Feeling different

I have already written a blog about fitting in with what we deal with in our lives, but I believe there is another side to it too.

I remember around the time I was a teenager, thinking that somehow I didn’t fit into my life. We were on holiday with my family and I just remember being closed off as if I didn’t fit in. My siblings were larking around having fun, but I felt awkward. I didn’t feel as though I fitted in.

I wanted to be the one who was being silly. I wanted to be the one to have fun fitting in, but didn’t know how to. I was too serious to be silly, to have fun. Having no confidence or self-esteem contributed to how I felt, but at the time it wasn’t something I understood or equated to. Things never changed.

Fitting in is something we should be taught when we’re children. The groundwork needs to be done when we’re young. When we hit adolescence, we tend to question ourselves;,we begin to look at all the things that didn’t bother us as children, but begin to bother us as teenagers, particularly teenage girls.

By the time we’ve come through adolescence, we will have already made a mental list of all the things we don’t like about ourselves and that’s dangerous. I also think peer pressure is to blame.

There were girls in the ‘in-crowd’ that made me feel awkward, having something physically wrong with me also contributed to my awkwardness. As parents we tell our children how pretty they look or how clever they are, but without us feeling these things for ourselves, we will never fit into the perception of how our parents, or society see us.

Outwardly, we tend to conform so that we fit into society, but I believe we need to be true to ourselves. Finding our own level of acceptability should make us feel less awkward so that we can fit into our lives.

9 Oct, 2011

6 thoughts on “Feeling different

  1. I never fitted in and had hardly any ‘real friends’ growing up. Just one person was a good friend to me and still is. We eventually said we were best friends. I find it easier to fit in now.

    We don’t manage to get out and socialise hardly at all. I used to go out every weekend and had a ball. I guess I was making up for the time I spent alone as a teenager. My parents wouldn’t let me go out a lot either. I missed out on so much as a teen in high school. I guess that’s why I became rebellious later in life and lived wildly for a while, but I’m okay now.

    I still don’t have a lot of friends but that’s okay too. In my book a few good friends are better than none.

    1. I see everything you have written as positive Lisa.

      I think you’re right, I would also certainly have a few good friends than lots of friends who are not genuine friends. Glad to hear your wild days are over!

  2. Growing up on a farm made my situation worse; it just added to the isolation I felt. I did not have a lot of friends until I went to high school. Dating was a nightmare. I think I went on five dates in 4 years.

    Fitting in with CP can be difficult. Even now, yesterday everyone in my family were having a conversation with everyone else but me; no one included me in their conversation. I ended up at one point having a conversation with my niece’s boyfriend which was a nice way to get to know him.

    Thankfully everyone had a nice family dinner. It is Thanksgiving holiday in Canada this weekend. The weather here is like summer which is a bonus.

    1. I can understand that you would have felt more isolated growing up on a farm as well as feeling isolated growing up with cerebral palsy.

      I completely understand the problems around fitting in with CP. People including friends and family don’t always know how to deal with someone different. They never know what to say or how to behave. It’s as though the problem doesn’t exist and as long as we’re prepared to to talk about other things, we tend to be ignored… although the issue clearly isn’t you and what you deal with, the issue is them.

      I felt what you felt growing up too, which is another reason why I didn’t fit in too well.

      It’s nice that you found someone you could talk to yesterday at Thanksgiving. From what you say it’s a shame your family aren’t as easy as that.

  3. I guess we all feel it is important as a child to ‘fit in’ and even to some extent throughout our adult lives too. I have many memories of wishing my family were more like others and couldn’t leave home soon enough as a result. I was lucky I was able to leave to go to university.

    I certainly don’t fit in with them now. I often joke that I must have been swapped at birth!

    In my working life there is tremendous pressure to fit in to what people expect from a professional they are paying to see.

    I guess it is a fact of life, as we are social ‘animals’ the need to conform and be seen to fit in will always be with us.

    1. You are completely right in what you say. I have got to that stage in my life and have been there for sometime, where I think of what matters for me and not fitting in is just fine. I don’t see the importance or the need for me to fit into the different stereotypes just so that I will be accepted.

      I agree with you that the pressure is there, particularly in school, the workplace and with family for us to conform.

      I’ve grown through my experiences through the years and am happier for knowing that I don’t need to fit in to have a happy life. I can have a happy life which is achievable without having to conform to other people’s rules.

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