Discussion Other Parenting Writing

On the Outside Looking In

For as long as I can recall, I’ve always been somewhat on the outside. Don’t get me wrong, I was “popular” in high school. However, I never quite fit in anywhere. My social circles were nonexistent. Instead, they consisted of me hopping from group to group, always remaining on the outer layers. I was the same in childhood, often playing on my own and not caring to be included much in other’s activities.

I’m not whining nor complaining. In fact, I’ve always been quite proud of being a lone wolf. Although, today I was hit with an old feeling. One of being an outsider that produced a not-so-wonderful feeling. A familiar pinch stabbed my inner sensitivity that filled me with feelings of admonishment.

There’s going to be a charity walk of sorts in my area for a foundation that supports autistic children and their families. Anyone is free to participate. I first learned about this through my son’s school. When I received the flyer, I automatically felt the need to get involved. Even though my plate has been overflowing with my own writing projects lately – I wanted to make the time. So I tried my best to clear my schedule, and went on to the foundation’s website to do the proper research and enrolling.

What I found only sent a wave of sadness over me. It was a bunch of “teams” already set up and some instructions on how to set a “team” up. I wanted to cry. I’m not friends with many other parents at my son’s school. It would be a little awkward to start now. (I could just imagine the conversation. “Hey, I know we’ve never spoken before but, would you like to join me on my “team” for this weekend’s Autism Walk?”) The thought of it makes my spine quiver. I could almost foresee the judge-mental eyes/tone I would encounter. To top it off, the friends and relatives I have asked are all making excuses. I keep telling myself, it’s okay…but deep down, it’s not. I’m incredibly hurt by this. Maybe I’m being melodramatic. Somehow, I just really feel this was something I should participate in. Not just for me, but for those in my life that have autism.

Which brings me to the second half of this; my own family. We are pushed out of many of society’s little parenting groups because our son was diagnosed with borderline autism spectrum disorder. What that means to society is his autism is very mild and almost unnoticeable to an untrained eye. What that means to us is, he is not accepted as “normal” because he is not “normal” enough by society’s harsh standards. Nor are we accepted by some autistic communities because he is “not severe enough”. This sounds so terrible doesn’t it? Sad, (excuse my language) but it’s fucking true. That’s just how it is. See why I’ve said I hate the word “normal” in the past?

Anyway, I’m blabbering on at this point. I’m just curious to see if any of you have ever felt like this. Banished by others in a discriminatory fashion and whatnot.

Have any of you ever felt like you were “on the outside looking in”? If so, share your story here.

16 replies on “On the Outside Looking In”

I’m sure there must be others who don’t have a group, but having said that it’s a pretty silly way to set up an event like this. People should be able to participate regardless of being in a group or not (I’m certainly not a ‘group’ person and never have been – I must prefer doing things alone).

I had a lot problems when my oldest son was quite young. People wouldn’t invite us over (even family) because he was so hyperactive. My eldest sister was particularly hard and judgmental with him. It’s weird how things turn out because he’s now a fireman and very successful in life and my eldest sister has a grandson who is hyperactive and people are shunning her for it. The world and the way it turns can be a very karmic place indeed…

Liked by 1 person

That last line is so perfect, Dianne. This is a philosophy I live by. I do think my own little guy will be successful down the road too. He is extremely bright despite his challenges. He’s also very friendly.
It really does burn that they set it up this way. Although, the support from all of you is helping me move through it & eventually onward to bigger & better things. Someday, I may even set up my own event that doesn’t exclude anyone or have strict rules.

I’m very thankful for people like you, who stop by & share their thoughts & support. You make me feel not so alone after all. 🙂



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