Do you ever feel ignored? As if no one truly knows you?
As a grown adult, I often feel people don’t know me or even care to know me.
As lovely as people are, they never ask me anything about my life.
Yes, they hear about my children and their sporting events or colleges applied to and even ask about my husband’s work, but I am never asked about me.
Never asked about my life.
About what I have been up to or how I’m feeling.
Sometimes it’s as if I’m here living, within everyone else’s life, but don’t have a life of my own they are interested in.
But isn’t that funny? We want to hear about kids and school and football and piano practice, but we so often don’t want to hear about the heart and soul of a person.
Sometimes I will start a conversation and bring up something new going on for me, and honestly, I find people listen to maybe one or two sentences, and then it’s over.
Either they get distracted or they change the topic.
How is this possible over and over again?
How can this keep happening?
I’m a grown adult, and it’s the same as when I was a child—basically ignored.
Do I love my friends? With my whole heart.
Will they do anything for me and my family? Absolutely.
But do they truly take measure in me with an intense curiosity to know me better?
Do they ask questions to delve into the depths of who I am?
So what do I make of this? I haven’t yet figured it out.
But what I do know is when their eyes divert or the conversation changes, I stop talking.
I stop sharing, and I retreat for a brief moment in time back to my 10-year-old self.
The same 10-year-old who would walk away, down the long corridor of the hallway, back to her room alone with no one interested in me.
So with a smile, I move on with a broken heart still bruised from childhood but mended with the help of a trusted therapist.
It’s funny though, because as much as I mend my heart and move forward, I get stuck in the past during the moment when I feel my life happenings don’t matter.
I get stuck feeling a tad bit unloved.
I get stuck recalling so vividly the feeling of being ignored.
So, I’ll keep trying.
Trying to get people to know me.
I’ll still share my intimate self with ears half listening.
I’ll still wrap them in an embrace even though at times it feels empty.
But I know, for me as a mom, I’ll keep listening with great intent to my children and I’ll continue to ask questions to get to know them.
I’ll ask the little questions.
I’ll ask the big questions.
Because one thing I don’t ever want is for my child to feel I don’t care to know them inside and out.
For no child should ever feel this way, and no adult child should ever feel this way either.
So as I say goodnight to my child, I will hold them while listening to what their heart wants to share and absorb every word. Every stinking word.
Because that is what parents do.
They listen with intent while wanting to hear more and more to fill up their cup with their child’s joy.
I will never stop wanting to know more about my children until I take my last breath.
And when I do, I hope they know I only ever wanted to hear more about their life and I’ll forever be listening from afar.