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August 17, 2010

I Did Not Belong There

Sitting in a circle
Couples Class at church
Weekly meetings and workbooks

Such nice clean cut couples
Open and sharing their stories
All smiles and happiness

Their childhoods were perfect
Better than the Cleavers
Middle class Americans

As their stories were told
It became more uncomfortable
I did not belong there

The blush rose up my neck
Embarrassment and shame
I did not belong there

I told them I was sorry
They just would not understand
I did not belong there

There were two choices for me
Make up stories of a sweet childhood
Or discontinue church and classes

Honesty is necessary for me
I felt I had no other choice
I did not return there

To be an alien in unfamiliar land
Sweetness and light so unknown
Born to addiction and depression

It hurt to know I did belong there

53 comments:

Bernie said...

Oh sweetie, this is beautiful yet so sad.....to feel outside of the circle, to not feel connected can be very painful.....in a way it is like being rejected. I am sure these beautiful couples would of welcomed you, their stories were different than yours but they were there to support each other no matter the story. We are all one, all children of God and you are a beautiful lady.....:-)Hugs

Real Me said...

I know that feeling. But, if they are considerate and loving they will not judge but hug you. But, for that to happen, you need to take a chance. Everyone has had a bitter experience in life. The intensity is subjective.

anne h said...

Do Not Return to there....
Good advice.
Bittersweet!

Brian Miller said...

i probably would not as well...it is a shame that some of the greatest liars come from the church...because its a sin to doubt, to have a bad day...sad...

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OH! But I think the group would have been better because of you being there :)

Penny said...

I agree with Gary. Because some of those people were being dishonest. No way did they all have childhoods of sweetness and light - very few people do. And they might have been a little more honest with themselves, some of them, if you were there, and you would have all gained something.

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Bernie, thank you for your kind words. Perhaps I could have tried harder.

Real Me, Hey buddy, I really did think I tried. I froze up.

anne, Never went back.

Brian, I have to say that in the first couple classes I did join in a bit but I did not get the feeling that I was welcome.

Hi Gary you master potter you!
I just did not have the inner strength back then. Thanks for the nice words though.

TechnoBabe said...

Penny, Hard to say how it would have been but I was too uncomfortable to go back.

Betty said...

I´m sorry you felt that way. But sometimes it just doesn´t "click" in a group. I know this feeling too, and think you should try a different group.
There are many good things about a group bible study.

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

.... if it hurts, leave.

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Betty, There were just too many things causing distress at that time. I know you are in a great church and feel like family there and I am really glad for you.

Shadowthorne, Yep, I did.

DJan said...

We all have had these experiences, TB. I think it's very adult of you to realize it and not try to fit into a place you didn't belong. I have been to a place that felt like that to me, but they didn't act as if they cared if I stayed or left, so I left. And I'm a joiner!

Lori said...

I know exactly how you felt. I would have left too. Actually I did leave when I experienced something very similar to this when I first became a believer. I now know that there is no way that every single one of the people in my circle had a spotless life. I found out differently and found it all to be just an act...so phoney.

Some years later I found myself in another church, now as a leader of the youth...at first it was fine until the head people wanted me to act like the people in your circle. They wanted to put fancy clothes on me and make me into a phoney like them. They wanted me to pretend that my past was not my past. That is when I took my exit.

Sorry you had to go through this. XX

willow said...

Been there. Done that. You describe the feeling perfectly.

Jeanie said...

It sounds like it wasn't the right place for you at that time. Sometimes timing makes all the difference. There is wisdom in knowing when something just isn't right for you

TechnoBabe said...

Hi DJan, For me it was strictly that I was flabbergasted that each person in this large group had such wonderful childhoods and I was so overwhelmed with their stories that to me were fantasies.

Yes, Lori, we each need to be true to who we really are and where we are at in our own growth.

Willow, I am finding there are so many like me and I don't feel like a freak or alone.

Jeanie, You are a great woman. I like your open mind and your gentle nature.

Barb said...

I see from your profile that you are a survivor. You DO belong, just keep telling yourself that. (If not at that particular place, then another better for your psyche.) Your writing shows me that you belong in some creative place!

Kristina P. said...

I suspect they don't either and are making up stories themselves. I have found very few people who have perfect childhoods.

TALON said...

I can totally understand your decision, TechnoBabe. I couldn't help wondering how many of those people were being completely open and honest, though. I don't know anyone who's had a Leave It To Beaver childhood. Some people block out the unhappy moments until they are buried so deep they seem to no longer exist. But I hope you know that your experiences don't make you less, they make you more.

Nezzy said...

Don't bet the farm on it girlfriend. We as Christians can put on the airs as good as anyone else. Seems like everyone wears their 'perfect' faces to church. I was once in a testimony service where a woman stood up and poured her heart out. She was codependent on an abusive husband who had just divorced her. She ended with, "of course everyone here has perfect lives." At that moment I thought...shame on us. I took this lady under my wing and let her know not a one of us has perfect lives. As I tell my kids church, no one is perfect..if we were we would be God, and heaven knows we are not!!!!

My heart hurts that you felt you did not belong and felt rejected. It's the last thing Jesus would want for you. I have found as a Christian when I share the 'stuff' I've been through others tend to open up too. I'm so sorry your heart was hurt.

God bless you sweetie and have a good day! Just know God loves you, just the way you are. :o)

R. J. said...

Great story of selective memories because they only told the good stuff. Been there, done that and I learned that they are in denial and play a hard game of "can you top that?" I firmly believe we all have one thing in common--imperfection. I lose respect for philosophies that deny human reality. I applaud your courage and honesty.

deb said...

I agree that the timing was vital.
and that you still took something away from it really.

and I have felt like an outsider
it gets easier, and harder depends on the situation.
I remember when I had my first baby and we lived in suburbia and had absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversations of the library and pool moms. Not too mention I was out of my league financially.
I learned to bring a book along ...

still now it' s hard in the land of grandparents attending school functions, soccer games etc and I don't know whether to tell people that I'm estranged from my mom, or wait til they ask or just be silent. I do find that when I share a little... so do others. I seem to attract people's stories and secrets because maybe we all need to feel that we are broken people trying to do our best.

Maggie said...

I would have probably left too cause I don't like to share many things about me. People say I am cold sometimes. I just don't trust just anyone! It's better to leave than to lie.

The Urban Cowboy said...

I think there was more 'painting' going on by the others. Nobody has a perfect life...I wouldn't attend where I 'feel' uncomfortable either. There is always a circle that is more suited to our individual. Myself...I would have had a grand time making up some out of this world story, just for the apparent story tellers. ;)

Cheryl said...

I too know this feeling...and I always turn away and run. But you are so brave to share with us...

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

That is so sad you did not feel as though you could tell your story. Since you obviously survived it and it made you stronger, it is a more important story to tell than those of the Cleavers.

TechnoBabe said...

Barb, Thanks for your encouragement.

Kristina P, I admire the work you do and I listen to your words.

Hi Talon, I like the way you say it, a good way to look at it. Thanks.

Nezzy, I wish I had know you when I did go to church.

R.J., this post is going from my honest heart pouring of feeling out of the in circle to me hearing so many say that probably the perfect childhood stories I heard were not as perfect as they described.

deb, good way to say it "we are broken people trying to do our best."

Hi Maggie, trust has been a long time coming for me too. I am only now opening up and I thing my healing and ability to grow as a person has been hard work but so worth it.

Urban Cowboy, I was just so stung and amazed at the revelation that I was so darn different which in my unhealthy mind meant unworthy.

Cheryl, thank you for the comment and I know you know the feeling of turning and running. We don't run any more though do we?

Mama Zen said...

I totally understand the feeling. I wish that I knew what to do about it.

Maggie May said...

That was a sad poem and I think those couples should have been more understanding about just how empty they made you feel. Maybe you should have told them.......
It is always difficult if you feel on the outside but you definitely don't need to feel that you just belong to the past.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Momma Fargo said...

Very powerful and sad. Beautiful writing.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Anyone who claims that their relationship is "Better than the Cleavers" is probably lying; either to themselves or others.

Ed Pilolla said...

okay, forgive me if i'm off with this, but this really hits home for me. our situations are different, but this is what i got out of it.

i feel the same way, as i struggle with addiction. i feel left out. it's so easy to forget that others struggle with addiction too. i only realize later that i fit in everywhere as others are quietly hiding their darksides, too. i love hearing from recovering addicts, and my first instinct is that i'm not allowed to speak in some circles becuz i am an active addict. but that's b.s., i have to remind myself. i am allowed to speak anywhere.

again, our situations aren't parallel, but this nailed me.

Sarah said...

Awwww hon..I so understand this! Am emailing you hon! Hugs, Sarah

KleinsteMotte said...

Ah.. if only there was a way to get people to tolerate what they fear. You had every right to share your path.They failed to be compassionate.

Unknown Mami said...

They would have benefitted from your presence.

Jillsy said...

they just made it appear that way. nothing's perfect.

Casey Freeland said...

Can't help but wonder who else in the circle was making up stories. My guess is most. But you were the one whose truth to yourself was more important than fitting in with the crew, getting the comfort of masses.

Cheers,

Casey

Cinner said...

You know I think you did the right thing. it is hard to do but if you are not feeling it, I understand. I think everyone have things in their past, and this picture perfect does not exist at least in my world. We can all try, I know I would fit in with your group, and that makes me happy, as someone said the group would have been better for having you there. hugs.

gayle said...

I know how you feel! Lots of times I feel like I don't belong!

TechnoBabe said...

Mama Zen, Thank for your understanding.

Maggie May, I was in shock and too sad to be honest with the group. I am in a much better place today though.

Momma Fargo, Thanks for you kind comment.

Robert, I too believe that now, I just did not have enough sense of my self then.

Ed, I am sorry you struggle.

Sarah, thanks for your email.

KleinsteMotte, The failure was on both sides I think.

Unknown Mami, they would now but I don't know about back then.

Jillsy, it just sounded so perfect compared to my childhood.

Casey, all I knew was my own truth and taking care of me.

Cinner I think it was the right thing too.

gayle, we can have a club of belongers.

blueviolet said...

I think you deserved to be there just as much as they did! Nobody's life is more deserving than anybody else's!

Ina in Alaska said...

You did belong there - I am sure all was not sweetness and light for that group. You would fit in anywhere because you own your truth. xoxo

Big Dave T said...

Kinda reminds me of the "couples class" we attended before getting married. You would have done better at our class. Nobody had squeaky clean lives, not even the couple that facilitated the class.

beth said...

you belong here....and how lucky are we that you do.

Syd said...

But there are places where you do belong. And no one would blink an eye. I have found that being around those in the "normal" world who haven't known alcoholism, means that I have to sanitize things. I don't want to do that. So I go where I can identify.

Kazzy said...

I am so sorry you felt that way. SOmeone like you could really teach these people about tolerance and understanding.

secret agent woman said...

I wouldnt' fit into the happy childhood group, wither, but maybe it wold have been an enriching thing for them to have your perspective.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh Techno, That is so sad, especially at a place of worship where we should all feel safe.

And just for the record--- YOu belong here and are welcomed with open arms.

xo jj

Shrinky said...

You DID belong there, you had nothing to be ashamed of. Mind, I have never been much of a "churchy" type person myself, either.

If anyone should hold their head up high, it is you, sweet lady.

Cricket said...

I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Matthew 25:35

Maybe those folks missed that one? Sorry for your experience

The Absence of Alternatives said...

{{{hugs}}}

I have no wise words to say. And you are wiser than I am anyway. I just want to tell you I feel for you, and I wish I were there to give you a hug and to hold your hand.

Gappy said...

I'm so sorry you felt like that - I know that feeling well myself.

Your poetry is absolutely stunning Technobabe. Ever thought about making a book of poems?

Marla said...

This is what bothers ma about us sometimes....we pretend to be so perfect that it keeps the others out. The truth is, we are all the others when we are honest.

Excellent Techno!