Part of the repercussions of being raised closed off from most of society is that I am still very awkward socially. I do okay once I get to know people and they know me. Yet the process of building those bridges - oiy it's full of self-doubt and difficulties. I can't connect with people over children or work or school. I don't have any of those pieces in my life right now. My life is very much focused around healing from trauma and addiction, my own and others. It's my full-time job and I love that this is where I am right now. I love that I am discovering myself for the first time ever in my life. It's such a cool process. Yet where I'm at right now makes small talk even more painful for me - I just don't do small talk. I'm a "lets-get-coffee-for-four-hours-and-trade-life-stories" kind of a girl. It makes new places and new people feel itchy and uncomfortable for me.
There's a community group through church that my husband and I have belonged to for the last 2 years. It truly has been a belonging, not just an attending. We started out attending and on paper we "shouldn't" fit with this group. We're the only ones without children and around 10 years younger than the average age. But there's something about the dynamic that just works. It really does feel like belonging and it's amazing.
It's not the sitting-on-the-outside-please-let-me-play-with-you that we've experienced in the past. It's healthy and vibrant. There is life there. There is a place where I fit, where I don't have to hide or fade into the background or bite my tongue. There is room for my rough edges and my tears. There is also room for my sense of humour and for my becoming.
It's times like tonight that I can look back and say that God knows what He's doing. He's got places for me where I don't have to hide in the corner. We had a group before this one, a group that we loved and where I was really comfortable. It was uncomfortable starting over two years ago. It felt awkward and strange. I didn't know other's stories and they didn't know mine. Yet as those stories have been shared, there's been a growing sense of belonging.
I'm writing to remind myself that once upon a time, this didn't feel like I fit. I currently have a couple new groups of people in my life. People that I don't know their stories and they don't know mine. It's new and different and I feel that awkward there. I'm over-analysing everything that I say and do in these new e-Course groups. "did I share too much? Did I not give enough background? Oh crap I totally put my foot in my mouth..." I've been here before and sometimes it takes time to find the place that's mine in a group.
I'm grateful for the places I have now that I know where my fit is. I'm trying to practice patience as I remind myself that I will find the place that is mine in these new groups as well.