What is Normal: Belonging

My counselor suggested that I revisit that 11 year old girl who went through a myriad of transitions at once and experienced a lot of pain as a result of her resistance to those changes. She asked what it is that girl, me, needed at that time. That 11 year old girl, I, was angry. Very angry. In many ways she’s still angry. She wanted belonging, validation, and respect. None of which she felt she truly received. But she blamed herself. I think deep inside she wanted to know that she was good enough and that nothing was inherently wrong with her.

The 11 year old girl came up with a lot of reasons why she wasn’t wrong and the rest of the world was the problem. And this was how she coped for years. I think my encounter with God was always humbling but confusing. When I no longer saw the world as being “the problem”, when I felt like I did everything “right”, I again began to question what was wrong with me. This is where I am now. This is what I feel, how I often feel. Like I don’t belong.

I’ve been trying to write myself a new story for years. I’ve been trying to create a new script. I do remember growing up feeling like I had to change who I am in order to fit in. I remember opting not to change, to remain true to myself, even if it meant feeling lonely. But that wasn’t always easy.

Many times my feelings of anger are aimed towards my family that I often felt only supported me so long as my changes weren’t too outside their own comfort zones for approval. My desires weren’t “bad”. Just not acceptable. I realize that even to this day it influences my life.

Most recently, I developed very strong feelings for a man who smokes marijuana. I like him more than any man I’ve met so far. We just click! But I kept destroying the connection because my mother would not approve of the fact that he smoked marijuana. I dumped him. In my heart I think I do regret it because the feelings I have for him are very real.

One of the things I did notice about myself during this time of reflection is that I actually know who I am and what I like and want. I’ve just been afraid to acknowledge it because I deemed many of my wants or feelings or thoughts to be unacceptable. My counselor suggested acknowledging how I feel without judgement. So here it is…

I want to be in control of my life

I want to be heard

I feel I’m a natural born leader

I would really like to reconnect with that guy

I feel myself to be strong, loving, supportive, insightful, intuitive, independent, pretty

I see myself happy

I see myself as an advocate for myself

I see myself growing in the direction of my dreams

I know where I truly belong…it might not be exactly where I am right now

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At Age 25

I’ve been gone for a while because I’ve been trying to come to terms with what I am again. It’s an ongoing process but I’m 26 years old and feel as though now is the time to come to terms with myself in this grand scheme. I quit my job in the NICU over an hour away and took a job closer to home working only PRN (as needed for my non-nurse readers) for a time to recover from my burnout and possible anxiety and depression. I vowed never to work in that institute again as it’s the only organization I’ve attempted to run from…twice. Slowly but surely I’ve been reconstructing my life, removing those things that make me unhappy and replacing them with peace and joy and love. With the encouragement of my boyfriend, I took a risk and bought myself a puppy. He’s a Shiba Inu puppy, the breed I’ve wanted since I was 19 years old. I adore him although I’m not sure how much he adores me. lol He’s very independent-minded and dominant. But I can tell that he has begun to warm up to me and it makes me so happy to come home and see him jumping, ears bent back, tail wagging and happy to see I’ve returned.

Currently, I’m broke. That’s not my dilemma though. My degree and the shortage of experienced nurses available makes it so that I can work pretty much anywhere. I’ve never had a problem getting hired. My dilemma is that lately, I haven’t wanted to work anywhere. In most instances, I haven’t really wanted to work at all. That’s a dilemma for me because I want to move out now. I’ve finally reached a point where the thought of living at home for even another two years has become unbearable. And it doesn’t stem from hate. In general, I care about my family. It’s just that I’ve come to accept that in many ways I’m different from them. Quite frankly, I just want my space. I just want complete control of my life.

So this is what I’ve been working with as of late. Figuring out how to move out and into my own space for my own development and happiness.