I have been this turtle, all my life. I have never been good at fitting in. For most of my life, it didn’t bother me. I had a couple of good friends, or so I thought, in high school, but junior year we went our separate ways.
My junior/senior year was spent with Dean, got pregnant, married, had a baby, and started our little life before the year was out. But as for friends, girl friends, they were gone. Some had moved away, others were just not around because we were “school friends” but not really friends, and I had a falling out with my best friend my sophomore year.
Dean and I got our own place and we were happy in our little bubble of a life. I had connected with a couple people over the first 5 years of our marriage but for the most part I didn’t know I was “missing out” on friendships.
At this point in our life, we still hadn’t found a church. We also were not in a rush to find one. Dean was working and had been connecting with someone and he had invited us to the church he attended. We finally went and we thought we found the church for us. Shortly after we started going the church split and we went with the group that was branching off. We though we had found a good “church family” and tried to get connected as best as two introverts could. While going to church I kept hearing about all these friendships and how church family is so great and important to have. I got excited. Friends? It had been so long.
Over the past 6 years we have still called this place our home church, but sadly we still do not feel like we fit in. I won’t speak for Dean with this but I have felt like this turtle the last 6 years. It has been a heart breaking 6 years. I have tried to connect with people really any way I can. I have bent over backwards, changed my likes and dislikes to fit in, and volunteered when I was burnt out on life.
When I first saw this picture I broke down. For the first time I was able to put my pain and tears into words. I have just wanted to fit in and I have been pushed out everywhere I go. I’m tired of trying to fit in. I’m done. I’m done with one-sided friends, I’m done with fake friends, I’m done with trying to fit into a group of people that has very clearly not wanted me from the start.
This has been a painful but freeing revelation. Why? Why have I put myself through this heartache? I have let rejection rule over my for years. I have been in a state of friendship insanity. I try to fit in, I change to try to fit in, I don’t change to try and fit in, I change to fit in….end result, still don’t fit in. I m not wanted there and I’m becoming ok with this.
There have been a couple awesome women that look past the “grown up clinks” and have loved me for me, and I haven’t had to change! They invite me places, include me, and truly want to have a friendship with me. You ladies, you have no idea what your friendship means to me. Thank you! There have also been a few flickerings of maybe a friendship in the future and I’m still willing to work on those and maybe something will come of them. As for everyone else, I will not try anymore. I will give my “Sunday smile” and exchange pleasantries, but that’s as far I go. I’m done with feeling your rejections. I’m going to hang on to the ones I have and walk away from the rest. The light bulb finally came on. I will stop being your turtle.