For as long as I can remember I have stood as an outsider gazing longingly at the warmth and friendship that others seemed to share. Even though no one knew I had been sexually abused from the time I was 5, I must have emitted some kind of ‘vibe’ that caused people to stay away. Perhaps I was protecting myself and so unconsciously pushing others away. Maybe my behaviour was inappropriate somehow. I don’t know the answers. I only know how I FELT for so many years.
There are many experiences that I can remember. Situations that I can easily recall if I choose to do so but really –why would I? I’m no masochist. As human beings we store these memories in our brains and leave them dormant until we are triggered. How lovely it is when a song or taste or smell brings pleasant memories forward. I love those magical moments and am grateful for them. The less than pleasant memories I could do without.
Lately I have found myself replaying my childhood and adolescence. Experiences that have long passed are now bubbling up and returning to my conscious mind as I experience new changes in my life. I have been reminded of my position in life as an ‘outsider’. The girl who just does not fit in with the others. And while my conscious mind and thought tells me that these are not current reality, the feelings say something else. I FEEL just the way I did when I was 5 and 10 and 12 and 16. The raw pain of rejection, shame and of not belonging.
It hurts. It hurts a lot. There are moments when I feel such profound sadness that I wonder how I can possibly smile again. And then I do.
I smile. I laugh. I look at myself in the mirror and say hello to me. I may not belong in the ‘cool kids’ gang. It may be that I am misunderstood. Perhaps my actions and words ARE displeasing to some. Maybe I do not meet the expectations of others. All I can do is to continue to be the best me I know how to be. I know I am authentic. I know I possess no hidden agenda. I know I am worthy of love. I know that I love.
I belong. I belong to me. I am grateful for the ability to see that now.