Friday, April 26, 2019

PJs, guilt and peaches

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.

Jiminy Cricket
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.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

You know, they say "outsiders" make the best writers because they are used to being "observers." I have always keenly felt my own "outsider" status. I have never, ever "fit in" anywhere in my entire life -- not in my family, at school/university, in my profession, nor in any group/community to which I belong. I have long since accepted this as my reality and don't really worry about it. In fact, it would probably freak me out if I ever did fit in anywhere now!

Anonymous said...

Discomfort in "fitting in" with other people is supposedly a driving force for many/most of us who went into STEM professions. You may imagine my surprise upon reaching adulthood that, seemingly, no one in the whole world (especially as a child) absolutely felt that they fit in.

When it comes to aunts and uncles, I don't even want to go there.

Hopefully, we all feel more-or-less "normal" at "fitting in" as adults.
Cop Car

Liz Hinds said...

The place I fit in best is Zac's - which is full of outcasts. Encouraging to know there are plenty of us on the edge, Debra and CopCar.

Trubes said...

I know exactly how you feel Liz, I grew up in a family that was always falling out for lord knows what reason. I had an elder sister who was idolised by my father and a brother who was idolised by my mother, so I always felt the odd one out. My sister always went to great lengths to show that she was cleverer than me, particularly in educationed, she went to grammar school and i went to secondary but passed the 13+, She still derided me for not going to a school as good as hers. i could write a book about the way she tried to belittle me. In later life she moved over to France, After a time she became ill and was hospitalised, I took it upon myself to learn the French language so that I could communicate withe medical people who looked after her.I took a course at Liverpool University and reached grade 5 which was quite an achievement for moi. When I told her of my reasonable success,she totally dismissed it and made a point of correcting every word I uttered in French....Grrr......
C'est la vie !
Love Di xxxx

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Are you sure she wasn't just thinking that you'd be less likely to squash the peach on the way back than your cousin?

Liz Hinds said...

That's bad, Di. But well done you for putting in such an effort.

I could give her the benefit of the doubt, Sonata, but I won't.

Red said...

I was talking with my husband earlier about how clearly we see the effects of our past now that we're getting older. Why am I the way I am? There is a reason. Was it because of something others did, or the way I perceived their actions? Was it because of the influence of friends or adversaries? Was it all in my head?

I'm glad to have found you through AtoZ. I'll be back after the craziness ends!
Doesn't Speak Klingon