I’m doing some reading and some remembering this morning. Thinking about the painful feeling of not belonging.

It’s something that has been so much part of my life I hardly acknowledged it, but there is something that is asking for recognition now.

It’s no coincidence it is at the time of lockdown lift and I have taken tentative forays out into the ‘real’ world. Away from the safety of my books, art and dog, I feel vulnerable and like an actor that hasn’t learned the lines.

People laugh loudly at things I don’t get, or think are offensive, they defer to bullies and red faced loudmouths, they loom into peoples spaces. It’s a laugh!

I go home bewildered with the part of me that seeks to keep me separate and safe, smug with evidence that people are too much and I am too weird.

There is a truth in it of course, but it’s not the whole truth. People are also funny, noble and fascinating and I am creative, kind and very sensitive. It’s like trying to be a good parent to the shy chubby kid that doesn’t want to go to the party. Weighing up how difficult it will be to go, versus the stigma and reinforcing of oddness if they stay away.

I’ve just started reading Toko-pa Turners book ‘Belonging’, she writes 

‘And keeping silent about our experience of estrangement is, in large part, what allows it to perpetuate.’

So, here I am. Not keeping silent. 

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