Where Do I Belong? #behindtheblogger

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Even as a little girl, I sort of felt like I was out-of-place. My parents divorced when I was young and while I don’t have a clear memory of much of it, I do remember the out-of-place feeling I felt sitting in the back of the car, knowing my family wasn’t a family anymore. In school, I never really belonged. We moved several times before settling in a town around my third grade year. I didn’t make friends easily then and I don’t now. I never felt as though I belonged and even as an adult, I still don’t really have a place.

We moved in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2008, right before Drew turned one. I had high hopes of a fresh start. I’d not done well in making adult friends in Colorado. Much of my attempts turned out ugly and the few friends I did make, I kept at an arm’s length as I was waiting for them to leave or be mean too. I struggled at the church we loved and eventually walked away because I didn’t know how to keep up relationships there. I think Kevin still gets mad at me that I burned that bridge. I wanted to be a part of that community but I didn’t know how to squeeze myself into a hole my peg body wasn’t shaped like. So when we moved here I told myself I would do everything I could to fit in.

It worked for a while. I made friends I loved and cared for and I felt like I’d begun to create a village. My kids played with their kids and I felt like I had this system I could look to should I need help and I would be there to do the same. I remember buying this sign for my house that read, “the more you love the more you’ll find that friends are good and people are kind” believing I’d really found where I belonged. Boy was I wrong. I’m not friends with a single one of those people now. Being the common denominator, I’m sure it’s me, I realize.

Now I mostly float in a limbo of not knowing where I fit in; never knowing where I belong. I’ve a few lovely friends far and a few very near. Mostly though I feel like an observer of everyone’s very normal life. And through the years of not being able to make and keep up friends, I’ve created such a tremendous wall that it will truly be a miracle if I can ever get out of my dungeon. Between wondering if I’m “friend material” and the crippling social anxiety, I’ve chosen to sit here and wonder why I can’t instead of trying to do.

Where do I belong? I don’t really know.

I’m the mother of a teen and the mother of a two. There aren’t many mothers like me. Who deal with driver’s license and Gymboree. Ones who have to chase their toddler at their twelve-year old’s baseball game. I am not a first time, twenty something mother but I have a toddler. I can’t do girls’ night out. I don’t even drink wine. I am still breastfeeding, I believe in bed sharing but if my kids want potato chips, I’m okay with it on occasion. So I am not a crunchy mom but I am not what ever the “other is either”. I don’t know where I belong in Mommy world.

I don’t know where I belong anywhere.

I’m hoping with age it will either change or I will come to terms with all these realities. With the fact my “belonging” place is home, alone. Eventually these little guys will be gone and I won’t have to worry about fitting in with the other mothers anymore. I’m almost pray for those days to come but know with that comes an empty nest that I don’t want. It would just be nice to have a “village”, some place, some person to call home. And to my tiny village, thank you. I know I’m a lot. But when I do “belong”, it is because of you.

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Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

2 thoughts on “Where Do I Belong? #behindtheblogger

  1. A very long time ago there was a huge falling out between us. I have no memory of why. I do remember that your anger and upset with me seemed incredibly out of proportion to what actually transpired. My rule of thumb after my myriad years of therapy is that when one gets upset out of proportion to the event, it generally relates to something we carry internally that prompted the overreaction. Reading your blog post here, I have a greater sense of what you’ve carried internally that undoubtedly contributed to the explosion.

    I’m not an exploder but I will respond to an explosion vigorously. If you come at me for what I feel is an unprovoked reason, I will defend and defend with vehemence. I was raised by a mother who blamed me for being alive, so yes, I am defensive when I perceive myself to be attacked. And now that I understand better what’s in your head, I feel like whatever it was that we exploded about was a disaster waiting to happen considering our personalities.

    But the aftermath has always bothered me. I may be an odd and atypical woman who has never fit well with other women, but I prefer reason and logic and agreeing to disagree over any type of emotional drama. I don’t do drama. But when I was blocked from any interaction with you, I felt very disquieted and uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like a perpetrator. And goodness knows that I didn’t feel strongly enough about what happened (whatever it was) to even think about blocking you (at least I have no memory of doing so.) Yet somehow I had made you feel so upset and well…unsafe…that you needed to block me. That has continued to unsettle me.

    It’s so weird that today, the first time in years that I’ve thought about you and the explosion, I stumbled on this honest and authentic blog post from you. And now I think I get it. We are not so dissimilar as two women who don’t fit the mold. I recognize the thoughts in your head shared here all too well. We just cope with similar feelings in different ways.

    I’m sorry that you are struggling. I’m sorry that connecting to other women, other people, is so hard. And I’m sorry that whatever small connection we had as photographers in the same region crashed and burned in the explosion. I just wanted to let you know that I’m not angry or upset now and I bear you no ill will (and never have.) I fully regret the explosion and the aftermath.

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