We were in the car with my then 8 years old daughter. “Creep”, by Radiohead was playing. English being her third language, she asked me what “creep” meant. I told her that, in the song, it meant weirdo, misfit. There was a short blank and then she said “Mum, I’m sorry to tell you that but I think I’m a weirdo”. She told me she often felt like no one could understand her and that she didn’t really belong anywhere (she actually told us several times that she didn’t feel like she belonged to our family).
That was a flashback for me. I could remember exactly what it felt like because it had been my reality for about 20 years. I vividly remember middle school, when I felt like the world was going on without me, that nobody saw me. I had friends; I was even rather popular amongst my classmates, but nothing could take that feeling away. That was my daughter’s turn to feel like she was a total alien.
It was a relief for me that she had been able to identify this feeling, name it and talk to me about that. I told her that it was not unusual at all and shared my story with her.
We all need to feel connected, loved and accepted. Knowing you are not alone does not change the situation, but it really makes things more bearable.
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