Growing up, escaping was a frequently option for me. I escaped a household riddled with addiction violence and neglect. When in school I had trouble making friends. I didn’t trust anyone enough because I didn’t want to hear the same from them as I had to at home. My teachers would say at the beginning of every year if you’re being abused tell an adult. I told my teacher in 1st grade and she called my mother- she said I had a vivid imagination. So much for telling an adult. I just kept my mouth shut after that.
After I graduated I got a job instead of going to college so I could escape from my household. After a while I stopped going home at all. Only long enough to wash my clothes and take a shower.
It didn’t matter how many escapes I made, the same issues came up. Unfortunately, the constant changes didn’t erase the memories and trauma of my past. Because of the chaos of an unstable upbringing. I carried a lot of learned traits that no longer served me and when I got marriage and my life became stable I needed help, guidance, facing the emotions and experiences I had growing up. Growing up helped me identify why I felt like I didn’t belong.
Any psychology book can tell you that human connection is essential for personal well-being, but finding and fostering those connections can feel impossible when you don’t have a sense of belonging. When you already feeling disconnected, your reaction maybe to further isolate or escape. Ignore this instinct; make pick up the phone and call one person you trust. Or talk to your pet, I’ve found the pets are good listeners and while they can’t offer advice. Just resist the urge to detach from your surroundings and other people. I admit sometimes I have escaped from my husband a time or two mostly when I get triggers and need to think things through without any distractions.
Belonging and connecting with others calls for being open about who you are and allowing a level of vulnerability and trust. If trusting others is difficult for you try talking to a counselor, or there are some support groups out there that are good for this. They have a privacy law, saying none of your information will leave the room. It can be a big sense of relief and help you feel less alone. When you embrace your unique aspects of your personality, you can help others share your values and passions.
A personal tip- keep social media to a minimum. When everyone is posting about their absolute best life, it’s hard to avoid comparison and determine what is real. The only life you need to focus on is yours.