Feeling that I don't belong

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Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 12/30/2011 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone else suffer from the feeling of not belonging?

Have you ever sat in a room full of laughing and happy people and thought that it was just too hard to smile, laugh, and pretend that you weren't hurting? That friendship is just not worth it if you must always act like nothing is wrong when nothing is right?

It gets old, feeling that you don't belong. There is a hard enough struggle going on in me everyday, one of deciding what I am capable of accomplishing with my pain compared to the already long and growing list of what needs to be done. If I focus too much on what needs to be done and not what I have accomplished, I sabotage myself into doing less and less and allowing myself to feel bad about what I can do.
We live in such an achievement-focused society that it is hard to feel as though I have value without a typical out-of-the-home job, big house, new cars, and stuff. None of that stuff makes me happy though, so that could be adding to the feeling of not belonging. When the people in your life mean more than the stuff, and work does not always equate to monetary gains, does that mean I don't belong?

There is a large community of friends that have become family here that I belong in, and a small community of friends that have become family here that don't want me to pretend and have the same values. I don't have to pretend in front of any of you, or any of them, yet there are times that I find myself pretending that things aren't bad, that the world is wonderful and I am a healthy person. Because when someone you see out or calls you on the phone and asks how are you doing, do you really think they want to hear about how the new medication stinks and causes lots of side effects, but you must take it because your insurance says you must for a certain number of days? Or that you are too tired and hurting to get up today?

This always becomes a problem for me when my family does not honor the request we made for no contact and reminds me that they see me as nothing but a lazy, lying, and unworthy person. For a few weeks I will alternate between feeling bad and being angry enough to stick to my guns, and then it will die down until they attempt to contact us again.
In the meantime, is there anyone else out there that struggles with feeling as though they don't belong?
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw
Pelvic adhesive disease, IBS, SI dysfunction, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, 11 pelvic surgeries for pain, adhesions, endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, and ovarian remnant syndrome.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 12/30/2011 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Monty's Mom
I know exactly what you mean. I have felt many times that I just don't belong in the land of the healthy. I find I feel guilty more times than not about not being able to enjoy social gathering or outing of any sort and always feel guilty that I'm holding my wife and kids back from enjoying these things. My wife has said many times that I don't have a life but I think maybe she means she doesn't have a life because of me. There really isn't much I can say except I'm sorry and I wish things were different. Early on when my back problems became severe and my kids were younger and one of them had a father daughter day at girl guides I just couldn't participate and my wife suggested that her brother take my place was the first time I really realized how worthless I really felt. I didn't want my daughter to miss out but the blow to my self worth as a man took a major blow.
The fact that my wife didn't seem to see it that way or seem to care didn't help matters. Over the years the family has become used to me leaving early at social functions and sometimes not showing up at all.  There are days I feel so sick of being sick and feeling guilty that this soon turns to anger which of course doesn't help me or the people around me. So I just keep plugging along as best I can. What else is there to do. I guess the trick is to see the positive and be happy with what you do have. I know it's always easier to find the bad things but there are a lot of things to be grateful for. I know how quickly things can turn bad and I thank God everyday that my kids are healthy and I'm not worse off than I am and am grateful to have found this site and met a lot of very nice people. I'm sorry I kinda went on about me. I hope you can find the positive things in your life and focus on them. As for people's opinions I only worried about the one's I respect and the rest go into my recycle bin...lol.
Take care mom and know that there's always your family here you can turn to .
I wish you all the best.
Stingray (Randy)

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Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 12/30/2011 7:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I will often ask myself what is wrong with the other person if I feel in some way denigrated. Sometimes, such as with family, you are stuck having to be with people who can't understand or respect difference. But if you can't be yourself and you're forced into a lie, then that's because those around you are unable to think or feel outside of the box they have locked themselves into.

The material trappings of success -- have little real value -- and the fact that those with money always want more and more stuff shows how valueless stuff tends to be. Their desires aren't satisfied for long and they need to consume again to feel good again. Consumerism is, frankly, our country's most widespread addiction and most people out there are either pushers or enablers.

So many people look down upon the poor or the ill because of fear. They are frightened by the reality and need to treat others as inferior so that they can feel the psychological surety that they are not like them.

I don't belong and I'm proud that that is so.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 12/30/2011 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, MM, I am sorry you are feeling that way, I went though a similar experience and when I posted about it, the feedback made me feel so very needed and wanted.
Please do not think I am being flip or not taking you seriously, but this to will pass.  I am not sure how long you have been disabled and all that comes with that is not important, It is very important, I can only tell you I felt like that for about 6-7 days, and guess what, it passed.
So please promise that you will continue and continue to feel better, and if I dont talk to you happy new years,
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 12/30/2011 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
In many ways I have always felt like I don't belong anywhere. I often have felt and do feel like I don't exactly fit in anywhere.

Then one day I came to the realization that since I don't fit anywhere I belong everywhere I choose to be.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.
Moderator Depression Forum.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 12/31/2011 12:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Monty's Mom...I am so sorry that you are feeling like you do not belong, However I can assure you ...you do belong here and we are so happy to have you. I think we all have felt that way sometime with our illness but, if I could have changed and become healthy I think we all would...these are the cards we are dealt so it is up to us how we play them. So don't forget you do belong...right here!!!

Take care, I wish you all the best in the New Year!

Chronic Pain(nerve), fibro, mild depression and a few others

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 12/31/2011 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
MM I can relate to much of what you've said. Over the years, I isolated myself, and most of the friends I had I let go by the wayside. It was a mistake, I had felt I just didn't belong, what friends I did have left were my wifes friends and her family. But being on disability and in chronic pain took its toll on our marriage, and in the end, it was a contributing factor to its demise. My family here on this forum was with me and gave me much needed support during that trying time! I lost much more than just my spouse, in the divorce I also lost what friends and family I had, as they were my wifes! I also lost my support system! When in chronic pain and going through a divorce, it is not the time to have to make new friends and make or re-establish a new support system. And the kicker was, I realize it was of my own making, because, of my chronic pain I let myself let go of my friends and isolated myself. Of course hindsite is 20/20, but I would like to encourage you, as difficult as it might be, try your best to hang on to your friends, even if it means having to go the extra mile and not getting it in return. Just do not let your feelings of not belonging get the best of you and then isolating yourself.  In the end it is just not worth it! During and after my divorce, I had two major cervical neck fusions a  year a part, and going through that alone with nobody there for you is really hard!  My saving grace was my friends and family here on this forum! And make no bones about it, this family here is GREAT!, but when your in a hospital bed, in pain and all alone.........it is not quite the same as having someone that cares right there with you in the flesh!
So when you get to feeling the way you do, come here, but also, try and talk to your friends and family, and try to tell them what you have told us! Try to get them to understand, and keep trying, just don't let them go! The friends that do understand keep them close!
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Post Edited (White Beard) : 12/30/2011 10:31:59 PM (GMT-7)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16799
   Posted 12/31/2011 5:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Mindy, if you stop and think about this just about everyone goes through this at some time in their life, even folks that have no health issues. What Whitebeard says is so true many times we are the ones cutting people out of our lives because of health issues. I caught myself using my health issues as a reason to decline invites and not go places and that one of the worst things I could have done, but the bottom line is I did it to myself and its very easy to do.

I now make more of an effort to be active and do things with friends and I still enjoy them as much as ever. I also know if I drag around getting ready to go some where if I am not careful I can talk myself out of going and you know once I get where I am suppose to be, I have such a great time and would have been real upset to have missed it. Its like Jim said we are where we are because we put ourselves there.

Its easier to find one plan of action and stick to it rather than wavering back & forth.

Take care & don't sweat the small stuff its not worth it.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 1/1/2012 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Helly Mindy,
I think this is a very wise post to give us something to think about.  I find that I too have removed myself from much of society and have a harder time fitting in than I have in the past.  I have done it to myself and I (for now) don't know that I want to change it.  I find that I am happier with the few people I surround myself with.
I will be thinking about this longer and posting again (since I have had something come up and have to log off). 
Please keep your chin up.  Everybody feels this way sometimes.  It is very common after the holidays when you have been "forced" into family gatherings and social situations.
This too shall pass....and you will be happier again.
I do think that you may benefit from a Dr like mine (who listens to me vent often and prescribes some meds for stress).  I know he makes me feel so much better!!!  If only they could get the pharmacy and the Dr's office on the same sheet of music with the prescriptions. Both changed computer systems at the same time and screwed up everything!!!!
Have a wonderful New Years Day my friend!
Quick addition:  You are very right....talking about our medical conditions makes others feel uncomfortable most of the time.  They really don't want to hear it (except here) and that's why there are so many uncomfortable feelings.  I think they are afraid to hear about it because they don't want to face the fact that it could happen to them too!!!!  You never know what tomorrow holds (or even today).
Best to you!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, Vision Issues & much more.....

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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 1/1/2012 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Monty's Mom,
I'm sorry you felt this way or was made to feel this way, but here your a good friend
with great advise...hope your feeling better soon...
I feel so left out with my family, they don't even try to include me, so yeah I do know that
feeling...but I got away from them and I do so much better without them...
Your a good person, always remember that, we luv ya here....
many well wishes...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 1/3/2012 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
This is why Healing well is a family, support. Thank you.

Yes this too shall pass. Its becoming my mantra I repeat it so often.

I like how Jim1969 put it, I belong everywhere I choose to be. I keep telling my kids that being like everyone else is not as cool as it looks, and denying who you are is putting yourself on a path to misery, yet I am doing it to myself.

When I was in high school, I would get tired of trying to fit in, so I put on a saucy attitude and said sarcastically "I want to be different, just like my friends!" Here I am as an adult, forgetting that lesson I learned in school.

We are all different here, yet we get along and are a family. If my extended family here can't see my worth as an individual, then they can look for conformity elsewhere. My nuclear family here at home is good, as good as it can be with teenage boys and hormones. There are just too many days of inactivity or little activity that can bring me down.

Thank you all for providing a place to come and voice emotions without judgment and full of understanding. This truly is a healing place.

Thanks again,

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 1/4/2012 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
When somehing like this comes up, I always think of Frodo from Lord of the Rings. He went back to the Shire and tried for 4 years to remake his life. But no matter, it was just not possible to go back to the life he left. I wish there was some undying land that we all could sail off to but this is the only world we have. But I have completely felt like I am not of this word since getting sick. I tired to make my old life work and it just made me miserable. So I have had to let go of that for me. I cannot be the social person I was and now when I try and go out I end up crying on the way home because of hurt feelings and expectations. So like many I have made the boards my family and have even met some in real time. They know what this life is like. For me there is no going back so I have to make my own undying lands!!

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 1/4/2012 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Boxerlover, I have never thought of it that way. You are right, looking at Frodo does help. He could not live with the mingling of the old life with the changed person he has become.

Very good thing to think of, and you got a chuckle out of my youngest son. Apparently I am a nerd, since I have read the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit multiple times. Glad to see I am not alone in knowing Frodo's story.

Thank you for the insight.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 1/5/2012 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new here, but I have felt those feelings. Watching a tv show and wishing I could run, jump, laugh like that. There is a certain numbness with these medications. I felt the first goosepump i have had in years the other day. I digress, you do belong, to a class of the strongest people I know, chronic pain sufferes

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/7/2012 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear MM,

Your post touched me deeply, and I send you my most heartfelt empathy for your pain.

They say 'you surround yourself with people who are LIKE yourself', and all growing up I had friends who never really 'got' me, and so I had to pretend to be 'normal' for them. I had to play this game with my family too.

Recently (I am 47) about 10 years ago, I stopped surrounding myself with people who had never suffered tragedy with their health or in their life. And, in so doing, I became free to be who I am at my authentic core. Misery really does love, AND need company. And in surrounding myself with friends who have 'real' struggles, I have created a safe place for the real me to shine. I no longer pretend to fake it with anyone - not my family or my 2 kids or my friends. Finally, at 47 I am on the outside who I am on the inside. And at last, I feel free.

I applaud your bravery, and would be honoured to become a friend.

xo Jen
have a great day, and may it exceed your expectations

PS my health - chronic kidney disease ( double kidney transplant in my future); chronic pain sufferer with 8 herniated discs; plantar facitis in both heels, arthritic knees, chronic headaches, chronic numbness in both hands, and as of December 2011, gout in my left toe. Moreover, I spent the 1st 18 years in and out of hospital dealing with my kidneys and was molested for 8 years by my kidney doctor (ages 5-13) and was in an abusive marriage for 9 years.

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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/7/2012 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear MM

I was a gawky, overweight klutz with a big head, not allowed to watch tv so I read the encyclopedia instead. I never fit in. then the 60s came along where being athletic and good looking and having 'things" were not cool. I, with my intellectual love of books and music found other misfits and real friends for the first time in my life!!! I reveled in being different. i was verylucky to realize my differentness at a early age.

then I had to join society after college and conform again. I was very successful, but still a closet hippie/dork-lol. then I gort sick and didn't fit in again...very depressed for years over it but now, w/ depression and fibro, I have rewritten my life again...I dropped toxic uncaring family and friends but I am blessed with family that at least tries to understand and that is all we can ask.

I don't belong a lot of places, but to be honest they were not places I yearned to be. My only regret is not being able to do more w/ teenage daughter, but we talk and snuggle and read alot together and without a killer career, I get to spend alot of time with her. She has really blossomed and is mature beyond her years, brutally honest with me (I know about the first drink and cigarette-yuck on both!!) No sex yet-thank you Lord!

I guess what I am saying is we might not have a lot of realtionships but the ones we have can be of the deepest friendship. My Dad always said, "you can count your true friends on one hand...more than that and you are fooling yourself"...

You are among friends here...sometimes I wish we could all meet up and have a galss of wine and laugh together-maybe someday, until then, CHEERS!

"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 1/9/2012 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Maggie and Jen,
Thank you for sharing. I never realized there were so many who felt this way also.
Maggie, I am still a dork, who reads books, crochets and misses painting and drawing. I never fit in my family or my school years. I too got rid of toxic family and still struggle with them sometimes. Your father was right about true friends, and I had not looked at my relationships close enough to realize their depth. Thank you for helping me see that. My niece is close to me as your daughter is close to you. I keep praying that she stays away from sex for a long time to come!
Jen, I am sorry for what you have been through with the abusive doctor and spouse. Abuse is never an easy thing, and on top of chronic pain or illness can create more issues than alone. I too was abused and married to an abuser, who is long gone thank God. I would be honored to call you friend as well, and thank you.

I hope your days today are blessed!
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw
Pelvic adhesive disease, IBS, SI dysfunction, arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, 11 pelvic surgeries for pain, adhesions, endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, and ovarian remnant syndrome.
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