Choosing my clothes for today I suddenly decided I'd have a pj day. Possibly my first ever pre-planned. It was raining, I had no reason to go out or see anyone, so 'lounge pants' and sloppy bra it was.
By the time I was putting on my pjs I was feeling guilty.
What is it with me and guilt? I've had a busy week and not just enjoying myself. I've helped others, done a bit of shopping and housework (not a lot), and generally deserve a lazy lounging day - where I intend to write by the way. But that's the thing: even writing seems like I'm wasting time. Doing something less than useful. This doesn't come from Husband who is very supportive but from me, or from the Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder. I've tried to flick him off but he always manages to crawl back up.
So while I'm in this mood I'll write the 'don't belong' post that I've been thinking about for a while.
Growing up in a large extended family I always felt I didn't quite belong, that i was different. I wasn't aware of it at the time but much later it struck me that I'd always had this sense of being not quite one of them.
Maybe it was because my mum wasn't married and I didn't have a father - not that anyone ever said anything to convey that. Maybe it was because I was the next generation. Let me explain. The cousins of my age and just above and below were children of the siblings of my gran. Do you see? But that shouldn't make any difference, should it? Maybe it was because, in a very extrovert and talkative family, I was desperately shy. But which came first: my shyness or the difference?
Did this feeling of not fully belonging have an effect on me? I suppose it must have done as I'm still thinking and writing about it now.
From my childhood there is one instance that stands out and has stayed with me. A great-aunt and her child, of my age, were visiting us. The great-aunt had married a shopkeeper and was 'rich' by our family standards. On this visit she had brought a whole tray of peaches to our house. We were all sitting in the front room when she said, 'Liz, go and fetch me a peach from the kitchen.'
She didn't ask her own child. She sent me.
When I think about victims of childhood sexual and physical abuse I know how very fortunate I was. But sometimes scars still remain.