Sunday, January 22, 2006
I feel like a marshmallow.

Hovering over an open flame, expanding on the end of a pointed stick, crisped around the edges and sticky-melty-gooey within.

This image of myself has been sliding through my thoughts for the past few days. A slippery little feeling that I can't quite pin down. Could be that I'm approaching that time of the month. Could be the white puffy sweatshirt I was slumping around the house in the other day. Could be the smell of burning branches and leaves coming from my neighbor's fire pit last night - enjoying a bonfire in the midst of the unseasonable warmth. Could be any number of factors.

It's the life-long struggle of Me Vs. Myself. The logical, rational Mella and the one who wants to hide beneath a pile of blankets with half a gallon of ice cream and tell the world to go away.


I want to be invisible. I say mindlessly while flipping through a game of Skip-Bo with my husband, feeling all puffed and swollen and fighting the urge to pull my hair down over my too-round-face. But you can't be, I want to look at you. He says, shuffling the cards, peeking at me as I tip my head down to my arms and peek back.

I smile, but it's half-hearted. He's always sweet in trying to cheer me up when I'm being irrationally down. I ask if he has ever felt like a marshmallow. He hasn't.

While he stacks the cards neatly back into their box, I turn my words over again in my mind. I want to be invisible. They're familiar sounding. Have I thought them before? And as easily as that, a memory emerges. Clouded and dusty - one I've put in the far reaches of my mind and forgotten.

High School. I was attending a national conference for "The Leaders of Tomorrow" in the Hancock building in Boston. I was clearly not in my element - surrounded by boys in suit coats and button up shirts - girls in neat little skirts and sweater sets. All with ambition and drive oozing from their pores. I felt small and lost. I was only there because the representative from our school was chosen by an essay contest. And I wasn't one to turn down a writing contest.

I remember watching a power point presentation surrounded by Alex P. Keaton wanna-be's and regretting ever hearing my name called over the loudspeaker as the Winner.

This is where I first felt myself wanting to disappear. It was a hot little room crowded with teenagers lined in rows like a classroom and a speaker at the front with two whiteboards and a giant pad of paper. The speaker asked us to go around the room and introduce ourselves,row by row, seat by seat. There was the sound of clothes shifting, feet dragging, desks creaking - as all eyes turned to face the student at the first desk, and again as they moved down the rows. Faces turning. Feet shuffling. Necks craning.

I remember the eyes coming down my row - and the throbbing of my heart. My palms sweating. I wasn't listening to anyone else's names - I didn't care where they went to school, what sport they played, what colleges they were applying to. All I wanted to do was blink and make myself invisible.

Not only invisible. I wanted to be gone. An empty seat in the classroom. A lone girl wandering the city streets, heading for her train home. Gone.

Coming back to the table, my husband is still stacking the cards. I'm still slouched in the chair - and wondering why this feeling is emerging now, after years of feeling fine with being visible. My mind surges through a list of ways to fix myself. Go to the gym more. Drink more water. Get up from the table and do sit-ups. Now. Go. Do. Fix.

Instead, I push myself up from the table and come here. To type. To let myself feel what I'm feeling. I'm going to try not to over analyze or blame myself.

No, I'm going to just ride it out. Say shut-up to myself when I need to. And be invisible when I need to. Going forth with the knowledge that this too will pass.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Katie said...

I have to tell you, I have been visiting your blog for some time now but this entry meant more to me somehow. It is not many people who have the gift to reach out and touch someone that they don't even know with just their words. You have that gift. I have often felt the same feeling you were just having. Nice to know I'm not the only one. Thank you.

Blogger dillyweed said...

It is great to hear someone else put into words how I often feel. After having Dylan, I've had MANY days of feeling down about myself and feel tempted to just pull the covers back over my face and disappear from my responsibilities, my body image, myself. But being a mom makes that difficult in a great way, doesn't it? It keeps us going when we don't want to sometimes and reminds us to think beyond ourselves when we don't want to.

Blogger Mella said...

a girl and drennan: Thank you both so much. I wrote this entry late on Saturday night, while I was on a s l o w computer at my inlaws.

As soon as it was posted and public, I felt a rush of panic - and I considered going back and taking it down. But - thanks to a slow computer and maybe something more, (a sense of having purged myself?) - it remained.

I'm so happy to know that an uncomfortable feeling/memory could be turned into something appreciated and understood. Thank you.

Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

Mella,

It always helps to let your true feelings out-even if painful- even if you have second thoughts about them-after the fact!

I have found that being able to 'BLOG' about things is a usefull tool in our being able to face and come to terms with our feelings.

At the moment I am (Still after 3 years) dealing with the loss of my Mom. Writing about my feelings and early memories has helped!

(I'm on Blogger now if you get a chance to visit)

Take care, Mella.

Junie

Miss Mella,

A trip over your way was long over due, and I'm glad I got here today. I'm beginning to get the feeling that, no matter how alone we are feeling, and no matter how foreign the feelings are - everyone has been there. We choose to express it, and reveal it all in different ways though.
I'm in an alone space now, where part of me wants to world to vanish and leave me to it, and the other half wants to relish in great love and support. I think the first will win, as the later involves great risk. hehe. And right now, I don't feel brave enough to ask.

I'm hoping and praying that you continue to be brave though... you have no idea how glad I am for you to have found that blasted slow computer! :)

Blessings! (James 1.2-4 springs to mind)

Blogger Neo said...

Mella - We all go through that. The time where you want to crawl up in a ball and roll off the planet. It fades, it's just emotions, and you push yourself so hard, it's to be expected. You have much talent, and sometimes that talent messes with your creativity.

In your case, I think sometimes it help you; judging by what I've read. :)

It'll get better.

(Neo passes Mella some ice cream and a spoon)

Peace & Hugs,

- Neo

PS. (on a side note) I just posted my photo on JBI today. So I guess I'm not hiding anymore either. :)

Blogger Teri said...

I had a similar experience in 10th grade. I was selected to go to Washington DC for Presidential Classroom - this forum for outspoken, politically-minded teens. I was NOT one of those. Like you, I was selected because I was smart and wrote a good essay. (I was also an overacheiver in HS.)

One thing that happened there is burned into my psyche forever. I wasn't participating, debating, discussing, networking or anything like it - I wanted to be invisible. I barely got through the days. I was so shy. One day we were touring a government building and I slipped off on my own. I was sitting on a bench when one of the wise-cracking dudes in my group saw me and proclaimed loudly to his cronies:

"Oh look. It's Silent Teresa!"

What a charmer. Wonder what he's doing now...

Blogger david C said...

It is nice to have the support of a spouse, concerned about your feelings (though not understanding the marshmellow thing [men})... That is the thought in this post that stands the strongest. I beleive that most people have felt at some time or another like melting away, lucky are we who have someone to cheer us up or to cheer up at anytime, that is a treasure!

Blogger Mella said...

Junie Thank you for your comment, and for expressing yourself in this vast blogosphere as well. =)

CJ I think it would be to the worlds loss if you choose the first path - though, I don't envy your crossroads. Taking the second path is harder - though the end result may be all the sweeter. It's the not-knowing that drives us insane...and will continue to pester you, vanished or not. =)

Neo Ha, thanks. I think I'll pass on the ice cream though...unless you can dig up some fat free, low sugar frozen yogurt...

Teri Ugh! My eyes just rolled at the computer screen (at the Silent Theresa kid)

DavidCThat's such a great point - my husband is my biggest fan and my strongest support. He is a treasure!

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