Seen

Do you ever wonder how people see you? I’m not even quite sure how I see myself. But I know that the masks and roles I don differ in relevance to the company I keep. In particular I wonder about certain types of company. I have people who only ask to see me when they want to process/talk about their lives. So I sit quietly and listen. After all, I’ve been trained to do this all my life. Perhaps a time or two, in their monologue, they might ask me a question out of courtesy, but I keep my answers brief, and they do not seem to mind. I wonder if they really care or if I am the replacement for the stuffed animals they talked to as children. I wonder, to them am I a tool? Probably not consciously...kids usually say they love their stuffed animals... Then there are the people who appear to only want me when there is no one else to fill a space. Throughout childhood to now, in my mid 20s, I have had countless experiences in which I was cast to the side, treated differently, or expected to give up that space to someone else. One would think I’d learn from repeat exposure, but I am still bewildered every time I see their mask change when someone else enters the room. I’d taken off my masks for them but I, fumbling and maladroitly, put it back into place. Was it all a facade? I wonder, to these people, am I expendable? Is my value relevant to the situation? God, I want so badly to take up space in their lives. Is that wrong of me? Selfish? Am I so desperate to be seen that I am complacent and content in those moments? Is this why I am so socially awkward? So unaware? How do I see myself? How do they see me? Do they see me...? I’ve not the slight idea.

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