Sometimes it feels like some of us live in a fantasy world, and yes, I am a part of the some. As we navigate through the world, lost, and confused, feeling misunderstood and forgotten, we yearn for the day where someone finally comes us to us and say …. I See You. You know those movies and books about a person who’s internally hurting and sinking inside, and someone comes along and breathes life into them. Every time I heard that line “I see you” I would start to cry. One example that comes to mind is that movie Beyond the Lights. Just when she thought she was done, someone swoops in and saves her. Yes, it’s kind of cliché, but I always loved those stories. During the moments when I’m down and hurting I always wanted that moment. Sometimes it’s even in songs, (like Waiting for Superman by Daughtry for example). Or other love song where a woman sings about how they were lost and alone and someone came and pulled them out of the darkness and gave them a safe space (Hide by Ella Mai for example).
It’s not always a love interest. Sometimes it’s a family member, friend, associate, acquaintance or a caring stranger. I remember years ago when I was working in retail there was someone who I thought could possibly see through my mask. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m the type of person that always tries to separate my feelings in a workplace setting in order to have a good work environment. I would always put on a mask if I was depressed, because I didn’t want to shift the energy in a negative way. I would smile a lot and try to be as pleasant as possible. I used to hide it very well. I could sneak away and cry in the corner and then come back smiling like nothing ever happened, but there was this guy who I feared could see through me. I would be waltzing by, and he would greet me, and I would smile and say hello back in a very chipper attitude and sometimes he would say “Are you okay? Is everything okay?” and it would always throw me for a loop because no one could see through my smile or whimsical personality. I was always taken back a bit when he would ask me that because I feared that my mask was starting to slip. I replied with a “yes, of course” as I tried to play it off like there was no doubt about it, but then he said “Are you sure? I’m here if you want to talk.” I was completely thrown. I just said thank you, I’m good. It was so weird to me because no one could ever see through my mask. The only person who could was my dad, but he had known me all of my life, so how did this random coworker that I rarely talked to could possibly see through my façade. Maybe because he was down a lot, and pain recognize pain. I’m not sure, but it spooked me. I remember when I finally started opening up to old friends / college classmates and they were like wow, I never noticed. You always seem like you had it together. And that’s what I wanted. I will never know how he could see it, but as scary as it was in that moment, it was nice to be seen.
Fast forward to today, I can barely keep my mask on. After everything that has happened that mask of mine slips a lot, which is another reason why I often isolate myself. To be honest, it’s even harder when you’re not good at pretending like you could before, because it’s obvious and yet you’re still not seen. It’s like you start to feel even more alone. As I thought about everything and how I wish I could be seen now I realized that sometimes you won’t be (especially at a time like this). I think the pandemic definitely rocked everyone and the effects from it definitely played a major role in the population’s increase of depression/anxiety to the point where so many people have their own mental battle that they’re facing. There comes a point in time where you have to get up and look in the mirror and say “I See Me.” You don’t have to wait on superman. Sometimes we have to put our own cape on and save ourselves. He, She or They might not see me, but I See Me. We have to be our strongest advocates. I know that now more than ever. Losing a parent definitely has altered that feeling of safety and security. I have to pull myself out of the shadows and be my own knight and shining armor. As much as I love fairytales and fantasies, sometimes life doesn’t play out like that. You have to see the worth in yourself. You have to tell yourself that you’re worth saving. So to all the people out there who feel alone, ignored, unseen and forgotten: You are strong, capable, worthy and resilient. It’s time to play the part of the Hero in your own story.