I have usually tried to follow my own path, even though sometimes it was not in my best interest. My hobbies, my music, my clothing, even my thoughts and feelings, were often chosen with the distinct purpose of being different.
I felt that the only way I would ever be noticed was to be eccentric.
Otherwise, I thought, I would just fade into the background.
Sometimes I wanted to fade away, and at those times I went along with the crowd, concealing what was truly inside me. But I always felt like a stranger, a part of the world but separated from it by an invisible membrane. Even when I tried, there was something in between me and everyone else. Whether I fought against it or lived with it, it was always there.
Now I have a son who, I think, has grown up with a membrane around him too. He makes choices with an eye to getting attention, even if it is negative attention. In fact, he prefers the negative because he doesn’t feel worthy of anything else.
I look at him and wonder, how will I ever reach him? How can I help him see that he doesn’t have to be separate, or a stranger, or a person that just doesn’t fit in? How can I invite him to become a part of our world?
Perhaps I will have to push through my membrane in order to get through his. I’m scared, but for his sake, I will face my fears.