My Quest to Fit In

I started seeing a private social worker 2 weeks ago. I am enjoying the sessions as she values past experiences and how they play a role in our present. I have not experienced this before despite how obvious it feels to me.

We were talking last week about my first memories, my family, the church that I left and my friends growing up. She pointed out to me that majority of my younger years were spent trying to find out where I fit and going to desperate measures to ensure that I fit in or cope with not being able to do so. I knew all of this about myself but for whatever never noticed the pattern.

Family: My sisters stuck with activities (sports, gymnastics, dance) but I never stuck with anything. People were always asking me if I was the “lacrosse player” or “the dancer”. I could only reply, “No, I’m Kristen.” And to myself say, “I’m the daughter that does drugs, drinks, has sex and tries to die.” Who wants to brag about that daughter? I did feel there was favouritism, I was jealous. My response to this was to get angry and stay away from my family. As I grew older this all changed. I do not believe any of this was done on purpose by my family. I love my family and they love me. I am known as the activist in my family and I proudly wear that title!

Church: I didn’t behave like a regular Mormon girl. I didn’t look or talk like one either. I questioned everything, noticed that sexism and other issues in how we were being taught. I dressed to hide myself at church (wearing black, a big hoodie). My friend’s mom frequently shot me dirty looks when she saw him with me. I was also experiencing all of the depression and so angry that God would make me go through this. How my depression was manifesting was pushing me away from church as I saw it was not the right place for me. I also disagreed with the churches stance of same-sex marriage/relationships, abortion, sex before marriage etc. I coped with this by not going to church. Church is not for me. If there is one thing I did take away from the Mormon church it’s the importance of family. I can also spot a Mormon Missionary before I see their name tag 😛

Friends: This was the worst. When you are young, you are already trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in. Adding my issues on top of that made it very difficult. My friends frequently stopped hanging out with me or talking to me. If they didn’t cut me out then they were threatening too. “If you don’t stop cutting I can’t be your friends anymore.” It was so stressful. I coped by doing what I thought was cool or what was cool, always making sure I was one-upping everyone. It was very destructive. I think this may be why the majority of my closest friends also have mental health issues. I accept them and they accept me.

All of these categories have improved or been dealt with. I still find myself trying to find where I fit in. This is probably why I fear rejection, why I am hard on myself when I can do something for someone, why I act different ways in public, just why I am currently me. I feel like I don’t fit in, yet, I have many examples of finding these places and people for myself. I need to realize I can stop searching and that it is now time to enjoy myself.

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12 thoughts on “My Quest to Fit In

  1. There’s a quote, I can’t remember who said it, but you made me think of it. It says, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

    I get where you’re coming from, but at the same time, I definitely feel like you were born to stand out. And while that can be a hard road, it’s also one to be very proud of. 😉

    • Dr. Seuss 🙂 I had a feeling someone was going to bring up that quote 😛 I agree with you! I just want to make sure that my “standing out” doesn’t leave me alone. And it’s not but it’s my fear.

      Thanks for commenting xoxo

  2. Interesting post, Kristen. I’m in my fifties, and still don’t feel as if I “fit in” anywhere. But I’m okay with that because I’m comfortable being myself, and have the love and support of family. My guess is more people than we think feel this way.

    • I have a feeling everyone feels this way and that it’s never ending but that doesn’t mean it needs to be bad. I’m glad you have your family! That’s what they’re there for!

  3. I have had some very similar expereinces…. I have an amazing therapist now- who thinks everything people struggle with as adults mainly stems from the trauma we grew up with…

    It has been an amazing place to break down my shame and guilt…. She is incredible. She often describes that borderline and ptsd are the same thing…. that borderline is more of a symptom of ptsd than it’s own classification. I struggled with the diagnosis for years- feeling broken and bad…

    She told me about an amazing authour “Alice Miller” who writes specifically about the links of childhood abuse and neglect as well as the pain it causes in adulthood when we believe that we need to hide those feelings and experiences….

    Figured I’d share with you my fave called “The body doesn’t lie”….

    I ❤ your blog, btw!

    "It is no measure of good health, to be well adjusted to a sick society" -Andrea Gibson

    • I will check out Alice Miller! I’m always looking for books that can help me understand myself a little bit better! I recently read “Boundaries” by Anne Katherine. Really opened up my eyes as to why I struggle with boundaries.

      I have read some books that talk about how BPD is probably unresolved trauma. I feel like that makes sense. For more check out “Borderline Personality Disorder: New Perspectives on a Stigmatizing and Overused Diagnosis”.

      Is “The Body Doesn’t Lie” by Vicky Vlachonis?

      Thank you for your comment and support 🙂

      • Sorry, correction: The body never lies…. Alice Miller.

        I really loved reading Boundaries…. It was really eye opening for my own personal insight as well….

        I will look into the BPD book- I am always looking into breaking the stigma around BPD by better understanding it.

  4. @ ruby, love this!!! so fitting. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”. for all of us, it is a work in progress . . . enjoy the adventure!

  5. although i am not Mormon, I had a teenage years very much like how you describe, but i was an only, so i was the focus of all the negatives…which is why i did them, to cope. being out of that situation, independent and on my own has helped me gain perspective. i now know i did bad things because i thought i was a bad person (thanks, ma), and because i wanted attention and to be ‘cool’ and on my own.

    i am glad you have now, as have i, found your place.

  6. Good post. I’m not sure it gets any easier, we just respond differently as we gain a greater understanding of ourselves and our condition. Thanks

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