My need to be seen.

Years and years ago, while working at one of my old jobs, I got written up because the slightest hint of one of my tattoos was visible at my wrist, and I was deemed “unprofessional.” I decided after that I would never work somewhere where the only thing people cared about was what they saw on the surface.

Four years ago I got my fireworks tattoo. I chose to get them placed where they’d always be seen. My way of saying, “see! I’m not hiding anymore!”

Three months ago is when I got hit by the car. I still haven’t gone out and about on my own after it’s gotten dark. When asked why, it’s an easy answer. “I’m afraid they [drivers] won’t see me.”

I have been at my new job for about a month and a half. My therapist asked the other day if I still felt new.

Me: “I do, yeah. But not for much longer, I think.”

Therapist: “Why?”

Me: “We have a social event coming up. People will get to meet me and see me as a real person and not just a name.”

Therapist: …

Me: …

Me: “They’ll see me.”

Therapist: *touches her nose*

If you ask a middle child if the syndrome is real, most likely you will get a resounding “yes.”

I know that middle child syndrome isn’t a real medical/psychological disorder. But, I also know that neglect can lead to those real medical/psychological disorders. And it really does seem to me like middle children suffer from neglect more than their siblings. At least, it felt like that to me. And how we perceive things is frequently as important as how things may be.

The way I grew up was not healthy. I’ve always known that. And I knew that a lot of the experiences I had as a child had direct links to some of the medical/psychological disorders I have as an adult.

But the one right in front of me? I never saw it.

I grew up having my feelings and experiences invalidated.

I grew up having to be smaller than I was.

I grew up in the shadows of the rest of my family.

I grew up feeling unseen.

I saw all of that. But I never saw just how much it has affected me and in so many different aspects of my life and who I’ve become.


Another thing to unpack with my therapist.

Published by loribarett

Coffee addicted charismatic geek with a penchant for tattoos, books, and listening to people tell their stories.

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