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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