Belonging

I’ve never actually belonged anywhere. At least I have felt that way. Growing up I never quite fit in with my family. I was a highly anxious child, but creative and inquisitive. I was ridiculed or punished for my curiosity at times as it didn’t fit into my parent’s idea of what a kid should be.

I was a very overweight child; this didn’t effect in anyway how I was treated by my parents or other family members, but it did, however have a direct impact on how I was perceived by others, especially my peers. I endured constant bullying throughout my schooling, and I was virtually friendless well into my teen years. I experienced long bouts of depression as a child. My earliest memory is of being rejected by my Grandfather for my new baby brother. I was four. I know now, that it was his attempt at teasing, but as a four year old I didn’t take it that way.  As I grew, I became heavier and the bullying became more progressive. I was besieged with daily beatings, ridicule, and playground meanness that just destroyed my self-image and my self-esteem. I became withdrawn and turned to books as my one and only solace. For me, books transported me to places where I wasn’t seen as different.  I lived vicariously through Mary Lennox, Francie Nolan and all the other characters in my books.

I meandered my way through life, appearing to be part of a group, but very much feeling like an outsider. I was never thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, capable enough, calm enough, or happy enough. In my twenties, I lost quite a bit of weight and found myself a career that I thought I wanted to be in. I made friends, went to clubs, socialized. I do remember some of these days to be among my happiest memories. Moments fade, however, and other moments take their place. Life goes on. I watched it pass by me, never feeling like I was a member of its club. Life eluded me. Among my friends during this time, I was a confidant. I was told secrets and desires, and I kept them in my mind, never doing anything with them. I saw my friends find love and success. As much as I wanted love and watched as my friends found soulmates among each other, I was never given the chance. I was told I was “too smart, independent and that I intimidated men”. Wow. I didn’t know how to respond. So I shrugged it off and spent my moments.  Some friends married and had children. Others moved to other states or other countries. I stayed. I stayed the same. Alone. Behind. Not belonging.

My years have gone, and I have reached that point in life when things should be settled. Children are grown. Careers have settled. You pay your mortgage and car and credit cards.

I have none of that. Never have. I may never will.

I had to give up the career I was in for thirty years, finally realizing I was ill suited for it. I have change the trajectory of my life and I thought I finally found a community that I could be part of. I wanted so desperately to work in this community, and when a job opened up, I jumped at the chance.

Never wish for something because you just might get. The story of my life. Once again, I find myself where I don’t “belong”. I’m too “linear” for this environment—or so I’m told. As a child, I was too creative, and a teen too fat, as a young adult, too smart. Now I’m too linear. I’m not creative enough.

So I press on wondering when I will belong. Moment to moment. Never is Never and always.

 

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