I don’t fit in.
I’ve never really fit in. Not in my family, not in school, not as an adult.
Let me point out that this is not some idle boast to look cool, or emo, or whatever. It’s more a statement of fact, based on years of evidence and recent experience.
So I’m not the only member of my family to suffer from mental health problems. Far from in fact, many members of my family suffer from something or have suffered from something. That’s not what singles me out. I’m not even sure what singles me out, just that sometimes I feel it. Not that I think my family love me any less, or treat me any different (my dad no included in this – different post, different day), or that I think of them or love them any differently. But it’s there, barely noticeable, but there. The main difference is in me and my sister and my cousins. We grew up together as kids, like siblings, the four of us, but we’re very different now. They like going out, dancing, getting drunk. They have children, at least two, have done for some time. Mostly I like to stay at home, with my wife, I’ve never had children. They’re little differences, but there you are. I don’t love them any less and we’re still all Williams’ (even if I change my name). I’m a lot like my mum when I think about it, I have my grandmother’s hair (apparently), but I’m not like my fair haired sister and cousins.
In school I’m not sure what made me so different. My mental health maybe. I couldn’t find friends to stick with me for a long while, and when I did I was different to them. Having learnt I had BPD as an adult, I do wonder if it affected me as a teenager. It would make sense. I was quite…unstable. I could be quiet one moment and completely hyperactive the next and I know some people hated this, hated me because of it. Which then didn’t help the depression that I know was setting in from about 17 on. But that’s just what happened. I found a few people I could count on, though they were still people who wanted to go out and have fun. Lisa and I went to the cinema every Tuesday which suited me fine, and Becky was a great friend and she didn’t really fit in either. I was a bit of a geek in school, and a loser, but it did go beyond that. The anxiety, the up and down moods, the depression.
Some things are hard to pin down, about why I feel so outcast and on the edges of society. Partly it’s the mental health, partly it’s just because of the person I am. Going to university has meant being around young adults who wanted to go out and get drunk. For me it became a problem, drinking that is, I’m not saying I was an alcoholic, but I certainly used alcohol as a way to cope, or being drunk became an opportunity to overdose and/self harm. It turned into a whole thing. As it turns out, I don’t enjoy drinking much, I like beer, like having a few beers, but I don’t go out and get drunk any more.
Which meant I didn’t fit in with any of the students I lived with or studied with. Or with my ex and his friends. And I didn’t smoke, anything legal or otherwise. I tried, but hated both. And I didn’t have any friends in Leicester where I lived for a long time, I had friends online, who I met through websites and supportr forums and suffered from mental health problems. Until I went to therapy and met some other people suffering with mental health problems like me, I had no friends in my own area.
That’s where I fit in.
Where is both good and bad. It’s hard being friends with me, being in any sort of relationship with me. I have always thought so, since I was a hyperactive teenager over hearing disparaging remarks from people I considered friends. So if being friends with someone with BPD is hard, it’s hard to be friends with people who suffer from mental health problems. For various reasons I won’t go into.
Recently, I met my wife, and found the one person who I fit with. That one person. I’m damn lucky. We would go to a university society meet-up together, to watch films with other geeks. I thought I would make friends there, or get along with other people who are as socially inept as me.
Turns out I was wrong, and it’s a shame a group of people can be so ostracising. That’s how it felt though, to be in that group. More so, as time goes on and we don’t even socialise with the group any longer. I never felt like a member of that group even though my wife and I were two of the members who attended the most. I feel bad about it sometimes, more so for Kate Ellen, who brought me to the group and had been a member for over a year or so.
It’s not important though, not to me, because I have Kate Ellen and she has me. That’s all I need.
The point of this post? I’m not sure. I have found the fit of my life, other than that, it’s hard to fit in for some people. Lots of people. Emos fit in with emos. Goths, ravers, drinkers and readers. I’ve struggled to fit in my entire life, that has been clear, and as I think it over, there are a few different reasons, not only my mental health problems factor in here. My personality as a whole, not just the disorder make the difference for everyone. Not just me.
I didn’t think there would ever be somewhere I would fit in, but I realise now it’s the family I am creating now, with my wife, that I will fit into.