All of my life I have felt like I didn’t belong. I have felt this with family, friends, boyfriends, my peers, older people, younger people, probably even with my imaginary friends when I was little. The reasons for this are complicated and some are too personal to discuss (at least for now) but mostly it all comes down to the fact that I just felt different all the time. I have always wanted to do and say the things others weren’t. I certainly don’t stand behind each and every thing that I have done and said my entire life. Many of those things have been completely stupid and they still linger in my mind. Sometimes I think I have a diagnosable illness - some sort of antisocial disorder or some form of memory-provoked, disturbingly self-deprecating depression problem. I actually lie awake at night or can be found alone in my car on my commute thinking about stupid shit I said or did 10 or even 20 years ago (yes, I’m going pre-pubescent, here). Does anyone else do this? I literally have to tell myself to shut up (I even say it out loud sometimes) over and over, then blast some music in order to clear my head. Often my attempts are futile.
Sadly, I feel that this problem I have (feeling compelled to go against the grain, followed by an intense critical review of my actions) keeps my isolated from other people. Mostly, I like to blame others for this… the old “misunderstood” proclamation but of course I must analyze this conclusion as well. I am mostly torn here because two of the things I like most about myself are that I question everything and that I think differently. Unfortunately these qualities have an unwelcome side-effect – isolation.
This past Christmas (like many of the Christmases before it since I was about 10) I found myself surrounded by my family and I gazed at everyone in awe wondering, “Who are these people?” and “Where did I come from?” I don’t know why I feel so different from them. Is it just an illusion or is it actually so? I certainly seem different from my perspective. I agree with less than 10% of the things that are said and done in that environment. I find myself wanting to know as little as possible about them and what is going on in their lives because I just feel greater distance with every detail. Do a lot of other people feel this way? I honestly hope no one else does because it is a very sad and lonely feeling. It takes every bit of my strength to not have some sort of outburst or breakdown around my family. But here’s the bigger problem: I would feel terrible if I let them know how I feel (because it would hurt them) but it physically hurts me to not speak up when I see things happening that will only cause them pain or harm. I feel a pain in my chest, my head hurts, I bite my nails, I don’t sleep and I end up with a terrible stiff back, neck & shoulders the entire time I am with them.
My family isn’t that different from most… there are problems with tempers, health concerns, financial strains, addiction problems (in various forms) and deception by the truck-load. I like to think of myself as a pretty strong person but for some reason I am unable to cope without some sort of ramification. So, what do I do? I have made small remarks in the past and I see it only hurts them when I barely scratch the surface of my true feelings. What would the truth actually do? I don’t think I can bear to tell them what I truly think. I guess I just have to remain silent. But then what do I do with the guilt that I feel when something bad happens? Many things have already happened that I foresaw years ago…. Unfortunately a few of those things have involved my young nephews. Aren’t I a horrible person for not doing something to prevent it? I’m sure I could get valid advice arguing both cases. Honestly, I don’t want the advice… I already know what it is. I just need to speak up. I was fine staying quiet when it just meant that I would lose a few hours of sleep and suffer some mild anxiety attacks but now it involves children. I’ll let the adults worry about themselves but I can’t let my nephews suffer. I just have to figure out how to do this as gently as possible. Does anyone know how to smack someone upside the head… gently?