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The Disappearing Lady

Updated on November 30, 2010

One's only real life is the life one never leads. ~Oscar Wilde

I was disconcerted recently to find out that I have disappeared. Here I was, walking around, going to the store, driving the car, playing with my grandchildren, and I have completely disappeared from my own life! Huh? How does someone disappear from their own life?? Well, in all fairness I suppose I have to clarify that comment. Physically I suppose I'm still here...it's more of a "feeling" of disappearance I guess you'd call it. You know what I'm talking about....one day you are this witty, semi-intelligent, occasionally fun to be around human being, and then WHAM....YOU are gone!

I've recently been having a real issue with this feeling. My husband was diagnosed several years ago with Multiple Sclerosis. His various symptoms have combined to make it impossible for him to hold a job outside of our home. This is a man that was used to working approximately 10 to 12 hours a day, at a mid-level oil company as General Manager, well on his way to becoming Vice President. Suddenly he is plunged into full time stay at home husband. You can just about imagine how well he adjusted to this situation! At the same time as all this was happening, my son, as I've previously discussed in other Hubs was diagnosed with several mental health disorders. This resulted in him being home-schooled for part of 8th grade. I felt it necessary to leave my job and stay at home to referee the two of them, amongst other various tasks. Let me add at this point that my son is from a previous marriage, so they are step-father and son, which has its own lovely bag of worms to deal with!

Throw into the mix the fact my mother lives with us, and we have a Chocolate Labrador that has stomach issues and skin allergies, and you begin to get the picture of what my life consists of! We run an ebay business to supplement the disabilty my husband receives. This arrangement leads to one of my feelings of depersonalization that I described earlier as feeling I have disappeared. Occasionally I've realized my husband no longer sees me as a person, I believe he's converted me into one of his employees! You can take the man out of the office, you CANNOT take the manager out of the man! He was very successful as a manager...but this does not mean that I want to work FOR him...with him is good, for him....Nope! In addition to this behavior from him, I also get a lot of comments when I'm in public where people know my husband asking how he is doing, what he is up to, wanting him to come out more often. He rarely ventures from the house due to walking issues, so this leaves me as the only source these people have. Now don't get me wrong, I'm very glad people like him, and I know they are just concerned and want to express this to me....but sometimes I just want someone to talk to ME...not ask me about him!

I've also discovered that in addition to being my husbands employee, or just the conduit for people to find out how my husband is doing, a lot of the time, I'm just my sons mother....Now most of you might be saying, well what is so wrong with that? If you have kids and you are a woman, you ARE a mother. Of course I know that is correct, and I don't argue with that sentiment one bit...I am proud of both my sons and love them very much. It's the being seen as ONLY their mother that I have issues with! It seems lately that because of the things that go on with my son due to his mental health issues, all I hear when I go places are questions about how my son is, what is going on with his life, how I should be parenting him...etc. HA if it is so easy to raise him then YOU do it! :)

This hub is probably prompted by the fact there have been several instances lately where different people have wanted different things from me, all at the same time, and no matter which way you turn, you disappoint somebody, and someone is upset with you! This afternoon my son wanted me to come get him from town so he didn't have to be on the bus longer than necessary as his throat hurt, my mom wanted me to get groceries, I had to drop money off for someone in town, and I wanted to wrap Christmas gifts. The end result was, my mom got upset with me for snapping at her, my son threw a fit and wouldn't let me pick him up in the end and rode the bus the whole way home, and I had to go to town anyway to take the money! (I did get the groceries though so perhaps I earned a few points...I'm not sure she wasn't talking to me when I got home...although she is now!) At least the dog behaved so far today...and the husband didn't nag for anything! :)

I think perhaps I should take this disappearing one step further.,..and reappear in the Carribean!! Or beg for a hot tub so I can sit and relax, but then they'd know where to look for me!

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.  ~Henry David Thoreau

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    • AngRose profile image
      Author

      AngRose 6 years ago

      Thank you for that encouragement Mrs. J.B. I must say lately, I still feel very much this way. And perhaps sometimes it's not so much that nobody sees me, as how I perceive myself. Lately I just feel like errand girl. But I don't want anybody to think my family doesn't do anything for me either, because that would be a lie. My mother does alot for me, and my husband does as much as he physically and mentally can. I think I was feeling sorry for myself when I wrote this! LOL But I'm glad to have all of you here at Hubpages to help me when I feel this way!

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      You have not completely disappeared. I may not know you personally but your writing shows you have a great sense of humor, that you are fun to be around and that you also having a loving heart. Right now your life is on hold. You can handle that though. You are strong spiritually and soon what seemed upside down will turn itself around. Till then you have all of us here at hubs.

    • AngRose profile image
      Author

      AngRose 6 years ago

      Thank you sweetheart. I too enjoy knowing you're out there to spend time with me. And sometimes my problem lies in not wanting to be special for a short amount of time....in nobody wanting or needing anything...just being content to sit and be. And don't think I don't ever get time for that...I do...sometimes I just like to whine! haha

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Dearest Angie, you must remember that this world is full of lonely people and sometimes even the wisest and the best feel that they have disappeared from view. We have never met, but when I see that your avatar is there, I know that my friend is there and we can spend a little time together.

      I'm sure that your intimate family would be like a boat without a rudder if you were not there... You know you're special, just tell yourself so, you know it's true.

    • AngRose profile image
      Author

      AngRose 6 years ago

      Ian, darling Ian, What a picture you paint with your words my dear friend. I am packing my bag to fly to you as I type this message! To be pampered and cossetted by you and all of your lovely friends would be the ultimate in my book. I am ready to be spoiled rotten by folks that are famous for it. You make me feel better just by mentioning these lovely sentiments.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      My dear, dear friend, I just wish I could be there for you and let you know that you are a wonderfully articulate and intelligent person who makes your part of this planet a better place. Thank God that you have such a great sister to just be an ear for you to talk into, a soul that you can sink into.

      If I were a fairy godmother (Which I am not... I look dreadful in pink tulle and spangles) I would magic you away to my home in London and show you to the bathroom where there would be a hundred scented candles (all from IKEA, naturally) all burning and flickering gently and beautifully around my huge Victorian roll topped bath, fu of hot, steaming water and more scented bath squidge and bubbles that is decently proper.

      And you could stay in there as long as you wanted till, eventually, you would reappear and come down and be waited on hand and foot, by all my friends who would love to know you; take care of you; pamper you; feed you with the excellent cooking for which they are all well known.

      And no one would even consider that anybody in the world was as important or so lovely as you.

    • AngRose profile image
      Author

      AngRose 6 years ago

      Docmo, Thank you for your more than kind words, and you're right, people everywhere need to realize if they just keep "taking" from the ones that love them, soon there will be nothing left for anyone!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 6 years ago from UK

      This is an ode to womanhood! In my line of work many times I have had this conversation with poor disappearing ladies who seem to be always doing a role: daughter, wife, sister, mother, grand mother, home maker, care taker... with so many takers carving out so many pieces .. how much is left of the poor soul. Wouldn't it be nice if all those who take stop and ask 'what can I do for you?', 'would you like some time for yourself?' , ' how about a nice, relaxing holiday?' ' here are some bookings for a spa!' but how often do they forget to ask. Perhaps rather than wait to be asked, you owe it to yourself to take good care and find some 'me time'! Don't people realise that if they keep taking , there will be nothing left of the person they are taking it from.. they will become.. as you rightly say.. a disappearing lady! .. great hub.

    • AngRose profile image
      Author

      AngRose 6 years ago

      Ok Pook and Laur, I'm on my way to get both of you...or rather Pook you head down here, we're south of you!! Let's get going to warmer climates...I'm ready!!!! Love you both.

    • LaurieDawn profile image

      LaurieDawn 6 years ago

      And don't forget to come and take me! I would be really upset if you went to the beach without me! Let's disappear together! You know what they say about sisters......

      "Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other." ~Carol Saline~

      And I am always there for you lil Sis, just as you are always there for me!

      I love you!

      Laur

    • PookieB profile image

      PookieB 6 years ago

      You already know how I feel about this..I'm with ya!

    • AngRose profile image
      Author

      AngRose 6 years ago

      Lisa,

      I'm so glad always to find out I'm not the only one to feel the crazy things I feel sometimes! It sure sounds like your life is just as crazy and hectic as mine, which makes it easy to lose yourself. I'm glad you're starting to find yourself though...it gives me hope!

    • Lisa M Smith profile image

      Lisa Smith 6 years ago from Coupeville, WA

      I can completely understand where you are coming from! I was the caregiver for my 84 year old mom. I'm a mom to two teenagers, one of which has bipolar disorder. I'm a Navy spouse, which means I get to deal with everything for months at a time! We have two golden retrievers and I run my own business. Plus, I'm a grandma. There were times when I didn't know if I was coming or going! I too lost myself somewhere along the way. I'm starting to find myself again. I wish you luck and I look forward to reading more from you.