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family outcast =(


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i guess i sort of feel like an outcast from my family...and it just really sucks. i can't explain the exact reasoning behind it, but basically i am at least 10 yrs younger than any relative of mine...and they are all (about 6 of them - cousins) the same age within 2-3 years. all of them having kids or getting married.


i've always been the baby. i'm almost 23. don't get me wrong...i love my family very much, and they are very nice ppl who would never intend to exclude me, but i have always felt like i just did not belong. this evening i was at a family wedding, and i literally just sat by myself and stared into nothing for like 2 hrs...i am a slightly shy person, but don't get me wrong, i made attempts...i tried to include myself when they would be talking about something i know nothing about...i tried to walk up to them when they were talking in a circle. but they are all coupled up pretty strongly, and i am a single, so this is a challenge. they would go dancing, and i would have no one to dance with, etc etc. i normally dont have a problem being a 3rd wheel...but when it gets to be like the 9th wheel, i get uncomfortable...especially when they are all so tight.


basically i'm just looking for a little support. i have a great extended family who love each other and are very close....and i just feel i do not fit or belong. does anyone else feel this way?? i left the reception early tonight, because i just could not take it. maybe it sucks being single, but i don't really care about that...it more sucks just being a single at a couples only event. =(


thanks for listenign

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I'm the baby, too. I totally believe your family dynamic has put you in this place and you have had possibly little control over it. You may be sensing something quite real. Why do I say this?


Because oh I do feel the same way you do, I suspect. And I have struggled to understand it most of my life. My two older (and only) siblings are so different than I. But that should not matter in the sense of feeling like we can belong to the same family, I would think. Bottom line is they really don't seem like they have ever really accepted me for who I am in and of myself. Meanwhile, quite a few of my extended family and close friends of family really seem to dig me.


My dad always treated me well (when he was around not neglecting his family). And my mom is a very cool and nice lady, but who treats all but the eldest of us like we can't think for ourselves. All my life I have struggled with the feeling of not belonging and of not feeling loved/respected by my immediate family. I have struggled also with resentments over this. It is so bad I even catch myself sometimes getting resentments over things which have not happened - only fear that they will based on prior experience. So, in truth, at this stage I am probably contributing to the disconnect.


Sometimes I suspect, as the youngest, I just got in the way. Everything was going along for the family at some level - but my presence was just a wee bit more unwelcome work for them. I was an added, in large part, unwelcome burden. I was not necessary.


I am grateful for my extended family who have acknowledged and valued me for who I am. I am grateful to some really awesome friends accumulated (and yes, lost track of sadly) over the years. And I've enormous gratitude for quite a few really good teachers and mentors.


When my family is together I not only do not feel like I belong ... I, at this stage, don't want to make myself vulnerable to them by feeling like I could belong. I just don't believe I can fit in. When I talk about it, I am told it is all me. And maybe it is.


I don't know where your family situation will all end up for you. I am twice your age. Our families are likely hugely different. But I am recently arriving at a place of recognizing that, in large part, there is nothing at all wrong except that I keep going back to an empty well with an empty bucket. I have never really had any control over this situation. I just continue to expect something from certain people which I just will not ever get. They are, quite frankly, not the people I would rather they be. This is my choice, not theirs.


My dad has passed away. To stay connected as decent son to my mom (something that I should do for myself at least) I just think of myself these days like her only son. Yes, I know that out there there are these people who are my brothers by blood relation. But that's it. If I think of them as more than that it makes me so sad ... because they have never been there for me. Never. Mom? I just accept her the way she is. I have not yet figured out how to do this with my brothers, but I should find it in me someday to try. I guess I am just not there yet. And they are certainly not, either.

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