Becoming Invisible.

So far, the tempo of my blog has been somewhat upbeat, and I have taken a comical swipe at some of the symptoms I seem to be experiencing all of a sudden as my perimenopausal years kick in. Not to worry, there are more up my sleeve and how I feel about them. (As a taster I will want to talk about last week and my first aura migraine!) But today it is not so much physical symptoms that I wanted to ponder about but emotional symptoms of loneliness or as I am calling it feeling ,“Invisible”. Is it linked to emotions we experience in the perimenopause or would we feel them regardless I wonder as the years tick by? Anyway, let me explain about this one that is bothering me so much lately, and one that frustrates me, when really, we are in our prime with so much to give and offer. I want to celebrate and embrace the perimenopausal years but then there is…Invisibility!

So many times, I have read that women over a certain age feel they are becoming invisible which until probably last year, I couldn’t understand. These women often seemed outgoing, friendly, part of a family, employed and well, in my eyes, far from invisible. And then as last year went on I began to understand. I think it`s a very individual thing in how we feel invisible. Maybe it`s in our relationships, maybe it`s in our opinions (what do we know after all in out forties and fifties ?? Well actually rather a lot as we all know 😉!), Maybe it`s in our looks or how we dress (that dreadful age of not wanting to look like mutton, nor wanting to look like an old fart either or the dreaded “beige”!), whichever way we feel it, it feels lonely.

For me it has been a shock to realise that to the outside world, as a woman who wants to work and has worked hard to get to where I am, studying to get a BA Degree whilst my youngest was growing up, I have become invisible. The world outside my safe cosy home changed, as did I, unwittingly to any employer to be, as those 7 years passed. Cover letter after cover letter and resume after resume has not seen me get one foot in the door anywhere to say “Look at me! Here I am! This is what I have to offer!” (Well that isn`t quite how bold I would be, but you get the idea!). Eighteen months has passed since my graduation and I have put it all to one side for a while as it is soul destroying. As one friend put it “You can keep applying, keep getting despondent until something comes along unexpectedly (Like when! ) and until then you can be the best damn, wife, mother , friend etc that you can be or you can sulk! “One of the best pieces of advice I had.

Don`t get me wrong I didn’t give up easily. I spoke to careers advisors at the Uni and they had to admit that without experience in my field and having been at home for some years my options were limited and if I hear “sell your life skills! “one more time I will scream. Employers aren`t interested in life skills. As one person quipped to me, they want a 25-year-old with 20 years’ experience. It`s tough out there in on-line application world. I have done some volunteering and also applied to all the supermarkets etc. Anything to get me out amongst others and back to work.

So here I find myself, 48 years old with a husband, three girls aged 27, 24 and 11 and at home, far more employable at 34 with no qualification ( like a degree) but lots of work experience. Take a break for a few years to have my youngest and most gorgeous daughter who I would never be without, and life passed me by and I have emerged the other side a little lost with not much direction and well, feeling just that topic I started with,invisible.

If I were to tell my friends and my family that I felt this way, I am sure they would laugh. I don`t look invisible. I am loud, chatty, dress up, go out, still to bars may I add! What a strumpet at 48 I hear you cry !!  I love a good time with friends and family, but I would also love to work, to be ME, not just a mum or a wife…just to be ME, outside on my own and showing off all those things I learned, whilst studying my backside off, alongside those bloody life skills!!

I know I am not alone, women my age are the most unemployable and most likely to be made redundant, I think the exact age range is 48-55 years old, but I guess in my own head I am not the woman that the world so readily stereotype. I am bubbly me who doesn`t want to be set aside as too old and inexperienced to have a go. Would I employ me though is another question I sometimes ask myself? Yes, if I met me but probably wouldn`t even make interview stage on paper.

Well what a moan that was. I hope it wasn`t too depressing and other readers can resonate. But I would like to end on a positive note for perimenopausal me. I read an article recently that I shall post a link to about how poorly work places are adapted to women during the perimenopause and menopause and how much it affects them. Enjoy, it`s a good link from Meg Mathews. She has a great blog on the menopause.

https://megsmenopause.com/2018/04/11/menopause-and-the-workplace/

So, to end, at least that is not a worry for me like so many others and I can enjoy my fourth hot flush of the day in peace 😊

PP xx

 

19 thoughts on “Becoming Invisible.

  1. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    There definitely is Pam. Thank you for your lovely comment. It is not helped that the work ethic here is very much who you know. Infact the jobs I have had here in a gym and psychologists..they didn’t even ask for my resume 😕. My husband feels my frustration especially as he sees just this happening at his work. I have had to find other things to do to keep the social interaction going.

    Like

  2. Kathleen says:

    I understand how you feel. It´s hard to not have a job outdoors while you feel you have so much to contribute. You just want to show what you´re worth, right? It´s frustrating. Like you´re not really part of the world sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    I find it so frustrating and all the enthusiasm I had has got up and gone now. I think there must be so many of us in similar situatons. Blogging and Instagram are my saviours to connecting with others. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kathleen says:

    By the way: i think it´s sweet you started following my blog, but I think you clicked on the Dutch one, so I don´t think that will be of use to you… I wrote some stuff in English if you like, on allesuitdekast.wordpress.com but don´t feel obliged to follow, I just like to browse other blogs some times, it´s not my objective to gain followers 🙂

    I get the same feeling sometimes, that all the hopes and enthusiasm is just slowly withering away :/ In my case it has to do with illness and not menopause, but I have the impression it´s left us more of less in the same corner. It´s not a nice feeling and really hard to keep you head up.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Fiery K. says:

    You are not alone and I am SO GLAD you wrote this! I also didn’t understand that the invisibility thing is a real thing. But it is. I went from guys chasing me to guys not even noticing me. I did not connect my age with my recent inability to get a job though! This has given me food for thought on that one!

    When I noticed that suddenly guys didn’t know I was alive (even though my figure is still awesome, even though I”m still pretty) – I finally understood why women “let themselves go.” Women don’t let themselves go first and then don’t get noticed. I believe now, that they let themselves go because what’s the point in looking good if no one is going to give a fuck anyway? It’s the most bizarre phenomenon I have ever experienced!

    So even if age is just a number for us – it doesn’t matter, because apparently age is everything to the world around us.

    Which is why. I wrote this:

    https://daspinstalife.wordpress.com/2018/03/24/sidelined/

    Yep. You are far from alone!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    I did see it was in Dutch but would love to still follow. My first boyfriend was from Maastricht when I was 18 ! I used to holiday there from the UK. Sadly learned no Dutch but absolutely loved it every time I went.I have always been amazed at the ability of Dutch people to master other languages ! We seem so lazy in comparison. I enjoy browsing too but also sharing things like our current situation that we have in common 🙂

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  7. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    You are so right in what you say. I haven`t reached the stage of letting myself go, but I can see how that could be reached. I battle daily with wanting to join every gym for every hour of the day to then wanting a form of acceptance in certain things happening …see “Saggy Bits” blog…as I am heading for my 49th birthday. But is that letting myself go? Surely there must be a balance. And as we all know we are our own harshest critic of ourselves usually. For me , going back to the job subject, I feel yes it is lack of experience but the stereotypical view of a woman my age is probably that she has let herself go too 😦

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  8. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Oooohhhh thank you very much! I shall come back to this tomorrow as my day becomes consumed with school pick up and gymnastics…plus side is I shall be visible at least for a few hours 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Kathleen says:

    That´s so sweet!! Yes, it´s quite a special language 🙂 I have a Spanish friend who moved to Amersfoort half a year ago and he´s learning Dutch now, says it´s quite a challenge…
    I´m planning on posting some more songs in the future, and those are usually in English, so that might be interesting for you as well. Anyway, I´m a Belgian living in Spain, so there´s always a whole mix of languages going on here 🙂 And I met my husband in Northern Ireland! So we´re big UK and Ireland-fans!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Wow. That is such a mix of nationalities and countries and languages. How amazing. My husband is half Indian, half Irish but born in England. I am half English , half Irish and born in England. We have never visited Ireland or India but live in Australia! One day we will visit our roots I hope 😊😊.

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  11. Cozynookbks says:

    This is an interesting topic. I just received a book called Woman Last Seen in her Thirties by Camille Pagán which is about this very thing. It’s on my tbr list and I can’t wait to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    I shall look out for your review or even check it out myself. What a brilliant title ! That has caught my attention straight away. Thank you for reading my blog :). I do think it`s interesting how age defines how others see or don`t see us.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. aramblingcollective says:

    I think I felt invisible fairly early on in life as I was never the girl who the boys wanted to date. I wasn’t sporty. I was academic and boys don’t like being beaten by a girl. I spent a lot of time around men so was talked over quite a bit. I haven’t compared my ‘bad’ bits to other people’s ‘good’ bits for a few years now, and it’s quite liberating.
    On paper, you have everything and more. Some employers are looking for ‘hungry’, ambitious people (i.e. young) ) who they can flog to death. Older women won’t stand for that nonsense. I’ve found that doing an excellent job is a lower role than I’m capable of, gives me freedom to concentrate on other things in my work/life balance. Plus, there’s always people saying that I’m wasted in this job and I could do so much more. He he.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Perimenopause Ponderings says:

    Such a wise way to look at life and your working life. I had jobs in the UK before we emmigrated that many felt I was too good for as I was like you very academic at school. But I had two children early on and the jobs I had fitted around them.The suited me so well and that was all that matteref. I think all those years later having my third child late and being able to stay home, I naively studied for a degree with the now derelict notion it was a gateway to the world. Not ! I applied for 3 jobs last month. I met the criteria. Nothing. So I have had a little time to think and feel quite liberated too !! I am turning my attention to other things that interest me and thinking ” Up Yours! You don’t know what you are missing ! 😉😉

    Liked by 1 person

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