Somewhere between here and there

I don't quite know where to start this post.

I was out with my classmates yesterday, and we had a pretty good time, but there was also something separating me from them. I just feel so much older than them. Chronologically, I'm only a year older, but I feel physically and mentally older. Because they didn't go through what I've gone through these past few years. I don't know that they've truly experienced the term "at the end of their rope." I have. It scars you, ages you. There's no real way look go back.

And then I look around at the support board I used to visit. I don't feel I fit in there, either. That I'm a little too impatient to be handing out advice on whether or not college is a good idea when you're passing out several times a day. Maybe it's just me and the fact that I'm a pretty straightforward person. I can be a wimp sometimes, but I tend to favor the problem solving approach. The emotional side of me is extremely strong- too strong, perhaps. But dealing with Ed only invokes the emotions of frustration and anger.

I don't feel "too recovered" for the board, because I don't think I am. Yet I don't feel a part of it anymore. I can relate, but it's much more of a realistic relating than a purely sympathetic one. On the other hand, I feel I've been through so much that I have a hard time relating to people. Or feeling that they can relate to me.

So here I am, floating between these two worlds. A part of both, but belonging to neither.

That is such a pattern of mine. In high school, I was far closer to my teachers than I was to most of my classmates. At my last two jobs, I felt more at home with workers who were over a decade older than me. In treatment, it was the same way with the staff. There were one or two girls who I felt a genuine connection with, but mostly I felt...different.

And not necessarily in a good way.

Sometimes I feel that no one gets me and no one ever will. That I may as well get used to this feeling because it ain't going to change.

Most of my roommates had no idea what to make of me. And I lived with several of them were before the ED really became obvious. I was just so odd. It was like they were never taught how to deal with people like me. I don't even know what "people like me" really means. I think it's more of a she-doesn't-fit-in-any-standard-categories thing.

That's been basically my life story.

I can never seem to bridge this gap between me and everyone else. Most of the time, trying involved me getting ridiculed and/or acting like a total phony. Certain parts of it stem from my lack of confidence in myself. If I say what I really think, people won't like me. I'm already the third wheel, I shouldn't push my luck. Or that they really don't understand what a shitty 21st birthday looks like, and I have no intention of telling them it involves being locked up in a psych ward.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy being a little different, a little out there, a little unusual. I just sometimes wish there were more people like me.

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jana said...

I know EXACTLY what you're saying. I feel very much the same. I've never been one of those people that people just feel comfortable with, and I don't feel like I fit in with them. It's so rare for me to click with a person.

It's a really crappy & isolating experience. And, this seems to be how I just am so what to do? Hopefully we'll find some sort of happy medium?

em said...

oh i understand. i felt like this as a child too. i skipped a grade so was a year younger than everyone else but usually felt older by years (in terms of maturity). and yet at the same time i was incredibly naive. it was a curious, sad mix.

i also find it challenging to communicate with ed people who aren't at least somewhat self aware and working on recovery. i get impatient and frustrated too (but I can't be too critical because i used to be like this myself!)

i was talking about ed support groups with my therapist the other day and i told her that i didn't think i would fit into the standard ed support group these days - i've come too far, even though i still have a long way to go. she agreed with me. it is finding a place where we belong that is challenging (but i feel pretty good about the cul-de-sac!)


Hermen newt said...

I understand this completely and feel the same way with regards to sf, too (if that is where you were talking of). I could have written this whole post. However, I tend to think that it's hard to tell if others have been through the end-of-the-rope thing. Everyone has a different rope, of different lengths and some may have been in similar situations to us or felt like nothing was worth it anymore. It's hard to know and I really don't think you can tell from the outside. I've met people who seem pretty into what I call superficial stuff only to later learn of some really horrific times that they've been through.

I hear you, though. I'm the wrong shape for any hole and while, like you, I kind of like it in many ways, it means I stay away from social situations more than i should.

I always preferred teachers and 'grown-ups' when i was a kid and still prefer people older than me now.

Louisa x

Storm said...

Hey, it's Katie (we met at Anubis' butt.)

I think it's something about having been thru the fire - it changes you and your priorities in ways that many people just can't relate to.

Having to explain basic concepts gets old fast, and most people never get meta enough to understand recovery concepts or how humans tick inside. There's the constant discomfort of knowing that you can't be honest with most people without them becoming bewildered or horrified if they're capable of relating. Makes it hard to get close.

Kirsten said...

ITA with your post Carrie, and the comments here. Story of my life, too.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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