Saturday, December 3, 2011

Standing On the Outside Looking In

Rachel, over at "Journeys with Autism", wrote a great post yesterday titled "The Path That Chose Me".  Several things jumped out at me as I read it, the first and biggest "Oh Yeah, that's me!" was this: 

"...I was on the margins. I just didn’t fit. Even when I was standing next to them, I watched my family members over there, as though they were in the center of the room, relating to one another, and I was on the outside. For a long time, I was sure that I must have been adopted, because there was no one in the family who reminded me of myself at all."

I'm like that in virtually all of my relationships, even though I feel like I want to connect I don't, in any group, no matter the size, it seems I'm always on the margin, on the outside looking in.  I don't fit into the spaces there, when I do squeeze in it feels as though I'm forcing myself into a shape that is not my own.  People have objected when I've told them I feel this way, they tell me I belong.  Of course that's not the point at all, it's my own feeling of standing off to the side that is what I'm talking about.  The fact that I can pretend to be in the group just means I'm pretty good at faking it for short bursts.

The second thing I really identified with was her "Great Regret" over past decisions.  I have similar regrets, if only I had not turned down an appointment to West Point, if only I had continued in school, if only I had not changed directions so often... yet in looking back they were the only possible choices for me at the time.  I simply could not cope with the pressures of those paths, again, despite what other people always wanted to tell me about what I'm capable of, they don't really know me. 

Like I said, it's a great post and you should go and read it right now here.  

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