We watched a movie recently that reminded me about our experiences of being different and how stigmitizing that was. I will be writing more about that movie in the near future.
I wasn’t like others in my family of origin.
At times in my childhood, my skewed self-concept of my looks made me doubt that I was indeed related to any of my family members. So I didn’t think that I looked like any of them for much of my life, which made me feel different. I look a lot like many of them, but didn’t see that back then, because I had a distorted concept of myself back then. It’s obvious to me now, I look so much like my father’s side of the family.
They were so loud and I was so quiet. They were so gleefully cruel and I was so desiring to remain sweet and kind. They were so emotionally and verbally abusive and I never wanted to be treated like that, so I knew that I never wanted to be that way. They were so rejecting and scapegoating of me. The pain of that was excruciating. I never wanted to do that to another person.
Many of the things that I loved, none of my family members loved or valued. None of them were interested in classical music or opera or theater. None of them were interested in jazz or blues or ballet. None of them were interested in medicine and science. None of them wanted to be a polar explorer, I admit that was, at one time in my childhood, what I wanted to be when I grew up. None of them were interested in anthropology or psychology. There were so many things that I loved and that they loved that were different and that only made me feel different and the ways that they treated me made me feel unloved, devalued, and weird because of who I was and what I loved.
I loved reading. I loved learning. I loved critical thinking. I loved wisdom. I was really born into the wrong family for all of that. Still I was happy to go my own way rather than submitting to their demands that I conform. I’ve never been very good at conforming to what they thought I should be.
I was lucky that there were some things that we had in common. I really liked that. I liked going to movies or watching movies with family. I liked being able to watch science fiction shows and movies with others in my family. Though the level of engagement and enjoyment were perhaps very different, as I started to understand when I became a teenager. The gap became bigger, a chasm really and that was okay with me, I knew more and more what I loved and that I had a right to my own enjoyment, though it hurt too to feel purposely misunderstood and different and odd, thanks to the ways I was treated and the things said to me.
I wasn’t like others in my family of origin. That was a good thing.