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  • Writer's pictureDurga Dasi


Feeling invisible can seem like a jab straight to the heart... a piercing sort of pain leaving us to spiral in an endless chasm of gray, searching for a place to grab hold and find ourselves again.

It can happen with our partners, parents, friends, coworkers... it can even happen within the context of relationship to ourselves... we become invisible even to us... our voices no longer heard... we are no longer seen in full spectrum.

I've painted myself into the background throughout my life in an attempt to feel a bit safer. Often told that I was "too much" when I allowed my colors to shine through, I'd dim my light and gesso the canvas of my personality in hopes of blending in so the bullying would stop... so the spiraling and pain would lessen. So they wouldn't leave me and I could finally be accepted.

At times, I've also thrown the invisibility cape over others; expecting them to be less than themselves to appease my ego because their authenticity reminded me that I was not living in my own.

We shrink, becoming smaller versions of ourselves... quieter... more amicable to the general public... conveniently packaged in societally approved pieces that somehow could never add up to make a whole.

This has been on my mind much, as of late... while meandering the path of perinatal mental health. My ability to withstand the amounts of bullshit spewing forth from any one particular source at any given time has shrunk significantly. My emotional barometer is burnt out in trying to balance the sheer joy of motherhood with utter exhaustion, deep loneliness, trauma resurgences, and life in general. I feel invisible.

Sometimes, the waters of sensation flood over me; leaving me gasping and grasping for air and ground. I call out... "Help! I'm drowning! I'm scared!"

Being met with placating words is like having someone toss out a buoy as they sail by on their yacht. "You'll be fine... just meditate more." Or, my personal favorite, "I'm here" as they travel on.

The waters swell above my head and I realize that I'm now invisible.

The isolation of mental health challenges lends to further complications in mental wellness. Sometimes, the loneliest place we can find ourselves is in a marriage with someone who doesn't see or hear us... or a job that doesn't value us... or parenting without a village. It can feel a lot like screaming silently into a paper cup.

I feel this way all too often, lately... spiraling down, silent screams going unnoticed as everyone comments on how much my baby looks like his father; his invisible mother being swallowed by an invisible childhood of trauma encompassed by more silent screams.

I'm not going to pretend there's a magical fix for all of this... because there isn't. What I will offer, to myself and anyone reading this, is this tiny sliver of hope that does offer some buoyancy... some ground upon which I can maybe regain some footing and, perhaps one day, some visibility.

"Who is more tender or more fiercely protective than a mother? Her infinite tenderness She pays heed to even the smallest voice." -Devadatta Kali

I can't imagine the Great Mother ever feels invisible... She seems well beyond that in being the very essence of Satcitananda (सच्चिदानन्द) - Truth Consciousness Bliss. She fully knows who She is and cannot be separated from that Knowing.

But, as our Mother, She is intimately aware of our suffering. I wonder if we would feel less invisible if we could realize that we are always in Her line of vision. Fiercely Mothered, radically loved, and unconditionally Hers; we are Her children... Her babies.

Suddenly, the water line lowers... I am coming to shore, carried by waves of emotion and love... cradled in arms invisible, but there nevertheless.

The screams didn't get lost in a paper cup... that heaven where the screams have gone is Her dwelling. Though I've often felt silent (or, perhaps more truthfully, silenced) throughout all these years of this life, She's heard every utterance... every sob... every thing. Though I lost sight of myself and of Her, She's never lost sight of me.

So, moment by moment, I'll remove the shades of gray speckled over my rainbow... I'll find ways to amplify what needs to be said and find those who are willing to hear. After all, if the Great Mother of the Universe finds me one worthy of which to listen, surely I am worthy of being heard... and seen. And so are you.

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