************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Monday, April 19, 2010

Invisible Red Ink


Distress and
Full out fear
Hold back
They can’t see what is real
I am here
I am real
But invisible
Notice me!
Doesn’t help
Demanding attention
Doesn’t help

Anger and
Full out rage
Not fair!
What’s the point?
Fuck you!
Doesn’t help
Lashing out
Doesn’t help

Sadness and
Full out heartache
Don’t cry
If they come when you cry
It is meaningless
Won’t help
And a lump in my throat
Doesn’t help

I am worthy of love!
Don’t beg
I am not invisible!
Don’t want
If they would just push the film aside
They would see the world
For what it really is
They could see me
For what I really am
They would know
What they want and need and
They could step outside of

I want them to be with me
Because they want to be with me
I want to be worthy of their attention
I want them to notice me

Even when I am NOT being a bitch
I want them to see me

When I am NOT crying
I want them to spend time with me

Because it makes them happy
I want to be wanted
And seen
For what I really am
They could love me
If they tried


Oh I know what you'll say
It isn’t about me

But do you know why?
It can’t be about me
Because I am hidden

Behind a magic red film
And what I want to be
And do
And have
And what I am
Is written in invisible red ink


I am

Even here
Beneath the film of red
I still am
Even if no one knows
I am


When I was little, I had a magic book.

I don't know what it was called or even remember what it was about. What I remember is that on the left hand pages there was writing and on the right hand pages were pictures. In between each page, there was a thin, almost transparent sheet of red cellophane.

The magic was that part of each picture was drawn in the same red as the cellophane. When I looked at it through the red film, the red parts were invisible. Then, when I lifted the thin red film, I would be able to see all the red parts of the pictures. The entire picture would suddenly change and I could see it for what it really was, and always, the change was miraculous and wonderful.

Spending time with my family-of-origin, this past weekend, reminded me of that book. I've changed so much, and being with my family is different than it used to be. I look at them and know what they will do, how they will react in every situation. They all know their roles, and I am very aware of what my role is supposed to be, too.

The thing is, I don’t want to play my role, anymore. I am ad-libbing most of the time, now, it seems, but what is really frustrating is that nobody notices! They just run through their lines, like seasoned actors, and look at the world through a flimsy red curtain, and anything that doesn’t belong to the landscape they expect comes out in invisible red ink.



  1. The merry go around - so very familiar. I am gald that I left this behind me. However hard it was. They couldnt handle me not playing my role anymore and I wasnt ready to give in/up.
    I can relate and agree, our inner kids hold the key. Maybe you like to read this blog post:
    Hugs to you.

  2. Hi Paula. Thank you for stopping by. I will go and read your blog post, now.
    Glad you feel you are off the merry-go-round.

  3. I love this poem Shen!

    From reading this and your previous post I can definitely relate to some of what you are going through. It gave me flashbacks to when I went to my brothers wedding when I was not talking to him or my parents. It was one of the hardest things I had to do because I had to face them and they tried to stuff me in my little mold of "Catherine the sad and crazy member of the family" and I had to fight that. I went for me and don't regret it, even though now I have discovered that having a relationship with them is too unhealthy for me, at least I know I tried.

    I remember at one point I started crying during the reception, my dad came out and gave me a hug, but it was empty, there was nothing there, it was obligation. That was the worst part.

    I'm so happy you have your wonderful husband and your kids. Sounds like they are all very supportive.

    Love, Catherine

  4. what an amazing poem, shen. i really got a lot out of reading it.

    i grew up feeling very invisible. i think that having self-centered family members is very crazy making. they only see themselves, or what they want to see, and when denial and substance abuse and those sorts of things are mixed in too, it's easy to get lost.

    the metaphor of the red film is so meaningful. thank you for sharing this.

    here's another hug if you want one. it sounds like you're dealing with a lot of frustration and disappointment right now.


  5. Wow, Catherine, I really felt the emptiness of that hug, all the way through time and space. I have HAD that hug. Obligation is a word I used in therapy, today, and I think it may be the first time it's come up. It seems significant. I am starting to understand how this is related to the "don't cry" messages, as well.

    Katie, thanks again for the hug. It has been a strange day... week... in fact the whole month of April has been a little off. I really need to get my bearings.

    I'm sorry you also felt invisible. I think we should both take a thick black sharpie and write all over that damn red film!

  6. What a wonderful metaphor and a great message. It's true that we all have our assigned roles and when we begin to change it makes everyone uncomfortable. You are changing and growing. Hugs.

  7. Shen, I remember feeling invisible for all of my childhood. I dressed to disappear because I was afraid of any attention. At the same time, I craved attention. It was a paradox of feelings and very confusing. I too could relate to your poem.

  8. I also am not very close to most of my family. When I am with them, we have a good time, but emotionally it feels distant. It has made me sad from time to time, but I find if I fill my life with good things for me...spirituality, travel, friends, pedicures, etc... then I don't even think about it!

    Hope that you keep feeling better every day!

  9. Yes it does seem a merry go around at times

  10. So many of us are but actors on the stage stutting and fretting. This is a wonderful post :)

  11. I wish I had known you when you were little. You sounded like an amazing girl.


Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment.

Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.