I was listening to the sex magic podcast and Toni, one of the hosts, described the experience of always feeling like the other, even in friendships and places she thought she would belong. Now she is a WOC and I am white, so there is one big difference there where she she would be made to feel like the other and I would not have this problem.
The feeling of never truly belonging to anything is something I feel on such a fundamental level. All my life I have felt like I don't quite fit just so with any group even if we have all the same interests and genuinely enjoy each others company.
On the one hand this has been a negative experience because I almost always feel like relationships are not going to be long lasting, I bother people or the space wouldn't be much changed if I left. While on the other hand, I feel at peace alone, can appreciate being able to experience oneness with another person or group so much more and find it oddly satisfying that people find me uncomfortable but still want to be around me.
In the past I thought that this feeling came from my sexuality, that there was something wrong with me, that people weren't comfortable around me in the same way others make me uncomfortable. When we are ignorant about something it's easy to be unsure of how to approach a person, even with the best intentions.
I have found that majority of people in the LGBTQ+ community have a hard time feeling like they belong, at least at first. I think this stems from stereotypes... when the reality is that every single person is a puzzle of all these different characteristics and they may or may not fit into certain boxed descriptions. The fact is that even those who are not LGBTQ+ still don't feel like they belong and if they do there is a good chance they're confusing fitting in with belonging. Belonging comes from within, an acceptance of all that is you and then a sharing of that with other people despite when not everyone will love what you share.
I have come to learn that it is mostly within myself and my inherent need to understand peoples motivations, desires and feelings that creates this standoffish need to self protect. In case they reject my reach for connection.
Or perhaps I am creating this experience in my mind to allow myself to be okay with my partially disconnected life, or to feel special or unique. Who knows either way it triggered this thought and feeling that I was happy to share with another.
Do you ever feel like an outsider? like the other?