Sunday, July 1, 2012

I felt better saying it out loud

Today I stood in front of nine people to explain my part of our group-created vision board. It was for the nonprofit I helped to start five years ago. We were revisiting and articulating our vision on this, our fifth birthday as an organization.

After I had explained most of my contributions to the board, someone in the room asked me to explain a picture of many hands layered one over the other, under which there was a single word: Community. Very matter-of-factly I said, "I don't really have any friends. Not here, anyway, not in my day-to-day life. For the most part, I am not a person that other people choose to spend time with or even will spend time with outside of work situations. I feel very isolated, very lonely--and this is my culture, my country. It doesn't feel good. I imagine that the refugee women we serve must feel even more isolated, so I want our organization to help them build community across cultures and to have friendships that transcend this very specific context where we see them."

This reality of my dysfunctional relationship with the world is something I only share here, on this blog. It's not something I discuss with anyone. This was a first today. I didn't think about what I was going to say before I said it; I just spoke from my heart and spoke the truth. I can't say what anyone else thought at that moment or how they reacted. I imagine that what I said was not a surprise, although my coming out and identifying it openly may have taken those women aback. Or not.

Having explained myself openly and unapologetically, I feel better. I hate the thought that anyone might think I lack self-awareness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post May, my brain finds it comforting to read. I suggest that comparing your lack of community as insignificant when contrasted to refugee women may need to be reconsidered. It's the old "apples and oranges" fallacy.

Although I am very socially conscious of the numerous structural limitations these women face, at least there are a few people creating support organizations, or publishing about this dilemma, that legitimizes their lack. Conversely, there are no organizations, and very little information (outside of academic research or blogs like this) about the struggles many isolated, stigmatized women with neuro-diversity issues have passing as 'normal' in society and finding belonging.

Thanks for the thoughts that add to the cyber community! It's not the same as flesh and blood community, but it's a start.