A Way of Being Invisible–In Which I Remember and Project

Dear Lily June,

My father had a way of talking through his teeth that always terrified me. My mother had a way of disappearing behind  doors whenever she’d get depressed. My sister had a way of being seen when all she wanted to be was invisible. I had a way of being invisible when all I wanted to be was my sister.

Our house had a way of feeling smaller than it looked from the outside looking in. Our rooms had a way of becoming cages, but good cell bars make good neighbors. Our beds had a way of being made with us inside them, our bodies broken furniture. Our windows had a way of letting light out without letting the air back in.

I have a way of remembering when I’ve only ever wanted to forget. I have a way of forgetting when I’ve only ever needed to remember. They have a way of being angry with me for the things I won’t let go of. I have a way of being angry with myself for letting go of my anger.

My sister had a way of mimicking what she saw between the two of us. My sister had a face that was a mask put on to simulate my father’s. I had a face I put up like a mirror I would hold up to my mother. The faces that we played with had a way of actually becoming our opposites.

My sister found a man who wore my father’s face, a mix of smirk and temper. I found a man who’d been hurt as a child, but was able to cry more than my mother. I was afraid my childhood wouldn’t end and looked for a heart large enough to crawl to inside of. My sister was sure she’d left the past in the past and ended up locking herself into it.

I have a way of lying awake worrying that my sister will become my mother. I have a way of trying to control the situation just like my father, but without his fists. I have a way of worrying that you, Lily, will become just like your mother. I have a way of worrying that fear and anger are the things to be afraid of most.

I have a way of dreaming that you’ll never wear an eye that fades to yellow. I have a nightmare that you do, and you have a way of speaking that keeps it from me. I have a need to check on you a thousand times a night without knowing what I’m checking for. I have a way of lying: I know exactly what I’m looking for, but it isn’t there and won’t be. Ever.

You have a way of balling your tiny fingers into fists whenever you are dreaming. You have a way of sticking those fists in your mouth, and it’s called self-soothing, and it’s a wonder. You’ll have a way of being a woman that will be just like me no matter what I do. I have a hope you’ll live through nothing like this, and it will turn you into you.


Picture Credit:

“Black Eye 01” by User:Kuebi = Armin Kübelbeck – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Eye_01.jpg#/media/File:Black_Eye_01.jpg

14 thoughts on “A Way of Being Invisible–In Which I Remember and Project

  1. bzgreen says:

    I love the dynamics within families as I am from a very large one myself.
    I can relate in some ways to your sentiments. Everyone copes differently & everyone is affected differently. I also recognize the power of your self- awareness. I believe that is the first step to healing – real, visceral self reflection & objective awareness.
    I wish you more love, hope & joy in your future journey but it’s your steps to take, no one else can give you those things but yourself. 💛

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Brittany L. Price says:

      I completely agree! I truly enjoyed reading this post. And yes, everyone does deal with coping differently. I have learned that pain is demanded to be felt. Often times when individuals are affected by upsetting events in their families or interpersonal relationships, there is a sense of shame. But just as you mentioned, “The first step to healing – real, visceral self reflection & objective awareness”. Healing is so beautiful! I truly enjoyed reading this post and wish you all the best!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. psv411 says:

    👏👏👏 Wow, what visuals. I have sported one of those thanks to my ex-husband and I wore it like a badge. It was finally something that could be seen unlike the bruises put where no one could see them. I have been in your mother’s shoes minus the children, thank God. I also know about he prison of silence, of hiding the secret. Your words are so validating for me. Thank you as always, your words are a gift.🎁

    Liked by 2 people

  3. raphaela99 says:

    When my daughter was born, I determined that I would do the exact opposite of what I experienced as a child, in emotions, speech and thought. It has been nine years and I have a happy little girl, who is living the life I wanted. You will do a superb job. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Olga says:

    I just happen to have been reading your blog by chance, for some time. First entry I read was enough to make me follow your site. I now want to acknowledge your words of courage and also need to add that you have worderful writing. It expresses everything that it’s meant to express. That is a gift.

    Liked by 2 people

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