Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Please, don't stare ....

Tonight I ventured out of the house. I won't lie. Today had already chewed me up, spit me out, and then stomped on me just for good measure. But it was something for a kid and so I went.

And when I showed up, several other mothers visibly stared at me. I mean they didn't even try to hide it. Now, I know I wasn't having wardrobe malfunctions, no spinach in my teeth, etc, etc. I did have a headscarf on. And I'm pretty sure it's obvious I'm not wearing it as a fashion accessory. But, please, please I beg of you. Don't stare at me.

I get it. I'm now a walking reminder that bad things can in fact happen any time to anyone. And that can make you feel uncomfortable. Maybe you are feeling sympathetic and wondering if there is anything you can do to help - but feeling like you can't because we are virtually strangers. Maybe you are really thinking I'm wearing a head scarf as a fashion accessory and you think it's a hideous choice. I don't know.

But I know you are staring at me. And it makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable. It makes me wonder if I should break the ice with a hi. Or should I think of something clever like "take a picture - it lasts longer". Or do I pretend to not notice? Do I stare back? I don't know. Tonight I happen to be talking to someone else - a friend who knows everything going on - so I didn't have to do anything but keep talking to her and pretending I didn't notice. But I did notice. And I didn't like it.

Because here's the thing .. even if you have the best of intentions. I already feel super self-conscious. I'd like to be able to tell you that I'm holding my head up high and rocking the baldylocks look, but come on, you all read this blog. You know I'm not there yet. So when you stare at me, it makes me feel like turning around and running home as fast as I can. Even if you have the best of intentions. Because I can't read your mind. All I can see is you staring at me. And well, it's pretty darn uncomfortable.

So please, please don't stare. Love, me =)

7 comments:

  1. I hope that those who are staring are so busy thinking good thoughts for you that they forget to turn their eyes away. I just wish you didn't have to suffer the feeling of being looked at.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Sending love your way, Brandie. Hoping things get easier for you and people become more insightful and compassionate. I agree with Rebecca that they are forgetting to look away. So sorry that you have to endure this. xo Chris, San Diego

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another part of this that's going to be hard - for you - and for those of us who care about and for you.

    There are going to be impolite idiots who won't have any better upbringing than to stare. Most of those will be people who don't know you.

    Then there will be those of us who want to be able to hold and hug you - keep you safe - comfort you - who might, accidentally, stare at you - in awe of your strength and courage.

    But there will be some of us who will try to strike a balance between looking at you for signs of how you feel, and looking away because we don't want to stare - but then looking back because we wouldn't want to hurt your feelings by making you think we don't want to look at you.

    It's a tightrope.

    Grannie has a new hat for Emma. She is going to LOVE it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What Lou said. Seriously.

    I met a woman at a picnic recently who obviously is undergoing chemo. She has 3 small children, too, and homeschools and I didn't know if she wanted me to open the conversation ignoring the fact that she has cancer or acknowledging it, you know? I opted for not mentioning it as it seems too personal for a stranger to bring up, but I fear that I probably did the whole pausing, looking, gathering courage, etc. which hopefully didn't make her feel as you did. I DID make friends with her. I think that this is what a lot of people will go through when they want to approach you.

    Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think a lot of people encountered are wide-eyed, yet uncritical, but some are careless & self-absorbed(those are easy not to worry about when you consider all they are really ever thinking is MEMEMEMEMEME), but not really malicious. But none of that helps when you're feeling the prying eyes.

    Having worked in Oncology I've seen women like you struggle mightily-with few comfort zones & any number of issues. But each woman is different, so each answer is too. I wish you what you need & I also wish I knew how to give that to you. ~Mary

    ReplyDelete
  6. When you feel those stares, and yes people do, maybe try to engage them. Sometimes the best way to disarm someone who might not even realize that they are doing something is to engage them in conversation. You might make a new friend, and who knows, even when you are at your worst, health wise, you might educate someone on what you are going through. It might be a big step, but I bet no matter what you are going through, your personality shines from the inside out. And I bet that will disarm anyone that you come into contact with.

    Always sending good thoughts your way!

    ReplyDelete
  7. They are probably in awe of how brilliant you are, be strong who cares what they think anyway. You and those close to you are all that matters xx sending big hugs from across the pond (((((XX)))))

    ReplyDelete

Seeing your comments makes me smile! Thank you so much =)