I Know It’s Not Just Me ……

…… nor is it just widowed people …… but I hate feeling so very alone in a room full of people.

(Warning: This will be a pity party of one. Proceed at your own risk.)

I hate feeling on the outskirts. I should be used to that feeling because it’s mostly how I’ve felt over the past four or so decades.
While I loved school, most of the time, I never quite felt a full part of any group. There were times I’d feel included, but not consistently. College was much better. I had a group of friends who loved and accepted me. They still do. I feel so blessed when I’m with them.

It would be nice to say that, as I got older I felt more included, but that would be a lie.
I remember watching all of the other PTA moms grouping together before and after school, making plans and knowing that, although I, too, was a PTA mom, I would not be included.

It was the same at churches, Bible studies, book clubs, boards, etc.
Not always, but mostly.

I think that part of the problem is that I am an introvert who can appear to be an extrovert. I blame the theatre. 😊
I’ve always tried to be very involved in the communities where I live, so that I could meet and hopefully connect with people.  Sometimes that would happen, but most of the time I couldn’t/can’t seem to break through the friendship boundaries that already exist.

And then there’s this:  When you’re involved in a lot of areas, people tend to assume that you have a lot of friends from ALL of those areas and so you’re probably too busy for more.

That became hugely apparent in the months after Jim died.

Loneliness can feel like it will crush you to death.

The one place in all the world where I knew beyond a doubt that I belonged, was next to Jim.
T. A. N. W. to describe the missing of that.
The missing of him.

I know that I am liked. I know that I am loved. I know that I am blessed.

I hope to one day feel securely right smack in the middle of a group, rather than on the outskirts, watching.

And maybe someday, if I am blessed beyond belief again, I’ll find myself next to someone who loves and accepts me and makes me feel that I belong 100% with him.


2 thoughts on “I Know It’s Not Just Me ……

  1. Cynthia Horacek

    Janine, I know exactly how you feel! I have always felt that way, also. I’m actually surprised when I find that people really do like me! I was the social one between Don and me; he just wasn’t into socializing; he would, for me, but he was content to just be home with the two of us. I learned to network when I was a therapist, and made friends; but it wasn’t like friends from forever. I don’t have a “best friend” from school; I have made some very good friends though my life, but when I’m in a group – and yes, the PTA, even when I volunteered to chair committees, etc., I never quite fit in. When my kids were in school, there were those moms who, honestly, thought they were still the prom queens and cheerleaders from high school, and the saddest part of that was that my kids were sometimes excluded because I wasn’t “best friends” with their mothers. That sucked. That was when I had to really stand up for them. But anyway, this is YOUR story; and thank you for sharing. I think you are such an amazing woman; you are an inspiration to me, and I’m sure, others. And like you, I know I am liked, I know I am loved, I know have I been blessed – just having Don love me was a blessing.

  2. Amy

    Same! That’s how Jake would say it anyway. Oddly comforting that I’m not alone it that awkward loneliness. Mostly I feel like-able, but for some reason unapproachable. Last week I did one of those Facebook personality quizzes and even that described me as “a little different”. I don’t ever feel like I quite fit in and now add to that “that’s the mom who lost her son, ” to make it even more awkward. It’s hard to be strong and vulnerable all at the same time.
    Same, Janine! Love you 😘


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