Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wanna play Hide and Seek?

My little blog topic today was sparked by my dear idol Julie The Accidental Fat Chick (this woman has the strength of 20 men I kid you not. Her husband is deployed and she is a Mom and she has a job and finishes fitness challenges that would make Superman pee in his red tights.)

Julie was having a bad day and felt alone and I commented and told her she could have my phone number and call me any time of the day or night.

Um yah – then I gave her my number and proceeded to tell her it was useless. Wow – nice one Draz. Another shining moment of mine.

I told Julie she could call the number but I’d never answer. I never even turn the thing on…wow – another nice one….but that I swear to God I want to be here for her.

Funny thing is – Julie laughed…cuz she gets it. She has phone stage fright too. And hence – my topic.

More and more I have realized that blogging and technology and email feed into my recluse tendencies…and it’s probably not a good thing. *sigh*

All my life I have been scared. Scared of being forgotten (which I was) and then more scared that I would ever be noticed. I wanted desperately for someone in my family to see me…really see me and take note and care. When they didn’t – I found it easier to blend in, not talk, clam up, never try new things, never branch out, never leave the comfort of my room growing up. I was safe there. I felt noticed there. Outside of there – I was just no one. No one encouraged me or told me I could do more and be more or succeed at anything I put my mind to – so I didn’t cuz I figured they were right. So I did what I did – which was excel at perfection and try to prove them all wrong…and it still was never enough.

As I got older – body imperfections only added to me never wanting to go much of anywhere. I had huge boobs that classmates made fun of that got in the way of my passion of running. I was not skinny enough compared to all my friends. Then after pregnancy I hated my body even more and what I had let it become. It was so easy to hide…and the tendency came easy from so many years of practice.

But it’s not good and I don’t want either of my daughters to have these fears. I bet you didn’t know that I …

….do not answer the phone for anyone BUT Jenny, my husband and my mother….unless I have to. I work two part time jobs for the community I live in and get tons of phone calls for that and at my full time job. I do not answer the phone. It is inconvenient to get the voice mails BUT it’s better than talking to them.

….run from anyone in a store I know? If I see someone I will literally go the other way…and be nervous the whole time about running into them and therefore do not enjoy the trip? I have done this for my own father. I have seen him and gone the other way. I have literally walked past people with my head turned so they don’t know it’s me. These are people I like and even love – but I cannot talk to them. I do not want to be seen.

….make up excuses not to go anywhere alone or anywhere at all? Migraines and kids come in real handy a lot. I have missed funerals and wake, parties and obligations and outings…and I live with that regret.

….have never really been on vacation or driven myself out of town beyond about 30 miles? It’s too scary and I don’t believe I can. I wasn’t allowed to drive anywhere as a teen…it was too dangerous…they believed I’d wreck or some man would find me and kill me. No – I’m not kidding.

It is ridiculous. And I’m so over it. I am not that scared little girl anymore. And it doesn’t hurt me to do things and talk. Dammit – I am capable.

Blogging, texting, Facebook, and email are my go to lines of communication and while I love that – I also know it is my crutch. I use them because I fear the real thing. Eye contact and voice tones. Scary stuff right?

My life has always been about being invisible. Create no waves, do the perfect thing…hoping to get noticed….but being comfortable knowing those things just keep me invisible. After a while I told myself I wasn’t worth being noticed….wasn’t worth the time or the effort. And now it’s what I crave…no one looking at me. Please – just look at someone else who deserves it…

Now when I see people look at me I think there’s something wrong with me. That they are looking because they’ve never seen anything so hideous. Or they are thinking I need to lose more weight. Or my clothes are nasty. My mind can’t imagine they’re looking at me for any good reason.

And so I fight it. I go to Jenny’s and I walk around in a bikini like I made the thing myself. And no one except Jenny and my husband know the courage it takes on the inside….which is why all day they both tell me I am beautiful. I wish they didn’t have to do that. I wish I felt it on my own but thank God for them……or I’d be that girl I used to be in the lawn chair who “forgot” her suit and missed the fun. Hell – I wouldn’t have been at the party actually.

I am changing. I have proof.

I recently joined a book club. It is fantastic. I will not stop going.

I recently attended a girl’s night out. I fought the overwhelming urge to cancel with everything in me. I’m glad I didn’t. I will go again.

I talked to three strangers the other day when shopping. THREE. Men. They just started talking to me and I believe with everything in me that it is because I have opened my spirit to people. I do not put out the closed off vibe I used to. I am willing to talk back. And I did. And I left those three men with smiles on their faces. They were older gentlemen, nice men…and I didn’t start the conversations and no – they were not hitting on me. One guy’s wife was standing right next to him so I know….

I have picked up the phone at work and at home – for people other than the ones stated above. I did not die. It wasn’t bad.

I am going to Chicago though the mere thought of meeting everyone gives me hives and makes me want to throw up. I will do it. And I will have the time of my life.

I will drive myself to Jenny’s house for the first time ever – alone. I will turn up the music and sing my heart out and not call Jenny every 5 minutes panicking. I will get there. Safe. And sound.

I say what I think - out loud - to my mother instead of what she thinks I'll say or instead of the right thing to say.  The other day she told me that my dad was possibly going to let her have her family Cmas at their house again (he said one time - never again).  I said, "He should - he owes you one after getting smashing drunk at the last one and saying he was going to kill himself in front of my 8 year old."  She actually took a physical step backward.  Draz doesn't say those kinds of things after all.

I will go on vacation to meet in-laws I have avoided for literally 20 years. Most have never met me. I will knock their socks off. They will be sad when I leave (I hope).

*******************************

I am so done hiding. It gave me nothing and accomplished nothing. It only made me less of me and added to my inner and outer “fat”. I’m on a quest to be healthy and get rid of my outer fat and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to clean up this inner fat too. I am worth it. I have to be right?

I have two little girls and I’m on a mission to make sure the only hiding they ever do is in a game of “Hide and Seek”.

Imagine who and what I could have been by now if someone back then had just taken my hand and said, “Draz, come out….the door is open, the sun is shining and your potential is just past that horizon. I’ll even go with you so you’re not scared.”

I will never know and while that’s painful I don’t have time to think about it…..cuz “the door is open and the sun is shining”…..and I refuse to stay inside any longer.


33 comments:

kagead said...

To say "I am proud of you" just doesn't cut it.

I am screaming from the rooftops, jumping up and down, literally freaking out so incredibly happy for you that there are just no words.

See, I believe that you are already the woman you say you want to be. You don't have to BECOME her. You just have to embrace her.

Strength and smooches to you, my friend.

Sarah said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. I've felt invisisble for as long as I can remember, but I see a lot of myself in your post. I am so glad to hear you are coming out of your shell. It gives me hope that I can do the same.

Miss Tori said...

Good for you! You can't let fear rule your life, because then what kind of life do you really have? And children do pick up on their parents' habits and vibes, whether you realize it or not. One step at a time, you can do it.

Band-Babe said...

Geez, it's hard work isn't it? I'm following your lead on this one, Draz. I don't answer my phone unless I completely recognize the number AND have a good idea of what the person on the other end wants. If someone doesn't state the intent of their call in their message... they probably won't get a return phone call. I also don't answer the door for the same reasons. And I also cringe in public if I think I might run into people casually. I've walked the other way, too. And you're right... it's not a good way to live. Being so closed off out of fear. Many fears. So, girlfriend... lead us out...

Cheeseburger Girl said...

It may be hard sometimes, but what you are setting out to do is a really good thing. Good for you and better for your girls.
My mother was pretty much a shut-in. She'd panic if the phone rang or someone knocked on the door. We were brought up learning these behaviors from her, but also being forced out to handle the things she wouldn't manage on her own. (Do as I say,not as I do.)

I have those same fears and anxiety. There are days when I'd rather eat a bowl of liver and beets than go someplace I've never been before. While I'm getting ready to go, I am constantly having to talk myself through it. I have to keep reminding myself I will have fun once I get there.

I tell you this, because I want you to know you are not alone. You are not the only person who feels like if they/it isn't perfect then it is better not to bother at all.

I have nothing to do with my mother now days. I'm better for it. And every time I find myself freaking out before I have to go somewhere I resent her just a little bit more. I resent her because I know it's a matter of choice. She always chose herself. I choose my kids. She could have, but didn't. That I won't overlook. There are other issues with her too... but those are for another day another blog.

I'm as proud of you as an anonymous internet identity can be!!!

DB said...

*sigh* .. You are living inside my head and stealing my thoughts & feelings. I just can't believe how many things that you write are *me*. I hope I can leech the courage off of you - oh, how I would love to go to Chi town but I can't & I know you "get" why I can't. Love you sunshine :)

Stephanie said...

Draz, you're like Moses leading the Israelits out of Egypt...such an inspiration to others like you who have felt in the dark for so long. You are so much stronger than you know, even more so than you have already realized and I am just so honored to have met someone like you.

I'll be happy to bug the hell out of you with phone calls if it'll help you become the you, you want to be. Next thing you know, you'll be singing karaoke with me at some piano bar in Chicago!

-Grace- said...

I am so proud of the steps you are taking. You are so strong--never let your fears hold you back!

Jennifer said...

SO. PROUD. Happy tears.
You ARE beautiful.

Alexis said...

Holy shit. I feel the same way about so many of the things you spoke of especially about your childhood growing up and how that has overlapped into today. It totally affects my life and I too HATE answering phone calls at work. We have caller id and is horrible that I sometimes don't even pick up the phone for my boss???!!!

I can't wait to pick your brain in Chicago. You absolutely fascinate me (in a good way!). You've got so much going on in that brain of yours that you know how to express so well.

I can do this.....finally said...

My God how do you put this stuff into words? It's like you are in my head. I'm totally like you in the store, I hide from people I like for crying out loud. I feel blessed to have found your blog because you are me. Hopefully sooner rather than later I will become more like the "now" in progress you.

Laurie said...

I just found you via Ms. Fatass (the shaving moment :) )
Wow, what a post to join on. Really intense. I was on the lawn chair "forgetting" my suit too. I have tears as I remember.
Looking forward to reading more.

LauraLynne said...

OMG on the phone thing. People just don't GET it! I am a (very) part time Partylite consultant. But I suck at it because 90% of getting business is over the phone. I pay money every month for a list of potential customers that I'm supposed to call. I have called exactly ZERO. I have panic attacks over making phone calls to people I KNOW. Stranger...oh hell no.
I've gotten better, I can pick up the phone when it rings. But to call out to someone, I feel like I'm interupting their life. And certainly nothing I have to say is important enough to interupt their life.
Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach.
And nobody gets it - except you!

I want to get better...

karen said...

I so know what you mean, facebook, blogger, and e mails are my social life. I am so jealous of everyone who is going to Chicago and going to get to meet everyone and then I think to myself "why are you jealous - you know you'll only hide in the corner the whole time you are there." Last year I was on a chatline with a bunch of people who were all going to be vacationing the same place I was at the same time and they all wanted to meet for drinks. I spent the whole vacation terrified I would run into one of them and what would I say? I didn't have any trouble talking to anyone them online for 6 months and still talk with many of them on facebook -- Why am I so terrified of social situations?

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

I heart you Draz.

AND I love me a good road trip! Especially one that's alone. If you want, I will give you all my tips. I've driven everywhere. From the East Coast to the West Coast. Up and down and in between. I've even driven overseas. :)

No. I'm not a trucker.

Although...

Julie, The Accidental Fat Chick said...

Okay, I guess the spark of your latest flash of brilliance should chime in...

The revelation that you will only answer the phone for Jenny and your husband is further proof that you NEED to do that other option you mentioned... seriously.

As for me and my little phone phobia - I actually LOVE to talk on the phone. I'm just scared to death of making the phone call. If people call me, I don't have a problem answering & thoroughly enjoy the conversation. Maybe its that whole I feel like I'm interrupting if I call them thing. That and I HATE not knowing who is going to answer the phone.

I have a little Chicago fear confession for you too. I'm not afraid of being there and meeting eveyone. I'm not even afraid of flying there. However, I am scared to death of getting to the hotel from airport. Yeah that part is stressing me out...

You're doing great working through all of these things. I am so proud of you.
Loves you.

Bonnie said...

I'd like to be more adventuresome and not worry so much that people are watching and judging me.

Genie @ Diet of 51 said...

Wow, that's a lot!

I certainly believe you, but all of this seems not to match the fun, attractive woman that I saw in the vlog. Who was she? And what did she do with Draz?

Now, if Vlog Girl goes to Chicago and to Jenny's and to Book Club and Girl's Night Out, she's not invisible. Not at all.

Hugs.

Kellie said...

So many things within this post I can relate to.

Enjoy the outside!

*~D~* said...

Very inspiring post! I hope one day I can move past all the crap with the dignity and poise you are. Yes, now you can sing...

"You're my inpirraaaation"
<3 ya!

Girl Bandit said...

I am not good at telling people how I feel but I just want to sit here and cry and cry and cry for that little girl (you) who was ignored and not told she was beautiful and that she could drive and ....all the other stuff. You are beautiful...not just in looks but you..the inside you. I am glad you are starting to realise it and especially for your girls...you can change it....you are doing it. I will hold your hand in Chicago and I know youw ill hold mine for we have many of the same fears. Close your eyes and feel my super duper big hug through the computer.....(((((((((((((HUG)))))))))))))))))
Love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Carmen said...

i am so proud of you!! you are awesome no matter what you do or don't do!

i LOATHE talking on the phone, i would much rather email or text!

i love you my little drizzle drazzle

Steph said...

You are such a beautiful, wonderful person and I am proud to know you and know I will be so happy to meet you in person. XOXO!

Jacquie said...

You continue to inspire me and this post will definitely be my # 5 answer on BYOC. So many areas I can relate to. Love ya!

Dinnerland said...

I think you are far from alone-- you may even have the condition known as "social anxiety"-- and there is treatment for that, should you want to access it.
however, also sounds like you're working your way out of your shell.
You remind me of me in that you are so hyper-critical of the things about you that just make you HUMAN. Please remember that. Alot of therapy has helped me reach a place where I'm accepting myself as who I am and that's that.

Anyway: of course I would love to be more revealing about work stuff, but I have to be really private b/c of dangers of revealing sensitive info. I'm sorry I can't be more open-- but there are times when it is better to just stay quiet, especially when you got exactly what you wanted!! Try to do the math on that and know that all is well and I am well finished with the POV.

Yani said...

Draz, you make me cry i just started following ur blog like a week or so n OMG you are an amezing person and I know u not alone and i love the way u open ur heart here...keep going ur doing great and thank you for this amezing blog!!!! ;0)

Vaia said...

I just read this and am crying at my desk. I love that I found your blog...you are so cool it's beyond words to me D! You have taken the thoughts out of my head and put them on paper (well, blogland).
Thank you.

Meli said...

omg!! i'm so with you. weird thing is i used to be such a ham as a kid. and as a teen i lived for phone calls. but somewhere along the line i sinked into the abyss behind the computer screen. i cringe when the phone rings now. and meeting people in person? i get serious panic attacks. i find ways to avoid it or put it off.

i guess it started when i started getting heavy in middle school and my loud and outgoing ways just got me made fun of. i loved attention but then realized i was getting mostly negative attention. so i decided i no longer wanted any attention. and its gotten pretty bad.

i hope to break out of this shell one day. i know the weight loss will help me with that.

you're doing amazing! you inspire me :)

Jeff and Beth said...

I love Love Love your blog. Your honesty is so amazing. Acknoledging your old self and embracing your new self is something that I struggle with everyday. You're so brave and I'm incredible proud of you! Keep up the great work! I also want to ensure my children don't have the crazyness that I've known and work every day to make sure they get the best mom they can. My goal...is just to reduce the amount of therapy time they need! because let's face it...everyone needs some!

Heather (aka Auntie) said...

Wow - reading this post was like...I dunno, reading my own diary or something. I'm very much like you, and to be honest, it's kind of reassuring. You always have people tell you, "Oh, you aren't alone, I feel the same as you." But, wow; you really do feel the same as me. I find the relative anomimity (i wish comments had spell checker dammit) of blogging and similar to be freeing; yes, you can see my picture on my blog, yes you can email me, but you aren't here sitting in my living room so I feel comfortable revealing stuff about myself that I don't tell people on a normal basis. I recently blogged about fear, and your post kinda goes right along with it.

Keep up the great blog. It's great! Oh, did I mention that it's great? Ok. Just wanted to be sure.

Fiona said...

wow what to say? Well its all been said above but isn't it amazing how alike we all are? And isn't it comforting to know you are not along, strange, odd?
We are all with you honey so next time you are struggling to make the first step remember the crowd behind you willing you on.
Much love x

amandakiska said...

Do you watch Saturday Night Live? I ask because they did a sketch this season that is a parody of an alarm company commercial where this guy attends a party and then comes back after it is over to try to attack the hostess. Of course she hits the alarm and is saved my the caring men at the alarm call center. In the SNL parody random men keep breaking into the woman's house to attack her; the party guy, her grandfather, her rabbi, two boys dressed as a man, etc. The point of the sketch (and this comment) is that that fear is one our society instills in women and it is pretty ridiculous.

I also hate the phone, btw. I have to answer it at work, but I screen my cell.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Draz,

As a distant follower of yours, I find that I can relate to this post more than I want to admit.

A few years ago, I was turned on to a song that really changed my life as well as my outlook on life. It's called "Hero In Me" by Jeffrey Gaines. The video is out on Youtube.

If I ever get to meet you (and I plan to) I'll reference this post. I hope this song can help you on your journey like it did for me.

LHF

Here are the lyrics:

He's lived as long as he possibly can
Given the circumstance
'Cause he's protected himself from the world
He never gave it a chance
And he says: Here in my security
I've put a limit on my self potential and my possibility

She's seen these walls and they never change
Everything's in it's place
Her relationships so neatly arranged
Down to religion and race
And she says: Here in my security
I don't make a move unless my friends approve
I do what's expected of me

And as I grow older
And there's so much that I do not know
I'm drawn to those who are bolder
And go where no one dare to go

And I sleep
And I dream of the person I might have been
Then I'm free again
And I speak
Like someone who's been to the highest peaks
And back again
And I swear
That my grass is greener than anyones
'Til I believe again
Then I wake
And the dream fades away and I face the day
And I realize
There's got to be some hero in me

They've been supressing their every desire
They do nothing on a whim
She's lost her sparkle and he's lost the fire
Their future looks very dim

And I say: Here in my security
I've simply let myself go
I've developed a co-dependency

And as I grow older
So many places that I've never been
Time's tapping on my shoulder
I hope it's never too late to begin

And I sleep
And I dream of the person I might have been
Then I'm free again
And I speak
Like someone who's been to the highest peaks
And back again
And I swear
That my grass is greener than anyones
'Til I believe again
Then I wake
And the dream fades away and I face the day
And I realize
There's got to be some hero in me