Ignorance Is Not Always BlissI know I belong to this group without a doubt. However, I have been resisting the urge to write a story to go with the accepted membership. As this topic has been on my mind quite a bit lately, perhaps it's finally time to share my story.
Never fear, I am going to spare you all my psycho-babble though I am well aware this issue began in childhood. Being the youngest of several children in a home where both parents worked, it was easy to be overlooked. It was so easy in fact, my presence wasn't missed even at holidays. I'll never forget the time I waited & waited outside the store I worked at on Christmas Eve night. This was well before the era of cell phones. It seems my father had forgotten he was supposed to pick me up after work. I laugh about it now but I still feel that tinge of sadness buried deep beneath it.
On the good side of it all, I do think it all helped mold me into the person I am today. I think it's probably some kinda reversed reaction which makes me feel better giving to others what I didn't have myself. I am known to be a good listener & a good friend. I care about people. I'm sincere in my efforts to help. I'm the one who has listened endlessly to tales of broken hearts, failed marriages and health scares. I'm the one you'd call whenever you needed something, anything ... because I'd always be there. I've spent hours in waiting rooms and nights in the hospital with friends. I've loaned money without hesitation, bought groceries and taken in children. No, I don't think it makes me any kind of martyr or saint. I simply try to be the kind of friend I'd like to have.
To me, being a true friend means to do so unconditionally. Whatever I do or give is done freely, no strings attached. I don't keep score and I don't expect anything in return.
So why am I complaining I hate being ignored? To be honest, it's very difficult for me to do so. And there-in lies the problem I think. I've made myself easy to ignore because I just accept it. Yet in that acceptance lies a very dangerous trap I don't want to slide into. Do I accept being ignored because I don't feel worthy of acknowledgement?
I'm great at seeing and meeting the needs of others. I'm horrible at expressing my own needs. Somewhere along the way, I became so good at doing for every one else, I learned to ignore myself too. It's finally hit me that I can't complain about being ignored unless I'm willing to speak up for myself. It's hurtful to me to feel ignored. It makes me feel as if my needs, wants & desires are less important than yours. It makes me feel like I don't matter. But I do.
Maybe admitting it, is the first step in overcoming it. The most difficult stories for me to write are the ones I allow to come from deep within my heart & soul. Now that I've let those feelings come to light here, maybe I'll be more aggressive about finding my solution.