Saturday, November 10, 2012
All But Forgotten
In the 25 years that I've been solo, I've probably spent 90 percent of my holidays alone ~ meaning on my own on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.
To a large extent I've gotten used to it. But I've noticed that as I've aged, it has been getting more difficult. It's the "not being an integral part of a circle of family or friends" that has become so painful for me. This is hard for me to admit, but it has become obvious to me that my presence is simply not sought out by anyone, not even people I consider my closest friends right here where I live. If I want to be someplace for the holidays, I have to invite myself.
Years of petitioning to be included in groups or activities -- and not just for the holidays -- have left me virtually unable to do so any longer. The pain of not belonging is so great and so deep. I hate being the third wheel. I hate being an add-on. I hate that I'm not thought of as someone to include in others' festivities. This is such a replay of my being cast out as "other" by my family that it is immensely depressing. Not only was I ostracized from my family, I was replaced in my mother's limited affection and positive regard by my step sister. I became the step sister, the interloper, the one on the other side of the window looking in, the one who never got one iota of financial or emotional support, the one who's needs and concerns were never considered, let alone met or addressed.
I've never really fit in anywhere, with any group of people. I've always felt like a stranger. I am not someone that people think of to invite or ask to be a part of. You have no idea how sad this makes me feel. And believe me, I have devoted extensive time, energy, creativity and personal resources on countless individuals and groups over the years where there was some possibility of connection between me and them. If seeming bonds did develop, they subsequently weren't real and deep and didn't last; mostly, though, it just never happened at all, despite my effort and good will.
While it is true that each of us dies alone, I never in my life thought I would end up spending nine tenths of my life completely alone, on my own, unaffiliated with family or a count-onable group of friends, with no support other than what I've been able to scrape together to meet my basic needs in life, with no help through life's most difficult moments, all of which I have negotiated on my own. With essentially no one to depend on for much of anything except occasionally listening, when reality has become too much for me to bear.
It's like life forgot about me.