Earlier today I posted on Facebook:
It started out intended to be a social experiment, about judging people when you only know a few things, rather than actually knowing a person. It ended up a lot of people were listing 5 things and I was answering. This exchange happened along the way:
I appreciate what (I think) he meant, but I don’t understand it “inside”. Thanks to several things in my youth, I lost (or never acquired) the ability to feel like I belonged somewhere. I have always felt alone. Not lonely, just alone. Like I’m tolerated while I am present, but not often sought out when I’m absent.
I liken it to someone born deaf or blind. They understand that others can hear or see, but have not experienced those sensations they don’t know “inside” what they are missing. It’s just not part of their life repertoire and they move on without it.
I have no doubt that at various times in my life others have valued me; I know this by their words and actions from time to time, but I’ve not ever FELT it. I hear it, I understand it, I appreciate it, but I don’t FEEL it.
Even with my kids — one of them I feel really okay being around, but I don’t feel welcome or comfortable around them.
So, what does it mean to really “belong”? I have no idea. And I probably never will.