It’s been a couple of days since what happened, happened.
I decided to let it sit a little, to figure out how I really felt about it, without just busting off about my feelings and possibly saying something that was “heat of the moment”.
It was a sympathy card.
One that got passed around the office for a coworker from another office, due to the loss of a family member.
Innocent and compassionate, it showed that our coworkers cared about how another one was feeling.
And yet, as I signed it…
I felt a little sting in my chest.
Because, I lost both an uncle and a cousin, father and son, last month, both to cancer…
And yet, no one signed a card for me.
No, I’m not looking to be the center of attention, nor did I need, or want, coworkers fawning over me with pity. When I grieve, I would rather do it behind closed doors, at home. I HATE falling apart in front of people I’m not close to. And believe me, the circle of people I’m close enough to to feel comfortable showing that level of emotion in front of – is miniscule.
I’m glad I took the time to really think about my reaction, because I wasn’t truly sure why I reacted that way, when I don’t like being the center of attention, & would probably have felt extremely uncomfortable having everyone stare at me if I opened the card in the office.
And I realized, I felt that twinge…
Because it finally really hit home that I’m very isolated emotionally from my coworkers. They just don’t see me. Not the true me.
They see the quiet one who hates mornings, so she doesn’t talk to anyone unless directly approached until about 10am.
They see the jokester who makes people smile & laugh.
They see the professional who can talk to just about anyone who comes through the doors, then, as soon as they leave, changes gears back to being quiet & focused on work.
They see the silent one who tries not to engage in the break room, because I’m reading, & really want to be in the story.
But they only see those masks.
I’ve tried in the past, tentatively, to get to know some of the coworkers a little deeper than just small talk.
But, when it’s just not reciprocated, I pull back again, and don’t try anymore.
I hate being a bother or an obligation.
So, i just don’t really try all that hard to be the instigator of deeper conversations, anymore.
Because that twinge hits when you get brushed off.
This was just a little pinch.
And, while I can forgive, because I know there was no malice…
It reminds me that – I don’t truly belong.
And I don’t forget.