Hi.My name is Kelsi and if I am being completely honest with myself I have been avoiding writing this post for a very long time. One thing I didn't realize would come with the territory of Jason's injuries would be that I often feel unseen, unheard, unnoticed, and invisible.
It may sound petty probably even selfish. Bear with me for a moment and walk into this with some grace as I explain.
|Photo by Eric Gilkes on Unsplash|
I sat there and wondered what I had done wrong. Did she not see me, had she not noticed that I was there from the start? Around the whole time; only gone for three days and that was just to get more clothes and things I needed? What is going on here? And again what was I doing wrong?
While that specific situation only happened once, a more frequent and certainly one of most unexpected things I've dealt with is walking up to people I met the day before. Having had a pretty extensive conversation with them the day before only for them to look at me like they had no clue as to who I was and why I talking to them.
"Hi, I'm Kelsi. The one eyed, blind Marine's wife." "Oh yeah, now I remember." It even got to the point where I would lead conversations with that. It was far less painful for me to remind people that they had met me too, not just Jason. It's like when you are making phone calls and you can tell the person on the other line has no clue who they are talking to. This wasn't only happening on the phone but in real life, face-to-face interactions as well.
Now I understand on the phone, you can't see who you are talking to. You might be thinking well people remember faces or maybe they remember names, it's hard to remember people who you just met. Yes, you are totally right!
People do, however, remember Jason's face, his name, his story. Me on the other hand, well I must just be some chick that walks him around.
Jason is sought out, he has been telling his story and it is an emotional one at that. Nothing is wrong with that. I am not mad at him for him being sought out. I would also be lying to myself and you if I said it doesn't totally suck to be easily forgotten.
It got to the point where I figured why bother sharing because there is likely no one who would want to hear. Even if I was asked, I probably would've turned them down. For a very long time I felt like Jason was the only part of this marriage that was seen. Whether that was him speaking, when he was bike riding, other things he was involved with. Hell, I have even been left out of conversations regarding large family matters that had the potential to affect me. Seems as though being related only by marriage wasn't enough for me to qualify.
We were rarely recognized as a whole, married couple. It's so weird.
It's also very painful; emotionally and mentally. I'm not asking for my own tv show, I don't need to be a household name. I don't need folks to have parades in my name - sorry I'm trying to make myself laugh at such a heavy topic.
Well "behind every successful man is a strong woman," not untrue though why behind? Why are they hidden? Why is it that for one to be successful the other must be unseen, unheard or unknown? And I do think this could go the other way around too.
What about next to every successful man is a successful woman? How about next to every strong man is a strong woman? Why not side by side? The sacrifices Jason and I have both made over the last almost sixteen years for each other is what launches us forward. Our willingness to work as a team for the benefit of our relationship, our children and our future is what will lead to impacts whether big or small. The goal is that behind our successful life was both of us, as a team doing what was best to instill the values, character and integrity into ourselves and family to change generations.
I can't imagine that I am the only one who has ever felt unseen, unheard, or unknown. Right?
No, I am really asking.
I believe the lies we believe about ourselves are the ones that can do the most damage.
How different the situation could have been if the statement went maybe more like "you know we didn't know how things would play out; if you were going to stick around at the beginning, but we sure are glad you did. We are grateful you are still around."
Believing that I was unseen and unknown started with the someone else's belief that I wasn't going to stay around no matter what I exhibited otherwise. Someone else's belief that I took on as my own. I nurtured it, watered and helped it grow into my own belief if that they didn't see me then certainly no one else would either.
I am also responsible for appropriately dealing with that belief because well it just isn't true. It's taken me over a decade to realize that I have been lying to myself. I am not just Jason's chick that drives him around and gets him into where he needs to be. That yes, people may not see me but that doesn't mean that I am unworthy of being seen.
If you are feeling unseen, unheard, unknown or invisible; maybe even to the point of unworthy of being seen, I'd encourage you to talk to someone. I'd also encourage you to dig. Dig down, look back and try to find out where that lie came from.
If no one else is telling you this, I will.
It's a lie.
You are seen, you are heard, you are known and you are worthy.