I had a dream last night that I was on a trip or vacation of some sort with friends. However, I didn’t really feel like I belonged or was welcome. I felt tolerated and remember crying in the dream. I hadn’t felt wanted.
As I told this dream to my husband on our walk this morning, he pointed out that this was a recurring theme for me. At first, I disagreed with him. Then, he asked me to name the times in my life when I felt like I had belonged, or fit in. I struggled, as I parted the curtains of memory, to find the first instance where I felt like I belonged.
I thought back to my early childhood where I dreamed that my parents were bank robbers who had kidnapped me from my real parents. Clearly, I hadn’t felt like I belonged to them. Then I remembered reading a post yesterday by Katie Devine where she talked about her family gathering for her grandfather’s 94th birthday. I remembered getting teary eyed as I read her post as she described the connections and memories she shared with her relatives. She felt such an intense sense of acceptance and belonging with her family.
Clearly this was what had sparked my dream. I had never felt anything remotely close to what she described in her post. My mother, who’d gotten pregnant and had paid my dad to marry her, had all but isolated herself from her family after she married. Then, even after the divorce, she was really only close to my grandparents, relying on them financially.
Strangely enough, I felt more like I belonged with my husband’s family in Ecuador who didn’t even speak English, than with my own family. This was made painfully apparent to me recently when my mother neglected to tell me that my Aunt had passed away. I remembered visiting her in the hospital only a few months earlier after spending the holidays in Ecuador. I had learned that she was ill in Ecuador when I had seen a post from one of my cousins on Facebook and we had driven to the hospital straight from the airport.
Later, my husband remarked that my cousins had stared at me in the hospital room like they had seen a ghost. I guess that made sense. I hadn’t seen many of them in years, and we only lived a few hours away from each other.
I hadn’t realized until today that this feeling of not belonging was rooted in my childhood and with my family. So, today I forgive my mother for whatever role she played in my isolation from my family. And I forgive myself for the role that I played by not seeking to connect after becoming an adult.
I am also grateful to The Universe for sending me dear friends who have nourished my soul and made me feel loved. Sometimes the friends who enter our lives become our family, accepting us and making us feel wanted.
Sometimes blood is thicker than water, holding us together. But for some of us, the water is the thing that nourishes us and sustains us.