Insulating Against ‘The Other’

So I am reading this book by Brené Brown called, "I Thought It Was Just Me". Its a book that deals with the topic of shame: what it is, where it originates, and how it affects our lives. It's an excellent book that I'm really enjoying and I'd recommend it to anyone.

The chapter I just finished touched on a couple of things that are major obstacles to shame resiliency; one of which is insulation against the other.

As I read through this list of people who are routinely marginalized as "the other", I realized that I and my family are listed more than once.

But instead of addressing these issues as something basically every other person on the planet deals with in some form or other, we were living in shame. I was told that nobody accepted us. I was told that we were too dysfunctional to belong anywhere. I was told that, due to our religious beliefs, we could not fit in with any church or even our extended family.

My parents allowed their shame over their own insecurities and fears turn our entire family into "the black sheep" wherever we went.

I grew up sincerely believing I had no place to belong in this world.

I believed I'd never marry because I'd been taught I had to only marry someone who held my exact beliefs, but I was taught that my family was part of a remnant of "true believers" so the likelihood of finding a man who fit with us was slim to none.

I was taught to never try to fit in because I'd never be accepted.

These are horrible lies to live with.

Only due to the power of the internet did I find freedom and people who truly loved me and accepted me as I was graduating high school. Some of those people have become my best friends, having spent quality time together in person over the years.

And it was only after I moved away and started living my own life in a community removed from my family that I understood I wasn't so different from the rest of the world.

I allowed myself to believe I was lovable. I wasn't too different or inherently broken to have a support system outside of my family.

Only when I opened myself up to the reality that I don't actually need to be with someone who shares my exact beliefs did I understand that it's healthy relationship dynamics that matter most in a relationship.

This is such a wonderful book. Each chapter has sent me into a tailspin of introspection.

Go to your local library and check it out now.

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