To The Lonely- You Are Not Alone
Sitting on the carpet at my parents’ store, I remember the fibres poking through my school tights as I watched them work. I observed my family negotiate social situations and talk like pros. The subtle shifts in stance. The smiles. The tender tones. And the occasional expression that accompanied holding a tearful customers hand.
They had it all together. They knew what they were doing. But I felt just like the carpet I rested on. I was waiting to feel useful. I was ready for someone to look at me and say, that’s the one I want. It's perfect.
I desired that in friendships.
I desired that from teachers.
I desired that from someone.
I knew I had something inside me that was different.
I saw the world a little deeper than others that I came in to contact with. I processed life differently to my peers. I often didn’t understand them. I found that I understood the older generation better.
I could get on board with their work ethic. I always knew if I annoyed them or if they were happy with me. There was no social confusion with the outspoken and experienced adult.
People my age posed danger.
Rejection by those you deem friends within the blink of an eye.
I would often scale the wrapped carpets in my parents shop and it brought a sense of comfort.
The lack of distraction.
It all gave me a space to think. And the more time I thought, the more I realised that I didn’t fit in to my surroundings very well. Even when I would later find two girls who wouldn’t drop me if a better offer came along, I was the, ‘dumb friend.’ The weird friend. The girl who had no one else so they took responsibility for me because they were genuinely lovely people.
On that carpet I didn’t feel strong. I felt lonely. And my differences spoke to me. I didn't want them, but I knew I needed them.
Something deep within knew that I had something to give but in that period of my young life I didn’t feel like my uniqueness empowered me to help others. I didn’t believe that I was worth anything. And so at the tender age of nine I became a quintessential sad child, all because I felt so alone.
I was often misunderstood.
All because I didn't fit like the others.
Even when I had a core group of friends I would still feel lonely because I chose to act like them, talk like them, be like them as much as I could so they wouldn't leave me.
I got lost in the trying and the sadness took over my life.
I fought the anxiety of wondering if today was the day I would lose everything I had worked to build.
And that anxiety stuck.
So much so I still wrestle against it today, facing it with determination that i will succeed.
When my parents caught on to it I made it my mission to not make myself any ‘weirder,’ than I already was and a quickly developed a face –on, face-off strategy. I would turn on my humour and, ‘self-deprivation for laughs,’ kind of stand up for when others were around. But in my room I would feel the full weight of my fake life.
That’s when I learned to fight.
I mastered my stutter. I mastered my face on and I tried as much as possible to be around people. If I stayed around others I would always be switched on and so my, ‘face-off,’ phase wouldn’t have the opportunity to spend too much time with me.
So I fought bedtimes. And it is interesting, because while I have been reflecting on this last season, I noticed that I still do.
And that is what the, ‘Not Afraid,’ series is all about. It’s about sharing through some of my present challenges, not because I have answers. Not because I can fix or heal. But because I want someone, everyone out there to know that they are not alone.
Even in the loneliness.
Even in the fear.
Even in the doubt.
You are not alone.
I want to pray with you.
I hope you join me.
You know our struggles.
You know our sorrow.
And You know that we may not fully understand it.
But we remember the cross.
We remember the rejection You faced.
We remember people telling You that You didn’t fit in.
We remember what people put You through.
And so we know that You understand.
You hold our hands.
You watch over us even when we feel alone.
Help us to freely call on You.
Be our help.
Be our comforter.
Show us glimpses of the dreams for our lives.
Renew hope by showing us the ‘breadcrumbs of heaven.’
The times were we can gain wisdom and strength in acknowledging the successes and the learning factors from both the good and the bad.
Bad things don’t happen because we are bad.
Help us to remember that.
If you have been affected by this story I encourage you to seek support through a trusted individual or organisation.
Feel free to private message me on our Facebook page or on Instagram and while you are there you can give me a like or a follow for daily encouragements. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that i am not a licensed therapist or counselor. I share my stories to encourage hope.
You can also email me using firstname.lastname@example.org address.