Friday, September 28, 2007

Fitting In............Or Not! Part 2

Part 1

As a child, I was always bigger than everyone else. I began wearing glasses in second grade. Those two things were enough to make me the target of every bully under the sun. Add to that my history of victimization and the odds are against ever feeling like I belonged in this world.

I didn't know how to deal with the teasing so I just shut down and kept to myself. And, of course, I got no guidance or direction from home on how to cope with them. Back in those days bullies at school were considered to be just another fact of life. Rarely was the problem dealt with.

I would try and join into group games but was never good enough or never chosen. You know the scenario. I continued to try to participate but rarely left feeling anything but more awkward and defeated.

Of course through all of this it never occurred to me that I didn't fit in because of my victimization. Looking back I can see where that had a huge part to play in my social skills. It's hard to feel confident about yourself when you've been used and abused throughout your life.

You can pretty much bet that the kids I did feel comfortable were victims themselves. We had the same twisted view of the world. Believing that we had no power and no choices. While we didn't even trust each other enough to disclose the circumstances of our abuse, we enabled each other to stay stuck in our little world of victimization, reinforcing the can'ts and never seeing the possibilities.

Looking back over all of those years, it's easy to see that I was my own worst enemy on all counts. I didn't ever give anyone a chance to get to know the real me. Heck, I didn't even know the real me. But since healthy relationships are built on honesty, there wasn't much chance of me ever finding one.

There was little chance that I would ever feel like I fit in anywhere. I was just too guarded, too protected. Living my life always trying to protect myself took all of my energy. There was no time or strength for anything else. How was I to understand that feeling I didn't fit was due to the huge thick walls I had built around me.

Old patterns die hard. To this day it's hard to fight the urge to fade into the woodwork in a crowd. Speaking my mind or giving my opinion amongst a group is a real challenge. Even when I do, it's hard to believe that it's ok for me.

Will I ever see a day where I can act like myself no matter who is around? Probably not, but at least the day has come where I don't feel like I have to fit in if I don't want to. It's ok for me to be who I am, and if those around me don't like it, that's their problem.

to be continued.........


BarnGoddess said...

Peer pressure is so strong.

As a mother I am constantly telling my boys to be who they are and NOT who people THINK they should be.

My 3yo has autism, I rarely speak of it. He is singled out occasionally and it breaks my heart to see him hurt.

People can be so cruel.

You said "It's ok for me to be who I am, and if those around me don't like it, that's their problem"

AMEN to that!!!! you are 150% right on. I am happy you have gotten to THIS point :)

Rising Rainbow said...

I am happy I've gotten to this point too. It's been a long hard road.

My oldest grandson I suspect has autism. He was tested once as a toddler by, it turns out, a quack neurologist who didn't think kids with down syndrome had anything wrong with them either. So the fact this woman said he was fine was useless. His mother never got up the courage to have him tested again.

It's very sad because I think he could have used some help. While he is very high functioning, his social skills are practically non existent and this causes him lots of problems.

Your son is lucky he has you and that you care about him enough to see he has a problem. I think that can make all the difference.

Donna said...

I just finished your last 5 entries. And once again I am sitting here, nodding my head, yes, that's how I felt too, yes, that's what happened to me too. I've worn glasses since I was 3. I was a chronic nail-biter as a child, to the point of bleeding and infected fingers often, but my parents never figured out that I was abusing myself physically to help forget the mental anguish. So many things...the other day I tried to remember "normal" days from elementary and high school, and to my horror, found I could remember very, very little. I have vivid memories of bad times, but not day-to-day memories. *sigh*

keepers said...

we too have quit trying to fit in and just gone our own way, we lost a lot of family but they weren't supportive anyway. They were users and as such were just perpetuating the old crap from our childhood.

to thini own self be true, as best as we can be!

peace and blessings


keepers said...

peer pressure, family pressure, friends pressure, coworkers pressure, T pressure, society pressure, all culminating in self pressure which not only pressurizes but demoralizes. At least now we can be happy with ourselves, at least more than we used to be. We can now look at ourselves in the mirror and not be ashamed or embarassed. well, at least more than we used to! to all of you out there we salute you, for being you for you and you alone.

peace and blessings