Odd Girl Out

I never felt like I belonged to my family. I lived their dynamic hovering on the outside looking in. Mom and sister always seemed to have secrets between them that I never seemed good enough to know. I didn’t feel included or chosen. I was often told to go away, things were none of my business that I was just a kid.

Years of abuse in a cult weren’t the only aspect of my childhood that would chart my future relationships. I would feel like an outsider in almost every part of my life. Even now I often feel the same way; either unnoticed, misunderstood or both. Highschool was often a filmy dissociation. I hover in most of my memories, seeing my life from a third perspective view.

Living on the edge of cloudy hazes turns loneliness into a quiet craving to always be alone. Just as a prisoner becomes accustomed to their cell, I have become accustomed to solitude and absent intimacy. If I wish for anything, it is to be beautifully courted, slowly, with time, respect and patience where I am whisked into lands of surprises by eyes telling me that I am accepted and loved. i know, but a woman can wish.

I feel as if I am stepping over a milestone where I won’t be able to turn back. Aloneness will have settled in so deeply, I will make the outskirts my permanent home.

From around eight until I was a teenager, my mother, sister and brother all told me that my father wasn’t quite sure that I was his. I spent many a day examining my siblings’ features in comparison to mine. I was tall and lanky, while they were shorter and stockier. My lips were more plump. Hmmm.

I picked it all apart, adding to the story, which confirmed in my own head that I was in fact the product of my mother’s alleged affair. I even spent some years wondering how I could find my “real” dad until finally, in my adulthood, I posed the question openly. It was greeted with laughter by my siblings and mother. What a joke, they said. How could I believe something so silly?

How could I not? How could they tell a child their father wasn’t their real father? Since when did “I cheated and got you” become a joke?

At 38 years old, I finally got a chance to ask my father, if he ever doubted that I was his.

“Absolutely not.” He said firmly and without a second of hesitation. “I always knew you were special and undoubtedly mine.”

There was a slight quiver in his voice, and a pause filled with emotion. Pain. A man hurting. That’s what those three seconds told me. My whole body felt his loss.

My father had loved me, but I was ripped from him, then taken into a sick world where I would always be the ghost girl, drifting on walls, watching other people’s movie screens. I’d be the girl who grew into the shadow of a woman, still fragile beneath a shell.

I am a woman remotely viewing human lives, sitting on the outside. I watch lips mouth lies to one another. I see lovers gazing at each other. I tap my pen against my cheek. I am conditioned for being different.

It is sometimes a rabid duality, to both crave togetherness and aloneness, all in the same breath. Somewhere, someone understands the balance some of us need between together and alone. I only hope one day to meet them.

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10 comments

  1. Hi Vennie, you are both articulate and brave; I can’t imagine the depth of what your father felt, or the depth of your own journey – the journey on which you are still travelling – but your post comes in time after a retreat I help organize for men who “do not feel as if we belong.” It appears to be part of the human condition. I really appreciate your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rusty. It does seem to be prevalent in these times where we both feel at odds with the human body and the human existence. Thank you for your kind words. Yes, my father hurts my heart. He didn’t deserve to lose everything he lost; practically bankrupting himself to try and gain custody of us kids. The cult funded my mother, and it being the 70’s where there were very few father’s rights, she won and they kept him in court until they broke him financially. So he lost everything. I really value the connection I have with him now. It’s nice to have him in my life, to get to hear his truth and to know how much he fought. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very impressed with the way you describe your life and yourself. I understand the idea of this being therapeutic. I didn’t suffer the way you did, but I believe we all have degrees of healing that we should try to achieve. You are a light. Thanks for sharing your story and struggles. Your victories as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Wes. Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts. I definitely agree with you re: degrees of healing. Getting comments like yours keep me inspired to continue connecting with people and also working on my own inner growth. 💖🌼

      Like

  3. Vennie this glimpse into your life has left my breathless. You have suffered extreme trauma and have been emotionally manipulated throughout your youth. I can visualize how this suffering created the conditions within yourself necessary to bloom great insight that translates perfectly into amazing writing. It is inspiring to know that a child who never had a voice became a woman who expresses herself so beautifully through art and the written word. I am a better person for having read some of your work. You are gold refined by fire. A fellow RA survivor, @joypaulinesmith

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful description of my exact feelings as well. Some days I’m completely satsfied to just be on my own, and others my soul screams to know and understand intimacy with another. My children are my only true connection, and bless them for putting up with my oddities. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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