We were having lunch today when we learned that the youth group was having a halloween party tonight. It was the first we had heard of it. Now, this is probably my fault for not being plugged in, though I’m not sure where I would have gotten the information. Or maybe Aero was supposed to have been relaying this information to us. Anyway, the point is, we didn’t know about the party.
Aero made a comment that made me think he might want to go, which surprised me and also got me thinking about a few things. I wondered if parents typically dropped their kids off at things like this or if they stayed with them at the events. I wondered if going to these events would help us to integrate and start to make more friends.
And then the anxiety set in.
It isn’t just that I have anxiety about who I will talk to or what I will do while I’m there, but I also have anxiety that the other people at the party just don’t want me to be there. Somehow in my mind I am convinced that I am unliked and unwanted. I feel like if I show up at an event that I will be an unwelcome guest. Like, somehow, I’m encroaching upon someone else’s territory and I better stay outside the boundary – where I belong.
How crazy is that?
Believe me, I know it’s crazy. Yet, it’s how I feel down to my core.
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with thinking that other people don’t like me. I tend to assume that they don’t until I know that to not be the case. I’ve tried to talk myself out of feeling this way, but the truth is I just don’t know how. There’s just something deep within me that won’t let me believe that I belong. I always feel like an outsider.
Maybe it’s a product of moving in and out of so many places over the last two decades of my life. I never quite felt like I belonged anywhere I went, well, except Florida. But now, this is supposed to be our forever home, but something just doesn’t feel right about it. Something feels off. Worship ministry, ladies ministry, Bible class, Heartfelt, life group, work, family…I feel like I’m doing all the things, but not connecting, at least not in the way that I want to. I know these things take time…
I’m not sure what’s missing here. I’m not sure what’s off. I think maybe it’s me. I think I’m the thing that’s off. I can’t seem to relax at all when it comes to things of a social nature. I’m just anxious and uptight about it all the time. I just don’t feel comfortable. Maybe that’s what’s wrong and why we aren’t integrating the way we should be. Maybe I’m holding us back. Or maybe it shouldn’t be this hard. Maybe I’m trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and it’s never going to work. I just don’t know.
Normally, I would end here with something that I do know, some small piece of wisdom or something. But right now I don’t have anything. I’m just kind of at a loss as to how to move forward. How do I push past all the anxiety and awkwardness that consumes me in order to get to know people in this place? I just don’t know the answer.