Tag Archives: Belonging

A Place to Belong

When I saw this week’s Five-Minute Friday prompt on Saturday, I just had to participate. It is hard, because I usually take much longer to write my blog posts, so I kept delaying this post. Here is it. It’s a short one. The prompt is “Place”.

I have always longed for a place to belong. I don’t think I ever felt quite “at home” anywhere. I’m still getting used to that feeling now that I’m in fact home.

I mean, when I was first admitted to the mental hospital in 2007, I longed for a supported housing place to call my home, yet none could be found that suited me. My last psychologist at the institution said this was because I just wanted to remain institutionalized forever. There may be some truth to this, in that I fear independence and in some ways long to be taken care of.

However, another facotr is I feel out of place everywhere. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, so to speak.

I am trying to make myself at home now in our house, but I’m constantly worrying that this too will not last. Like, we might be moving to our own home someday withint he foreseeable future. I always said we’d buy the home we now live in from the housing corporation and
I’d still be living here in fifty years. I guess not. This is hard. I hate change and yet, I cannot settle anywhere.

Honesty

I have a confession to make. I often hide my real opinions in order to “fit in” with a community. Particularly my faith-based posts have been polished to suit a conservative Christian audience, even though I am not that conservative at all. Not that my faith-based posts are popular – they’re among my least popular posts -, so I don’t need to do this for readership either. I’m no longer going to polish my opinions to suit any particular audience.

With faith in particular, I believe it’s God’s job to judge people, not people’s. Just because Christianity is the largest religion in the world, and just because conservative Christians are the most vocal on the Internet, doesn’t mean they own the truth. God owns the truth.

Besides, God knows my heart. If He is going to condemn me for opposing corporal punishment or supporting LGBT rights, He’s going to condemn me more for being a coward and concealing my real opinions on my blog. I could use the fact that I did not fully understand the meaning of the English word “paddling” as an excuse for last Thursday’s post, but I won’t. I have always firmly opposed even spanking, and I’m not giving up my right to this opinion.

I know I have a tendency to try to fit my beliefs, and quite frankly any otehr part of my identity, into a particular mold, to use concrete, tangible terms to describe myself. This has led me to try to fit in with, for example, the Christian community. I have in fact been somewhat active on forums that explicitly prohibit “promoting” homosexuality. This is not only doing a disservice to the LGBT people I support and the LGBT community at large, but also doing a disservice to the real me.

I believe in God. I consider the Bible an important source of inspiration, but so do I other spiritual texts. People can think they are sure that the Christian faith, or their particular version of it, is the only rihgt way to God. I am too skeptical to be sure of this. Only God knows. And if people are going to kick me off their forums or out of their Facebook groups or going to prevent me from linking up with their linkies because of my particular beliefs, so be it. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad. I do have a deep longing to belong, to be approved and to gain recognition. I probably need to work on coping with this need. I need to stop wanting to be a real anything other than myself.

Cinderella with a Dozen Shoes

This week’s prompt from Mumturnedmom is “Cinderella”. Many people, especially housekeepers and parents, feel like a Cinderella at some time because of having to do all the work. However, I want to focus on another theme from the fairytale for my post: belonging.

Cinderella is a stepchild. She doesn’t fit in with her evil stpmom and stepsisters. Then, when she is turned into a wonderfully-looking princess and goes to the party wearing princess shoes, she finds the prince she does end up fitting in with. Note that, at first, Cinderella has to put on a mask to be accepted by the prince, but once he knows she is the one fitting the shoe she dropped, he accepts her as she is.

How does this relate to my life? Well, in many ways, I don’t fit in. I wrote about my minority statuses on Tuesday and, though I don’t want to overemphasize their impact, I can be sure they make me stand out from the crowd.

I also sometimes have to put on a mask to be able to fit in somewhere. When, however, it’s midnight and I drop one of my shoes on my way out of the ballroom, someone will ultimately find me with the missing shoe. i will ultimately fit in somewhere. For example, I fit in with the autistic community. I have to show a particular aspect of myself, the autistic part, to be accepted at first, but ultimately the autistic community accepts me as I am.

I however don’t just wear one pair of shoes – I wear a dozen. For each community I fit in with, I wear a different pair of shoes. Each fit me, but each are not my whole shoe collection.

Sometimes, I end up meeting someone who discovers I fit more than just one shoe they found. These are people who sometimes have more than one distinctive characteristic in common with me. For example, a few months ago I met someone I’d known from the blindness rehabilitation center again through Facebook. We discovered that not only do we have blindness and premature birth in common, but autism as well.

Other people will find the shoes I dropped and, though they don’t fit them themselves, will like me for fitting these shoes. These are people who, though they may not belong to my tribe in many ways, accept me as I am. This is similar to how the prince accepts Cinderella, who is clearly not glamorous, because she fits the shoe.

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