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.

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16 thoughts on “On the Outside Looking In

  1. 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

    1. 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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  2. Yes, I have felt on the outside. Many times. I’ll spare you that details, but I think that stinks that the people sponsoring the walk couldn’t have thought this through better. They surely could raise more money if they would consider singles in addition to groups. And I understand about normal, too. Email on its way to you. 😉 Now you just slip on down the page to Be Good, push the play button, and let it soothe your soul tonight. I did. Love and hugs to you, DD!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just got your e-mail & replied, Maddie. & Be Good sounds like a fantasmic (yes I made up a wacky word) idea right now. I think I’ll do just that before I cap off a chapter & hit the pillow. It’s always a pleasure hearing from you. *big hugs*

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  3. I’ll be on your team, DDiW. We can be a team of 5–you, your son, me, and my 2 sons. 🙂
    Seriously, though, you always have a teammate here even if I can’t walk with you. I have felt like an outsider a lot in life, but I’m finally realizing that “we are all cells in God’s body.” We are all one. If I know this inside, then it doesn’t matter how others treat me outside. Hope that helps. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does, Kozo. It certainly does. 😀 I wish I could take you, your family, and all of my blogging buddies along. Sadly, many of us live at different corners of the world & considering the economy – it would be extremely difficult to get all of us together. I really do hope we could all have a gigantic someday, though. One can dream, right?
      *hugs*

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  4. I’m sorry to hear that you feel ostracized from such an important event. An event that is clearly close to home. It’s too bad that the event planners set up the walk-a-thon in this fashion–very exclusionary. I know it won’t offer you much solace, but I’ve often viewed myself as lone ranger as well. It’s a strange predicament because you so desperately want to part of something bigger. And yet, you don’t want to beg others to join you.

    In any case, I applaud you for being so transparent with this issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve said it before, Anka. You are a sweetheart. I have to admit it was hard. I told myself when I started this blog I wasn’t going to get “too personal”. However, after hearing of so many struggles & triumphs from everyone – I can’t help but share a little soul-baring myself sometimes.

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  5. I agree with what BusyMindThinking said. In the past I’ve been frustrated times when I’ve had things going on that were important to me and friends were too “busy” to come and support (like when I wrote the foreword to a client’s book and some friends said they’d be there at the first book signing and they didn’t show up — didn’t even call, which I think is very inconsiderate).

    But over the years you learn who you can count on, who you can’t and when it’s best to do something alone. At least I know I can always count on my husband and that’s a blessing.

    Being a loner is a bonus because it means you are truly unique and can fit in any situation, whereas others are lost without their protective cliques. I’ve come to realize that I’ll never have a BFF (I hate that phrase anyway), but I have the lunch friends, the church friends, the call on the phone and chat while drinking a glass of wine friends, the concert friends, the Christmas party friends, the once a year summer barbecue party friends … and so on and so on ….

    If you start to compartmentalize like that, you have more friends and support than you realize. Maybe not exactly when you want it or need it, but it is there.

    Hope this helps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t say that I’ve ever felt that way exactly; as we all own our own feelings. However, I can be really reserved in some situations and outgoing in others, so feeling lost in a crowded room I get; not being part of some of the parents “groups” I get. But, you are your own person and you want to participate…so what if it’s a group thing…do you think you’d be comfortable enough to go-it-alone, and while doing so, perhaps some of the other parents would notice and come say hi. I know I would say hi to someone if I saw them by themselves. Whatever your decision, I hope it works out for you, your heart is in the right place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your feedback, BusyMindThinking. While I very much would like to go at it alone – the foundation insists upon group entries only. Sucks, doesn’t it? Oh well, hopefully in the future there will be “loner-friendly” events. Haha
      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, though. It’s very much appreciated. 🙂

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        1. Hence my “Daily Daydream” for the day (You can find that in the footer/bottom section under all of my posts) “Don’t exclude, include instead.”
          I promise, I’m usually not so preachy. (Most of my readers will tell you this. I’m usually pretty light-hearted & artsy) This was just the proverbial thorn in my side today. I needed to pull it out, so to speak.
          *hugs* I’m going to go check out your blog now. You seem like a kind soul. 🙂

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Dream on, dreamer

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