All Alone in a Crowded Room

This morning while I was dropping my son off at school, I watched his interaction with the other boys in his classroom. He seemed not to fit in, nor to be out of place. He just seemed alone in a crowd of boys. I could tell by his expressive eyes that he wanted to fit in with these boys, and I don't know that it's a bad thing at that age to want to fit in.
Taylor Swift

But it reminded me of how I have always felt like I don't belong, no matter where I am. As a child, I was the one with no a generation where divorce was still pretty new...and well, my parents weren't divorced. The other kids around me didn't know how to interpret this lack of a "daddy". Honestly, neither did I. I watched the fathers come to school events and cheer on their children. I usually didn't even have a mother present because she worked full-time. I was alone in a crowded room...

And this is a feeling I've experienced many, many times in my life. I remember being at a family wedding, and feeling like I simply wasn't even there. The focus on that day, which so often my extended family turned on me, was elsewhere, and I was out of place. I felt this way after having my third baby in a new area and not having a single visitor to the hospital to greet our new little one.

Being alone in a crowded room makes you wonder if you're real. When I was little, I wondered if my life was just a bad dream and someday I would wake up and realize all the bad stuff wasn't real. It didn't turn out that way; that's okay. Being alone in a crowded room taught me some good qualities. I'm fiercely independent, and I don't take no for an answer without a fight. This has been helpful over the years when insurance companies denied procedures for one of my children with special medical needs. I didn't take their "no"; I fought for fair treatment.

Sometimes being fiercely independent isn't good. I've had to learn to rely on my husband and wait for him to do things that I knew I could do. I've learned the hard way that doing it yourself can emasculate the man you love. And I don't have to do something myself just because I know I can. I love the goofy grin on my hubby's face when he shows me his completed task.

I'm sure many of you have felt alone in a crowded room. What did those experiences teach you about yourself? What are the good and bad effects of that experience? Please share, even anonymously. I'd love to know how you work through this in your own life.


Anonymous said…

Yes my whole life I too have felt alone in a crowded room or that I just never fit in. Growing up, I did have a "traditional" family but both of my parents were never there emotionally for me or my siblings(I used to think that they were lazy but then I realized that they are low functioning people). It taught me to be, as you said, fiercely independent. Being independent is wonderful yet to this day I have never been able to have a "normal" relationship with a man.

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