Guest Posts, courage, Fear

If No One Would See

November 15, 2016

By Christine Brown

The idea of writing about what I would write about if I knew no one would see it is interesting to me. I always think about things that I might like to write about but am too afraid to because of who might see or read it.

If I knew that no one would read it, I would write about depression and what it feels like to live in a constant state of depression when nearly all of your family is telling you that you can’t be depressed. Because God. That you just have to look at things differently and stop being sad. That it’s a choice and all you have to do is choose to be happy and that will make everything better.

I’d write about what it feels like to have never really experienced life for myself because I’ve felt I had to give every minute of my life taking care of the disabled and elderly people in my family. I’d write about the things I wish I would have done, or felt I could have done instead. I’d write about how I felt my life has been wasted and how and why I feel that it’s too late to even try to have any life of my own if I didn’t still have to take care of people constantly, which I do, so it’s kind of a moot point.

I’d write about what it feels like to be fat… actually fat and not the “Oh my God, I’m so fat, I need to lose like twenty pounds” fat that I hear people complain about all the time. I’d write about how hard it is to listen to all of the skinny people who were just born lucky talk about how fat people are disgusting and how they should take better care of themselves and just try a little bit to lose weight. I’d write about how much it sucks to hear people blaming me for being fat, or to see that fat people are the butt of the jokes in movies, tv, and even the written word. I’d write about how I’ve never felt like I was good enough to be a person because I’ve never been skinny. I’d write about all the calories, carbs, and points I’ve counted, about the hours of working out, the lifestyle food choice changes, about the two 27 day fasts I went on so I could get the surgeries that were going to help me lose the weight, and how hopeless I felt when they all failed and the numbers on the scale kept going up. I’d write about how annoying it is when skinny people say they’re fat and turn around and tell me not to say that I’m fat.

I’d write about how I’ve never had a boyfriend, or even a date for that matter, because even if I could find someone willing to date a pastor’s kid who takes care of her elderly mom and disabled grandmother, I’d never find one who would be okay with that and my weight. I’d write about how I don’t even feel like I’m allowed to be attracted to anyone, because, as the entertainment industry has made abundantly clear, no one is attracted to fat people. I’d write about how I feel like a loser because I’m a 33 year old virgin and that is just not normal by today’s standards.

I’d write about how much it sucks to have lost 70% of my vision due to someone else’s stupidity on the road. This is something else I’m not supposed to talk about because I should be grateful that God preserved my life.

If I knew no one would read it, I’d write about my conflicting, confused, and disappointed opinions about the God I was trained to worship and love. I’d write about how, if He only wants good for me, I don’t understand why everything has been so hard and why I can’t have the simple things that everyone else in the world has, like a boyfriend or a family, or even just a normal body that works with my efforts instead of against them. I’d write about how I don’t understand why He stuck me with the role of care giver. I’d write about how, if He can do miracles, I don’t understand why He doesn’t, especially for my mom and grandma who have always served Him faithfully.

I’d write about how, for at least the past six years, all I’ve wanted is to die, because I hate my life, or the lack thereof. I’d write about how I don’t even have any hope anymore because every bit has been extinguished with every new blow and setback.

I’d write about how I am lonely and all of the friends and family that I have done so much for and given so much to never want anything to do with me until they want something from me or for me to do something for them.

I’d write about how I hate myself for the way I look, the way I feel, the way I am.

I’d write about how I’m never good enough at anything or for anyone.

These are the things that I would write about. If I knew no one would see.


Christine Brown was born and raised in Zion, IL, but she feels more at home anywhere in Ireland. She is seeking her Master’s Degree in Fictional Creative Writing at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

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  • Reply Carol Reedy Rogero November 15, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    What a brave and beautiful soul you are. I see your beauty and your pain. Please don’t let the cruelness and superficialness of this world break you. Keep writing and reaching. ✌?️?

  • Reply Treva Draper=imler November 15, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    You are ever brave!

  • Reply Kristi Rabe November 15, 2016 at 8:23 pm


  • Reply Laura Alonso November 15, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Christine, yes you are a caregiver, and you must also take care of YOURSELF. Self-care can be simple, but it’s so important. Please keep writing (and letting other’s see). SO many people feel the way you do, and the more we share and hear each other, the less alone (and the more “normal”) we feel. I am in Illinois, too, and if you ever want to reach out, I’m on Facebook. I understand where you’re coming from and I wish for you as many chances as you need to get where you want to be in life. It seems like getting your Master’s Degree in Creative Writing is a good step in all of these directions – good for you for doing this for yourself; it’s obviously a great fit for your talents. I see and hear you, Christine, and I think you’re beautiful.

  • Reply Gretchen November 15, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I am gutted by this beautiful and vulnerable essay. Thank you for writing and keep doing it; it is clearly your talent and your lifeline and it will take you places you cannot currently see.

  • Reply Joshua Mohr November 15, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    This is stunning, tender, and harrowing. You have so much talent!!

  • Reply Laurel Hermanson November 15, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Christine, this is haunting and beautiful. I hope you know you’re not alone in the world, no matter how alone you feel in your life right now. I hope one day you find your tribe, because they’re out there. I hope you keep writing as if no one will see, because you will keep touching others’ souls.

  • Reply Melanie M November 15, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Keep writing! Your voice is more powerful than you know and it will change your life if you let it.

  • Reply Martha Bayne November 15, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Such a genuinely brave, honest and powerful piece of writing. Keep at it Christine!

  • Reply Katie Amatruda November 15, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Dearest Christine,
    Thank you for writing this. Please keep on writing. You are a beautiful soul, thank you for sharing your voice.

  • Reply Kate November 15, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    I hear you, and I love you. Thank you for writing this.

  • Reply Rebecca Johns November 15, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    What a gorgeous, heartbreaking story, Christine. You have a beautiful voice. Keep lifting it up.

  • Reply Jane Eaton Hamilton November 15, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for this, Christine. It’s brave and true. I hope you will find more and more to live for. Meantime, here’s a little love that might help you through a day or two. <3

  • Reply Robyn Pennacchia November 15, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    This essay is wonderful and you are wonderful, and you are beautiful. And you deserve to think that you are beautiful.

    The more you share, the more you will find out you are so, so not alone, and you will make others feel less alone, and that is one of the greatest things anyone can do. There are lots of other people out there, also, who understand and have been through depression, and we know it’s not something that can just be fixed by forcing ourselves to be happy. There are lots of people out there who understand that simply “exercising and eating right” isn’t going to make everyone lose weight, and that people can be healthy at any size, and unhealthy at any size as well. You are not alone, and your voice is important and welcome.

  • Reply Kate Milliken November 15, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Christine, you are talented and brave and a needed voice in this world. Please keep writing what you’d write if no one else would ever see, always. Sending continued courage and applause.

  • Reply DIANE SHERLOCK November 15, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Stunning essay and we need your voice. I know depression and how tough it is. Don’t stop now. Rooting for you and sending hugs. Please take care of yourself. You are so incredibly worth it.

  • Reply Faye Satterly November 15, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Such a powerful, gutsy and authentic voice! Our experiences may not be identical, but the loneliness, self-doubt and questioning are universal. It’s a gift to touch others so deeply with your words. Keep writing!

  • Reply Annie November 15, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Christine. Thank you so much for your honesty. You are so talented.

    What is your doggie’s name? I need to know. He loves you so much. I can tell.

    Sending love.

  • Reply cecilia fasano November 16, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Oh my God, Christine! You are so brave and beautiful. I am stunned by your talent and so proud that you’re pursuing your Master’s. And, if that’s you in the picture, WHHHHAAAATTTT! you ARE so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey .. so many of us can relate … and we will have your back!! xx’s

  • Reply Kat November 16, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Beautifully written piece. This line, in particular, impacts me: “or even just a normal body that works with my efforts instead of against them.”

  • Reply Mike Gillilan November 16, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Christine, your essay is beautiful and heart breaking. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply Susan Solomon November 16, 2016 at 4:04 am

    What a moving, brilliant piece of writing. Thank you for sharing your authentic voice, Christine. No doubt countless others will relate to this and feel more understood and less alone. Please, please, please continue to share your powerful voice with us. You will help us all become better humans. No pressure, though…;-)

  • Reply JZB November 16, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Wow! Just wow. Your piece is honest and beautiful, as you are. Thank you for your bravery and strength in writing it and sharing it with us. Please keep writing and sharing your beauty. You are amazing.

  • Reply Nancy Conyers November 16, 2016 at 5:03 am

    Incredible, just incredible.

  • Reply Natalie levin November 16, 2016 at 5:05 am

    What an incredible and brave and amazing piece! I am holding you in my heart and I am so grateful that you had the courage to share this with the manifest station! I am holding you in the light and cheering for you and I am very grateful that you are still incarnate! Love, Natalie in Philadelphia.

  • Reply Dorothy November 16, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Beautiful writing, sad, true, honest.

  • Reply MJM November 16, 2016 at 7:15 am

    You are good enough. You are good enough. You are good enough. Just like you are. You are beautiful. This essay is beautiful. Keep writing about your hard stuff-that is where you find truth. My best wishes for you.

  • Reply Emily Rapp Black November 16, 2016 at 8:00 am

    What a beautiful essay. Whatever you do, keep writing. You’re brilliant, beautiful and badass. Emily

  • Reply Elizabeth Rosner November 16, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Your words matter, and your deep-boned honesty is a rare gift. This world needs your voice.

  • Reply Rebecca Kuder November 16, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Thank you, Christine, for sharing with such candor and courage. We need your voice.

  • Reply Ethel Rohan November 16, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Hi Christine,

    Thank you for this. I am most moved by the stories and art I most connect with–the work that seems to speak directly to me–and I felt that strongly here. I see and hear you, Christine, and I respect and admire you. Please add me to the fast-growing fandom of your work.

    I’m Irish, and having been to my homeland you’ll know that for all our admirable traits we’re a reticent people and not given to easy affection or flowery declarations of the heart, but I can say honestly and wholeheartedly that even though we’ve never met we’re all sisters and brothers and I love you, and you’re beautiful, and I’m sorry so much is so hard. Your journey, like mine, like us all, is to get to that place where you can unconditionally love yourself and live every day being true to that self-love.

    Let’s hurry up and get there.

    Ethel xo

  • Reply Alexandra November 16, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Your words made me well up. They struck such a chord. Please don’t feel,alone. You are not. There are many of us who feel, lost, lonely, fat, like life has somehow forgotten us when it comes to love. We need a voice like yours. Stay strong.

  • Reply Tanya Egan Gibson November 16, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Thank you so much for sharing with us your beautiful soul. You’re a wonderful writer, and I know deep in my heart that such a gorgeous piece is proof of a life not wasted. I cannot wait to see more of your work in print.

  • Reply Barbara Potter November 16, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Beautiful. You have gutted me with your words.

  • Reply Thaisa frank November 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    This is simply a wonderful piece. Thank you. So clear. So honest. Such precise and beautiful language. I have to believe that your clarity an unflinching vision will give you the freedom to break some bonds that seem inflexible and you will find more of a life that nourishes you. I identify with your journey and know how hard these these feelings are.I have faith that your talent will take you to good places. Thank you one more time

  • Reply Sandy F. November 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Sheesh, tears here. Your words have deeply touched my heart. If I knew that no one would read it…and you were brave and courageous and you put pen to paper and you did it. You are so, so not alone. I shall share with you an experience I had at work one night. I worked midnight shift in a Level III NICU. Our uniform was scrubs which were supposed to be fully stocked in the locker room daily with an assortment of sizes. Ahh, you guessed what is coming, and, in all probability, you are correct. I got to the locker room, and, for some reason or another, the scrub cart had not been stocked that day. What to do?! I went through the entire cart, thinking perhaps it was a new delivery person and the scrubs were not placed as normal. Nope, not a one in my size. Not a one in my size in the next size down or the next size down. Yes, I was actually fat. I finally found a pair of scrubs I could squeeze myself into, and I mean pour myself into, and I worked like that all night. Humiliating, yes. Embarrassing, oh yes. A face full of shame, hell yes. Still, I worked my shift in that state. To make matters worse, if you can imagine that, is I was in a work area with another nurse who happened to be in the majority of the population and she frequently spoke of having to lose 10 pounds, but for the life of me I could not see where on her she needed to lose the ten pounds. Normally, I would have let it go in one ear and out the other, as I was used to that sort of background conversation. That shift though, I was already very touchy, so when she started complaining and poking fun at the overly large scrubs she was forced to wear because her size of scrubs were out on the cart, I snapped and told her you’ve got to be kidding me. I told her to look at me, really look at me. I told her I could not find a set of scrubs even close to the size I needed, and I had to make do with looking like I was a stuffed sausage. I asked her if she knew what that felt like and to imagine the humiliation and the embarrassment I was experiencing right at that very moment, and there she was poking fun at wearing something a bit large on her. Better to wear something a bit large, than to be poured into a pair of scrubs you were too afraid to sit down in. Some people. Thoughtless. That was an actual moment for me. Actually fat, yes, I was. It took my entire life to find my self-worth and self-love. Once I found those things, or those things found me, life smoothed out for me and things became easier. I made myself a priority. The weight started coming off, and it is still coming off. My self-worth and my love of self are here to stay. As Ethel mentioned, it is a journey getting to that place. It is a journey of discovery for all of us. Each in our own ways. Christine, know that you are so beautiful. Believe that. Embrace that. Keep on writing as if no one will see. Your voice is heard. Sending you much love. ❤️ xxx

  • Reply Alexia LaFortune November 16, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Your power is immeasurable, Christine. Your power is in your words. Brave, raw, real and evocative. You have moved and touched each person who has read this piece. The transformation of your life has begun…..
    Thank you so very much….

  • Reply TJ Wood November 16, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Christine, please keep writing with this same ferocity and honesty. You’ve obviously touched many of us here. You aren’t alone. Thank you for your courage.
    big hugs…tj

  • Reply Ona Gritz November 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you, Christine, for your candor and your clear, beautiful writing. We need your voice in the world!

  • Reply Jonna Ivin November 17, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    You have inspired me to write as if no one would see. This is a beautiful essay, raw and powerful. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Lea November 17, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    It won’t always be like this. I am 52 and the best years are just starting. Hang in there love x

  • Reply Sarah Phoenix November 18, 2016 at 1:37 am

    You win the internet! I don’t know what the prize is but you definitely deserve more.

  • Reply Heather November 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

    The cards you have been dealt are shitty and the pain you’ve had to endure relentless and cruel. And yet, in your writing, I see this light. This piece just put a beacon into the world for others in dark places to see. Like Carol said in the comment above – keep writing! Keep reaching out from the dark places. You may not know it yet, but your voice as a writer is powerful. Let it help give you strength. Use it to make yourself heard.

  • Reply Maggie November 18, 2016 at 10:37 am

    This is one of the bravest essays I’ve ever read. I don’t even know what else to say. You are a gorgeous and caring and talented person! Please take care of your wonderful self. I wish you all the best. <3

  • Reply Diana DIehl November 18, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I send you hugs and compassion. It is not fair. I have things to say about your god. That must be the worst–thinking there is somebody “up” there who has the power to change this, but does nothing. No wonder you feel so awful. You have a right to be depressed.

    Still. I hope. I can hope for you that you find a ray of sunshine in your darkness and can hang on to your most obvious talents. I can hope you can walk away from taking care of your elderly relatives. You are not “stuck” with that, however obliged you feel. YOu have the right to a life, too. I hope you will take time for yourself and realize their lives are not your responsibility. This is not what you were born to do, no matter what guilt they or you heap upon yourself.

    You get only this life. They had theirs. You need yours. You need your life not to be wasted.

    Whatever you choose, whatever action or non-action, please know that at least for this one short glimmer of time, you spoke truth. And someone was listening and found it precious. Please keep writing.

  • Reply Amber Krieger November 18, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    You are beautiful and brave, as is your writing. I wish you didn’t have to write this for people to see you, but I am glad you wrote this so people will see you.

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