want to grab the blanket and bury our fears and anxieties underneath it; to use our shame or brokenness as a way to hide from the light, because we believe ourselves to be past redemption; or, we drown out our neediness in an onslaught of technological white noise and superfluous chatter, so that we put pain at a distance. We ourselves become visible by beckoning another woman out of her own shadows, and together, we can begin to really be seen. So ask yourself, who, in your life, is just waiting for a hand to reach under that blanket and be invited out into the light?

flower photo1

This is the twentieth post for the Write 31 days challenge, where I’ll be writing every day through the month of October. I’m excited to see what comes of this daily practice. I’d love for you to comment, pin the above image, share posts and subscribe to receive posts to the right in the sidebar as we work through these things together. Posts in the series are all linked to from the first post.

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13 Comments

  1. Yes, this is so much what we need to do and be for each other. Sometimes we all just need someone to reach out and say that we matter, that our struggle matters, and that we are all in this together.

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  2. “We ourselves become visible by beckoning another woman out of her own shadows, and together, we can begin to really be seen.” Such truth in these words! Thanks for this challenge and encouragement! I feel 31 Days is a good way to call out people and recognize them, appreciate them, discover their hearts. We become visible together.
    a fellow 31 Dayer

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    1. Thanks Katha for commenting and reading. 🙂 I’ll check out your blog, too! And I like what you are saying about the 31-day community, too. It’s been very encouraging.

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