Today I will have lived on Earth for 56 years.
14th September marks my fifty-sixth birthday, and to be honest, I am a bit surprised that I have made it thus far.
For as long as I can remember, I have felt old.
I have felt “learned beyond my apparent chronological human years.”
I am glad to be able to call myself “whole” now, and by this I mean a confident person who feels she is worthy of just as much love, care, and needs fulfillment as the next person!
As I approached my fifty-sixth birthday, for the first time in 56 years, I felt that I liked myself.
You see, my Story has been that of the “Amazing Invisible person.”
I have found it hard to accept compliments or even to think of myself as a smart, capable and worthwhile person; but writing and sharing on Medium has been the “tonic” that I have needed!
So, thank you to ALL Medium writers and readers.
I became a member of Medium to read, and have found some writers whom I faithfully follow because what they write motivates me personally to keep going. There are 2 of them, whom I will mention now.
I admire Jason Weiland for his tenacity and his willingness to learn and to grow, and this is something that bolsters tenacity and growth in me.
⭐ Ryan Justin consistently writes easy to read, motivating, inspiring thoughtful pieces, which have been a Life-line for me, as I have needed a calm, sincere, soothing but encouraging “voice” to “listen” to as a constancy in my Life.
Life has come full circle for me, from being open to the World when I was born naked and wondering what Life was all about, and as vulnerable as the next baby; to being open again to the wonders of the World and wondering what life holds for me.
Finally, “the penny has dropped.” Each one of us is amazing for just being a human being. Life is hard for all of us.
I have only just come to accept how amazing I am.
I have been taken away from my family, race, and country at 15 months of age; inter-country adopted, abused by several males in my adoptive family in Australia; fought demons to stay alive ( the demons of guilt / worthlessness / fear / purposelessness / anger against myself / and identity confusion) and battled neglect, misunderstanding, impatience, racism, sexism, smallism, and being taken advantage of.
Throughout it all I have managed to stay afloat by putting others as “Number one” and of course, this lets me stay alive by subconsciously giving me the goal of lavishing all my attention on others’ needs (and I have done this genuinely, not selfishly my way, but have been able to give genuine help and support to others, as they have told me I have done so).
Indifference ( as defined by Celine ):
Couldn’t care less
I don’t like you
Why should I spend time on you?
You’re not worth bothering about
Who do you think you are?
Indifference is couched in the sofa of comfortableness. When someone reads or hears or sees or comes across something that they are not comfortable with, because it goes against the status quo, or against their mind-set (beliefs) or it is new and challenging to them, or because they are comparing themselves to others, they become indifferent.
Despite my having survived two suicide attempts, and being well educated, with a degree in Biology, a Post-graduate Diploma in Social Research and Evaluation, a Certificate in Records Management and a qualification in the Bahasa Melayu language; and being skilled in research, writing, reading, book reviewing and statistical analysis, and in working with people; I have largely felt invisible.
I am in a job where I feel that I may as well be a paper cut-out, meaning that my skills are being under-utilized (even though I have tried talking to my manager about using them); it’s a part-time lower paid job, and a sheet of “bronco” (toilet tissue for those who don’t know) separates my manager (who is paid three times as much as me) and myself.
This week I have only just established my “Warrior Rights” in the arena of public speaking, meaning some of us really have had to be “Warriors” in terms of bravely and consistently speaking up for ourselves and for what is ethical, without feeling that we are stupid or weird.
No longer will I let anyone try to shut me down at work meetings, or in any other arena.
No, I am not trying to “push my wheel-barrow.”
I am trying to have my say, and it has taken me 56 years to realize that I have an entitlement to this.
This is what I partly mean by being invisible. At work meetings it’s like I don’t exist just because I’m small and have a quiet voice (and NO I am not going to shout across the room, because this will wear me out, and the facts are that people do hear me but they interrupt or talk over me or just try to close or end the would-be dialogue).
You know what I mean: when those listening to you are thinking about what they want to say, or don’t like what they are hearing and/or don’t want to take responsibility for any actions likely to be incurred from the dialogue, so (in my case anyway) they say something like “Let’s talk about this later” or say some other wishy-washy nonsensical statement, and nothing gets done.
Well, I feel my worth now, and I am making sure that what I have to say is being heard.
I have also felt invisible in terms of no mentoring or job promotions at work too. Yes, I know that I can try to make myself visible, as many would lecture me, but I’ve tried that.
Please don’t be indifferent toward me.
I’m not asking you “what would you do?”
I’m certainly not saying “Poor me.” Believe me, I don’t feel sorry for myself, which is not the same as not feeling sad for myself very occasionally.
I do not begrudge anyone their good fortunes, ethically gained, either.
Believe me, there is hardly a “bone of resentment” in me. If there was, do you think that I would be alive now?
Sure, sometimes I am angry at some facets of Life, but who isn’t, so I don’t need to be lectured on being calm. My friends who appreciate me have told me that I am calm and logical during a crisis, and this has enormously helped them.
Anger is a variant of fear, and sometimes anger is righteous and the only thing that propels us into corrective action.
Imagine yourself in somebody else’s (my) shoes. What would you want?
I am trying to say that I have gone from feeling invisible, on top of all the feelings and very real trauma that goes along with what I have personally experienced, to no longer feeling invisible.
I have many people on Medium to thank for helping me to learn not to be indifferent toward me. Some of you have been unintentional mentors and others have clapped for and/or commented on my Stories showing how you understand and respect me.
To all those Medium writers and readers, including Michael K. Spencer, Darcy Reeder, Shelly McIntosh, Sarah Nderi, Lucy King, Robin Klammer, Lana Graham, Gillian Sisley, Nicole Akers, Susan Randolph, Jun Wu, Natalie Frank, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), Tammy Hader, Steve Campbell, Stacy Brookman: Real Life Resilience, Stephen Sovie, Steve Spring, Charlene Fate, Manas Kala, Jessica Archuleta and many others, whom have inspired or encouraged me, replied to my questions about Medium, clapped my Stories, and Commented on my Stories, I thank you.
I have been my own harshest critic. Writing on Medium has helped me see that I am worthwhile.
I can now step back or distance myself from my previous entanglement of thoughts and emotions and see someone who still has a lot to offer, a lot to learn and a huge lot to give.
Today I am 56 years young.
I not only feel strong and able to empathize with those who have gone through any of the traumatic experiences I have been through, but I feel capable and loveable and worthy.
I want to be appreciated and loved (who doesn’t).
No longer indifferent to me. I made it to fifty-six.
Thanks for reading! Here are 2 other related Stories you may be interested in.
Another Story by Celine Lai on 1-One-Infinity 😃 more helpful writers here!