Come on, you know it…”Somebody’s Watching Me”
I’ll have you singing that song in your head the rest of the day, no doubt!
Tell me I’m not the only one who, since your loss, or even a diagnosis, feels as though your every move is being watched, analyzed, scrutinized and sometimes even judged?
And please tell me that if you had a dime for every time someone asked you, “How do you/did you do it?”, you would be reading this post somewhere on a sandy beach with not a care in the world, right?
Well then, congratulations on being a member of what I like to call, “The Bubble Club”!
That’s right, folks. Your struggles and your losses have earned you a spot on the newest reality show in your community where friends, family, strangers, and plain old busybodies watch your every move in an effort to figure out just how you handle your grief, your life, your loss, your kids, your world.
It’s hard to blame them, though. I mean, most are really watching you because they’re trying to imagine your life as their life. What if this happened to them, their family, their child, their spouse? The unthinkable has become their reality and you’re now center stage
Remember the movie, The Truman Show? Please tell me you do, and if you don’t, do me a favor and go watch it. It’s the one where Jim Carrey’s character, Truman Burbank lived in a world where his every move was being televised, watched, analyzed, scrutinized and yes, even judged. I relate to this film so much because, at first Truman didn’t know his life was on display, much like when we turn inward when tragedy first hits to focus on our immediate family. It’s only after time goes by a bit, that we start to realize that others are looking at us differently. Maybe it’s a simple question like, “How do you do it?”, or something a little more direct like, “You know, I’m not sure if those pictures you posted while out to dinner with your friends was such a good idea.” I guess because if you don’t look sad, you’re not grieving, right? Eventually, just like Truman, we start to realize that our private little world before loss has now become open to the public.
Fair? No. Reality? Yes.
Some of you were thrust onto the scene with no warning. For others, you’ve been watched for some time as the story of your life unravels until the end – then, lucky for you, your show gets renewed for another season because the end is just a new beginning!
I was (am) the latter. In fact, now that I think about it, I may be the Susan Lucci of the bubble club! My show started way back in 1995 and 21 years later, still no Emmy Award! Thankfully back then, cell phones were a luxury and social media was still just a little glimmer in someone’s eye! I had a few good years of anonymity to focus on my family without feeling like I needed to justify my every move, but once Silicone Valley erupted, so did my world.
Admittedly, I spent a few years giving a shit about what people said and I let it get to me. Did I look too happy to have a husband with brain cancer? Was I out with my friends too much? Geez, I was even criticized for dressing too nice while taking him to his chemo sessions! I was just trying to live life in the middle of chaos, so if a night out with my friends, or dressing as if driving to chemo was my job got me through the day, I was good. Never in a million years did I think I had an audience tuning in and offering their comments and suggestions as to how I should “act”.
Time has healed a lot of those wounds and thankfully, I no longer feel as though I have to deliver to my audience. I’m ok with never winning that Emmy because breaking free from the bubble is very liberating, just ask Truman Burbank who said,
“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!”