The other day, I was in this big funk at work.
Not because of anything, really.
It all came down to the fact that I wasn't getting invited to eat lunch with some of the others who take lunch at the same time. I was feeling very left out, and it hurt. I sat there, in the kitchen/lunch room, which overlooks the picnic tables outside, and I watched as six or more staff sat out there, enjoying each other's company. And here I sat, alone. It's almost as if I was playing out a sort of self-torture, a sado-masochistic ritual.
Now, I know I'm a grown-up (well, I think I am), and I know it probably just looked that way, but I couldn't help feeling the way I felt, and the pain it caused. And all because a couple of people (one of them the person who is training me) are too rude or self-centred to think about anyone but themselves.
And then I wonder why some people just seem to fit in effortlessly, get invited into all the group events, are part of the "crowd", and everything just seems so damn peachy keen for them. And why can't I ever be one of them?I get it. It's not about me. I know. But we all know where these things come from, these feelings of ostracism, of being an outcast. I have never felt like I belonged. Anywhere. With anyone. For instance, it took me many years, and many therapy sessions, to accept that Mr. Handsome was my friend and not my enemy, out to get me. Belonging is a deep human need, I suppose. We all feel it, need it. But I've never quite been able to deal with it in a positive way, and go with the flow. Instead, I put a negative spin on it very quickly, instead of allowing it to grow and see how things play out. To know me, you would never say I am a glass-is-half-empty kind of gal, but in some ways, I very much am.
I blame it on my childhood. And that's not something you can just change. What's done is done.
Because when I sit down and really think about it, it always seems to come back to that. To the fact that I was very much alone for much of my childhood. I was not like most of the other kids, neither in looks or intellect. I kept very much to myself, was painfully shy and private, and was going through a personal hell at home most kids my age wouldn't have understood. Instead of providing comfort, they pointed at me and laughed, as children do.
Of course, I also didn't have any support at home. My mother wasn't available emotionally or physically, and was physically and mentally abusive toward my older brother and me, and my dad worked and just didn't deal much with silly children's issues. I was on my own. And I dealt with it in the only way I knew how: by clamming up, getting very sad, keeping it all inside, and ultimately blaming myself.
So, when all this happened last week at the office, I called Mr. Handsome and told him, on the verge of tears. I felt so alone.
And Mr. Handsome, as he always does, put me back on the right path, by reminding me that I was an adult and needed to deal with it as an adult.
"So, invite yourself along," he said. "Or, better yet, ask someone to go to lunch with you."
It was that simple. For him. For many people.
And although it is that simple, it also isn't. Because when you grow up feeling unloved, and different, you tend to put up very strong and solid barriers that do not come down easily, no matter how hard you kick and punch. Tendrils of memories keep reaching out from the past to quickly tweak you and remind you to be careful, to not trust. To remind you that no one likes you, so keep your distance before you get hurt.
I'm over it now (sort of). It was a rough couple of days. Couple that with some challenging hours on the phone dealing with irate people, and a uterus that won't stop revolting, and you start to see where I was coming from.
It also reminded me of the amazingly strong and perpetual imprint our childhoods make on us, and often unknowingly. Scary thought.
Reminds me to hug my kids a little more, and tell them one more time that I love them.