I am different. Yes, I know, we all are. I guess I should say I am VERY different from others. By “others”, I mean people my age. I don’t have a problem with it, though. It is just a fact.
But then, I’ve always been different. As a very young child, I lived more in my imaginary world than I did in the real world. I didn’t have any friends who lived nearby, and I grew up in a time before play dates and “Mommy and Me” outings. My two best friends were my imagination and my dog. I had friends in school, but no one I even remember well.
Fast forward: teen years. I suffered typical teenage angst, along with the shameful taste of molestation. I was rebellious; hell, that’s putting it mildly. I was sexually promiscuous and without limits. If there was a way to get high, I did it. I “tried on” various groups; you know, the jocks, the nerds, etc. as I searched for a way to be accepted. Truthfully, the only group who came close to feeling right was a group of misfit druggies. They weren’t the hip stoners I thought were so cool in their total disregard for authority, but just a motley crew of kids from bad homes, or kids who struggled in school and turned to drugs to make it hurt less. They were a sad lot, but they accepted me. But even then, they knew, and I knew, I didn’t fit in. For one thing, I was too smart. I could easily make A’s without trying, so I failed on purpose. Another problem was I came from a good home. By this time, my dad worked his way up and brought our little family out of hovering above poverty to solid middle class. I had both parents and a nice house in a good neighborhood.
Fast forward: meeting my husband. When I met my husband, I left behind my old group of friends and hung out with his friends. The sad thing is, none of my old friends missed me and I didn’t miss them. My new friends liked me and accepted me into the group. Well, the men did. I was still reckless and a tomboy, willing to try new things. I played ball, went fishing, rode motorcycles, and would do almost anything on a dare. The girls of the group took a while to like me and accept me, but they did eventually. My husband loved the wild side of me, but he ignored anything he didn’t like. The molestation? The gang rape? I told him about it and he pretended it didn’t happen. I mentioned it years later, and he seemed shocked. We all bury our heads in the sand, I suppose. Anyway, they accepted me, but I still felt different, like an outsider allowed to come inside for a bit.
So, you see, being different is no big deal to me. At this stage in my life, I am comfortable being me (most of the time). I no longer try to conform to what society or, even forbid, the neighbors. I have friends, but most of them are much younger than me. (Does that make me immature? Probably. Do I care if I am immature? Of course not…haven’t you been paying attention??) The only people I really spend time with are my two daughters and my husband.
It is at times like this, when I my heart is breaking, that I wish I had the type of friends who would come and get me to shake me out of my misery. When I suffer inside because of J’s bipolar/addictions, or when bad things happen in my life, I really have no one to turn to. Sometimes the price I pay for being different is steep.