November 3, 2018

I Don't Fit In

I don’t fit in, in most places in my life. In fact, I can’t think of one spot where I fit in!

This used to slay me. Oh the tears I cried! Today,  I do not say this for sympathy. I have finally accepted and embraced that I am different. I know that I am not different just because I'm adopted. Part of it is being an INFJ (the rarest personality in the world. Only 1% of the population has this personality type) and the bottom line is -- God made me different!  As I mentioned, this wasn't always easy for me.

Growing up, when my friends who are not adopted talked about various aspects of their lives like genetic commonalities with their parents and siblings, I could not relate. It made me sad. Being adopted also brought about moments of getting what I call “that feeling.” I wrote about this in a post at Lost Daughters a few years ago:

“Each time something in my life happens that makes me feel different, singled out, and unique from the rest of the population, it becomes a trigger. Instantly I experience that feeling... a flash of rejection, linking whatever the latest happening in my life is, all the way back to 1966. But whenever I get left out, over-looked, singled out in a negative manner, uninvited or forgotten, I instantly go all the way back to my childhood and have this flash of a thought that I'm somehow doomed to be different, singled-out, left out, over-looked, uninvited and forgotten because I'm adopted.”

Like many adoptees, I started running hard to achieve to overcome the ache in my soul over being different. In my twenties,  I was in counseling for workaholism and the counselor said, “What are you running so hard from?” At that time I didn’t have an answer. I was still unaware of why I did what I did. It’s interesting that the intake forms said nothing about adoption. In the initial session the counselor asked if there was anything about me he should know that wasn’t covered on the forms. I said, “Well, I’m adopted.” He kept right on going like I said I take two teaspoons of creamer with my coffee. Like it was nothing. But it was really the key to everything. It was the reason why I was running so hard. He missed it. My issues would continue for two more decades without the root of it being discovered and addressed. 

I watch the show This is Us, and like many adoptees, I relate to Randall. My life is a combo between running hard to achieve and being overwhelmed with anxiety.    

I’ve found that once you realize why you do what you do, things change. I think I have made peace with why I run hard. I stopped trying to change myself in that regard. I’ve also learned how to find peace when I’m anxious. I have had to find tools to do that, and one of the recent ones I’ve started implementing is known as Soaking Prayer. This has been more helpful in quelling my anxiety than anything I have tried previous. 

Here is something to think about…

If you are struggling with not fitting in, here is something to think about. When you are odd, you aren’t overlooked. Everyone notices that which is different. And, is sameness really a worthy goal? No one who ever did anything great was the same as everybody else.

I am at peace knowing that I don’t fit in. I recently heard it said that you have to make a mental shift and realize, it’s not that you are missing out, it’s that you are set apart for something great. You have to own your oddity and make it work for you.