Looking In and Reaching Out

I have spent most of my life both longing desperately to and actively avoiding to fit in.

I hesitate to show people my true self. I think it’s because I don’t like being teased or ridiculed. I never learned how to take teasing gracefully. I blush and shy away back into myself when I get teased and so I avoid giving my friends something to tease me about. I think it’s because as a teenager I spent much of my time with a group of girls who I thought were my friends but who shut me down every time I tried to share something about myself. They always made me feel as though I were only welcome on the periphery of the group. I just wanted to fit in and not once did I feel like they really wanted to make a connection with me. I never could find the balance of being the person they wanted to spend time with and being me.

That paragraph sounds like I had a pitiable adolescence. That’s not completely true. I had a really great best friend in highschool. She made me feel like she wanted to know me and wanted me to know her. I still love her.

Only recently have I realized that there are currently only three, maybe four people who really know me well. I came to this realization because I recently saw a counselor – I was concerned about “postpartum  issues” (her words, not mine). She asked me to list my support network, the people I go to when I need to talk about something. I said I talk to my husband and she responded with “he’s going through similar things. Who else can you talk to?” and I am embarrassed to say that it took me a minute to list my sister and my best friend. I was so wrapped up in self-preservation and making other people think motherhood is fucking awesome that I forgot I could be honest with them.

Even saying that I saw a counselor was crazy hard to admit even to myself. It took all my courage to admit to my loved ones that I was struggling and needed to talk to someone. Even writing it down was is still difficult. It still feels selfish to write about myself like this. Is that weird?

I am a wife, mother, blogger, reader, singer, board gamer, runner, friend, sister, daughter, and woman who enjoys all the same hobbies that an old lady enjoys. I am a complex being with complex feelings. I am not alone unless I choose to be. I choose not to be.

I read a lot of blogs, watch a lot of shows, listen to a lot of podcasts about people embracing themselves struggles and all. It’s about time that I start doing that instead of just admiring those that do. So, next time you see me, please ask me how I honestly am. And then listen to me complain about how hard it is to be a mom without making that face that says “I’m so sorry I wish I could help.” You are helping by letting me speak.

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