The Loneliness of Being Different


The Loneliness of Being Different

peas-580333_640I spoke with a friend yesterday about her stresses as a mom of a child adopted from another country and who has special needs. My friend is doing her best to find support from a peer--another mom in a similar situation. Because she has so many questions and worries, she wants to connect with another who understands. But as she reaches out to find that support, she often encounters help from others who have a child, but not one who has special needs and is adopted from another country.

She's a mom but not like any other mom. And that, unfortunately, just adds to her stress.

It's the loneliness of being different.

You can relate to that. You may have friends with spouses, but not spouses with chronic illnesses. You may have friends with parents, but not parents who decline right in front of your eyes.

We often talk about the isolation that caregiving causes. You can't get out because you can't leave your caree and you often can't find help to be with your caree. Or, you can't get out because your caree is in the midst of a crisis which means you stay right there. The isolation--that inability to freely get up and go out--can bring about loneliness.

There's another side of loneliness--the loneliness that comes from being different, from looking different because of the wheelchair or the medical equipment. It's the loneliness of not seeing another with a wheelchair or medical equipment in your vista which lulls you into believing you are the only one.

The loneliness of being different lures you deeper into that awful alone-ness. You believe you are solitary, that no one else experiences your struggles or challenges. No one else has your bad luck.

The loneliness of being different leads you to wonder where you fit. The loneliness of being different makes you believe you don't belong.

That's why blogging about your story is so courageous. Blogging about your day, your life, can be so intimidating. You're putting your truth out there, really and truly putting your heart on the table for all to potentially pick apart and judge.

And, yet when you do, when you blog about your day and your life, you lessen the loneliness of others and of yourself. Telling your story brings others in a similar situation into your vision. By sharing your reality, you connect with others who get it. You understand you really aren't alone and your readers realize they are in good company. You all rejoice in the comfort of camaraderie along the trying and tiring journey of caregiving.

The loneliness of being different simply sucks. Amazing that the solution can come from the simplicity of the written (actually, typed) word. The relief of knowing you belong, that you feel the same as another, releases. You're not alone. It's not just you.

Here, we are the same. Here, we all belong.

(Would you like to start blogging about your caregiving days? Create your free account and join us.)

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