The life and times of TAOTBB…

I sometimes wonder if I was supposed to be born in a different time/location/family…

I’m really not sure how it would work but feeling like an outsider/freak/oddball is not fun at all.  When you try so very hard to look and act like others but fail, it makes a person feel completely out of sync with the rest of the world.

One more way I am different from certain coworkers:

I find it insane to spend $300 for a Power Wheels for a three year old…that isn’t even your son.  Of course, I was immediately told that I can’t love kids.  I do love kids, but I think it is ridiculous to spend that sort of money on a toy that can get broken tomorrow and does nothing for the kid.  Now, you start talking computers and I’m there.  The whole learning system idea…I can get behind spending serious money on that!

For the past few days I have felt like I just didn’t belong.  No one is making me feel this way on purpose.  I think the way I think is so different than many of the people around me that they have no concept of what I think, how I think it, or (more interestingly) why I think it.  And I am often unable to articulate my thoughts, let alone the whys and wherefores.  As is most often the case, I feel this most strongly while I am at work.  I have little in common with my coworkers.  I feel like these differences are glaringly apparent in bright neon, even knowing that the majority of them don’t even think about it.  And, to be honest, I don’t care what these people think.

But the feeling of dislocation continues because my feelings and thoughts are so different from theirs.  As for that, I often feel this way regardless of location or people I am around.  I can remember feeling this way even as a child.  One of my earliest memories is having a birthday party with a really pretty cake.  My parents and brothers were with me, but my memory tells me there were supposed to be others there.  Even if we take that as me manufacturing the memory of other people being invited, I remember as a child being given an invitation to someone’s birthday and being told, “Here.  My Mom said I had to give one to everyone in the class.”  My outsider-hood was firmly established when I was young.  Both of my brothers were incredibly popular, but I never was.  I could never talk/dress/play the way others did.

When I start to feel like an outsider, I start worrying about how others see me…and how I see them…and why am I thinking this?…and what is wrong with me that I think this way?  All of which just makes me feel even more like an outsider.  It also becomes a fairly ugly little spiral making me feel more and more like I don’t belong.  I am lucky that I do have friends that make feel accepted.  I belong with them in ways that I have never belonged with anyone before.

To be clear, now that I am an adult, I am much more comfortable with my family.  And that which made me feel like an outsider when I was younger mostly had to do with the one brother I have no contact with and parental neglect in ways that were not intuitively obvious.  As far as I know, my family had no idea at the time how isolated and friendless I truly felt.  Even when I did tell my Mom, I was unable to clarify my feelings in an intelligible way.  Additionally, she told me the same thing all parents were taught to say when your child complains about life being hard in elementary/middle/high school, “It will be better in middle/high school/college.”  It didn’t help in the least that after the bullies were done with me, I would beat myself up.

I wonder now whether the scientists have ever studied self-talk in those who have mental illness.  I wonder if a long-term study would show that children and adolescents that have the worst self-talk would be at higher chance of mental illness.  I also wonder if a retroactive study from adults with mental illness would show memories of the same frequency.  I know that some of my memories are not accurate.  Additionally, I have been told that it has been proven that negative memories have a stronger voice than positive ones.  So we often just do not remember the good stuff.  I certainly wish I remembered more of it.

Okay, this post has been all over the place, but I think it went mostly where I wanted it to go.  Do you feel like an outsider at times?  What makes you feel that way?  What do you do to make the feeling go away?

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~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on August 23, 2012.

10 Responses to “The life and times of TAOTBB…”

  1. You will probably think I am just trying to make you feel better by saying how much I can relate. I have always been an outsider. Always treated like I was weird. My parents acted oblivious. They didn’t want me to have normal friends. I always felt that if I spoke out in a group, that somehow my voice fell on deaf ears. People could catch everyone elses idea or point, but I could say something and no one would react. I really had problems with feeling like everyone thought I was just an alien or something. My ex husband told me it was because I didn’t explain myself well. So, I kept my mouth shut for years after that. I know it is frustrating when you just want to know what everyone is thinking about you. It gets so bad that it’s even harder to express yourself because you are so insecure because you know it’s a problem. Anyway, I can relate. I felt like I was “the Truman Show”. OH and I raised two kids who I love to pieces but I would never pay 300 dollars to buy anything for a kid, unless like you say, it was a PC or something useful. You are you and that is a great thing. The best thing is to not think too hard about what other peoples opinions might be. (((hugs)))

  2. Yes! I have always felt different, I guess the only reason for this is because I am. Now will one of you bastards take me to your leader! … joking aside yes I always have.

  3. I’m repeatedly overwhelmed by how perfectly you put things, every single time you post, and how much of my time spent reading is taken up by nodding and agreeing out loud. Even more often I am floored by the timing of your posts being so in-sync with how I’m feeling (or overthinking, in my case).

    I have nothing intelligible to add; just a whopping great “ditto” to everything you’ve said. But to answer your questions in a (hopefully) more useful way, yes, I feel like an outsider most – if not all – of the time, and have done as far back as I can remember. My reasoning, perhaps unsurprisingly (given the above splurge of resonance), is very similar to yours as to why it might be. I’ve always been aware that I think differently to others, and I’ve been told that I think more, and in greater depth, than is typical of people my age; I’ve always found it easier to get on with adults (or adult-brained people, as I prefer to say).

    I’ve thought long and hard (surprise surprise) about the origins of my Different Thinking Patterns, but have failed to reach a solid conclusion. It might be my Aspie Brain ticking away on its unfailingly logical path; it could simply be a result of experiencing a narrow and depressing sliver of human nature and forming (impetuous and probably biased) opinions; it could even just be my pessimistic voice taking control early on.

    I think I continue to feel out of place because, as an overthinker, I “think myself out of” my faith in humanity whenever I interact with others, in response to any obvious signs of naivety, (especially deliberate) ignorance, narrow-mindedness… and the list goes on. The thought that people simply haven’t thought deep enough or long enough to “rise above” certain opinions or behaviours saddens me to the point of self-inflicted isolation. (I realise how conceited I sound, typing this, but I’m notoriously intolerant of, erm, intellectual indolence? And so I make no apologies for potentially hypocritical point-making!) Swiftly moving on so as to avoid embarrassing myself further… 🙂

    I remain “dislocated”, as you aptly put it, for the most part. The few sources of comfort I have, which I cling to as best I can, involve making and keeping connections with people (or ideas or objects) that work against my preconceived judgements of humans and life in general, and that challenge me to keep thinking. With that, there is hope that I’ll eventually “think myself into” integration of some kind, even if acceptance is too much to hope for.

    Apologies for the wordiness, but this post almost proves my point – you’ve simultanously made me feel less alone and helped me rationalise out loud. Your blog is one of the Safe Places for my brain, and it helps my Outsidery Feelings go away every time I visit – so for that I thank you once again, and will at last shut up and give you some peace! 😉

    *Giant digital hugs* if you need them!

    -JC

  4. I can relate to the first few lines of your post when you talk about feeling like you were born in the wrong time or place. I honestly have moments where I slip into full-blown fantasies about living in the past and there is a tiny childish part of me that believes that time travel is a viable option…until I remind myself and then I feel deflated. Anyway, the negative self-talk is something I struggle with all the time. All I know to do is to counter the negative comment with a positive one. Or just try to avoid hellish situations like studying my cellulite. I have no good advice only delusional time-travel fantasies about going to the place where I belong.

  5. Just checking on you girl. I hope that things are working out well for you 😉

  6. just wanted to stop by. Have a great weekend sweety! 😉

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