Do Not Dismiss Me

I repeat myself

Sometimes I repeat myself. Often. Often I repeat myself. Why? I want to think that my voice is valuable and that what I have to say is just as important as what others have to say. Not being acknowledged makes me want to repeat myself. No one wants to feel dismissed, diminished as if their participation is of little to no interest and must be excused. “Oh that’s just T, T is T.” “Oh her humor is a little offbeat.” “She is lovable but a little weird, you get used to her”.

I grew up in a large family. Well large for today’s idea of family, but not when I was young. When I was young things like birth control for my mom was a newer thing. There were even of us kids. I like to say that my Navy Chief dad came home on leave at least seven times. (Her humor is a little offbeat). I was third from the baby. Three older sisters and an older brother with one younger of each made up my family. A member of the Baby group. We were not a boisterous and obnoxious kind of family with everyone yelling, but being heard when you are part of the baby group was sometimes difficult.

Dinner Conversations

We ever really had the sit down to dinner at the table with mom, dad, and all the kids. There wasn’t a concern about how our day went. No one asking, how was school. Dad was usually at sea and mom thought we were heathens and ate in the living room. I am sure she did it for some peace. Trying to talk over some of the more assertive members was impossible. I was usually just teased or yelled at. “Eat with your mouth closed” I couldn’t breathe through my nose most of the time, so I ate with my mouth open. (side note: had my deviated septum finally fixed a few years ago). You learn pretty quickly that what you have to say to your siblings is not as important as what they have to say and if you want to be heard you have to repeat until someone acknowledges you.

I was a child with a big imagination. I carried invisible elephants and tigers in my pocket. They ate graham crackers and drank hot chocolate. The purpose of the elephants and tigers was to cheer up people. My mom would have another person over for tea and If they were sad I would give them an elephant and if they were mad, I would give them a tiger Most adults pretended to take them and thought it was cute. My siblings made fun of me. “She is lovable but a little weird, you get used to her”

t

I didn’t really talk much until I was 6. Then I made up for lost time. In fact, much of my school reports had handwritten notes from the teacher that all said pretty much the same thing. “T is brilliant and very smart but talks too much”. I would always be singing or pretending to be something. If I was a queen I made what I thought was royal talk. If I was a horse, I made clopping sounds and neighed. If I was a cat, I would purr and meow. You get the picture. I think my older sisters were embarrassed by me. I rarely let them into the kingdom inside my head. They would dismiss me. “Oh that’s just T, T is T.”

Now that I am older I have moved to an active adult community which is code for seniors who aren’t ready for the old folks’ home. We really are for the most part active. There is tennis and golf and swimming. There are a lot of clubs. A lot. Whatever your interest, from Canasta to Bible Study to Bird watching to Old Cars, there is a club for it. I sometimes go to some of the clubs. As a young adult all the way up until I moved here I was listened to because I was the boss. Now in the clubs, I am dismissed, ignored, made excuses for. It has come full circle.🏌️‍♀️

I repeat myself a lot. I think that what I have to say is as important as what others have to say. I want to be acknowledged and not ignored. I want no one to make excuses for me. T is just T. That is a good thing. I may not be understood, but I am not weird. I am not always lovable and my humor is just on another level than yours. Please don’t make excuses, dismiss or diminish me.