Sense of Belonging

LeiaFlower

Confident
How do I ease the feeling that I don't belong anywhere? My current medication helped with the emotional dysregulation but the numbness and emptiness still exist. I tried religion and the place of worship is the reason I stay away from religion. I'm trying again tomorrow though my apprehension is against it working. I tried friendships then developed codependency. I still have resentment toward my immediate family that I need help getting over. I threw myself into work and school only to have burnout. I then tried to balance, my occupation with mental health as well as interpersonal relationships; however, the empty feeling that I don't belong persists. Does anyone have any advice?

I know there are people who care about me and I care about them. However, since my sense of self is so low I feel alone when I'm without my friend. Even when I'm with her I feel alone. That she'll eventually leave and I'll be alone again. I just want to belong somewhere but I don't know if that's a toxic mindset. Am I supposed to just accept myself? The days where I'm by myself, no one checking in is the longest. But being with my current support system makes me feel alone as well. I wonder if there's a meaning to my existence. Or if I somehow was a flaw, a mistake that wasn't supposed to happen.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Find places like this. Virtual is like real without the AAAAAAHHHHHH part of hanging out with people. Plus people here get it. We get it all....

Participate in threads on the Social part of the forum...join in threads like the Turn Away From Dissociation, What I Ate Today, and more.

I have this and a sports forum where I hang out with friends. This is the one where everyone gets me though.

I am sure there is a wonderful person in there @LeiaFlower - here is where you can let it loose without judgment.....
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
dunno leia. . . i have the same problem and haven't figured a solution yet. when you unlock that cosmic secret, please send me the address. for now, i'm just singing along with leonard cohen. any excuse will do for singing along with leonard cohen.

Passing through, passing through.
Sometimes happy, sometimes blue,
Glad that I ran into you.
Tell the people that you saw me passing through.
 

LeiaFlower

Confident
Find places like this. Virtual is like real without the AAAAAAHHHHHH part of hanging out with people. Plus people here get it. We get it all....

Participate in threads on the Social part of the forum...join in threads like the Turn Away From Dissociation, What I Ate Today, and more.

I have this and a sports forum where I hang out with friends. This is the one where everyone gets me though.

I am sure there is a wonderful person in there @LeiaFlower - here is where you can let it loose without judgment.....
I'm balanced between being an extrovert and an introvert. I enjoy hanging out in person and building relationships, or staying home and hanging out. Virtual is okay, but it's not the same for me. Though people here do understand. I might ask my EMDR therapist if she knows any in-person support groups. Or maybe when I go in for my PHProgram if they have any. I'm trying to widen out more instead of falling into the background of life. Thanks for the suggestion it helped me come up with ideas.
dunno leia. . . i have the same problem and haven't figured a solution yet. when you unlock that cosmic secret, please send me the address. for now, i'm just singing along with leonard cohen. any excuse will do for singing along with leonard cohen.

Passing through, passing through.
Sometimes happy, sometimes blue,
Glad that I ran into you.
Tell the people that you saw me passing through.
Lol I wish I knew. I ordered a few books in regards to creating at least interdependent relationships, maybe it'll give suggestions on finding belonging.
 
A Vet told me it actually is caused by low level anxiety. I guess I would add, trust or mistrust (a choice), common ground, inclusion.

Funny, our other dog seemed to have it. I lthink it was from kindmess/ love, attentiveness. She always looked to us to solve whatever problem she had, total trust. She was horrifically abused. But hid and ran away from all her fosters. So kindness was good but not enough. She needed understanding. I think also she knew what she could do or not do wasn't the deciding factor in including her.

I guess one belongs where they feel their presence is wanted, but not merely because of usefulness.

Not sure if that helps.

ETA, maybe it's important to concentrate on making other people feel welcome?
 
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I should add maybe one thing @LeiaFlower , because it wouldn't be honest not to say at times I also sort of doubt my Vet friend's explanation;, though I respect him greatly so only believe in faith, since I simply think sensing you don't belong can be because you don't. If, or where, you feel you don't, why bother trying? Or more importantly, why would you want to? Because as others have a choice, so do you.

Take or disregard the above as you see fit. I tried in my own family to belong, and I never could. The people out there who are all 'family'/ 'families', doesn't apply to me either. Why stay? It's painful to have to listen to it, frankly. Why put yourself through that? if you can't be yourself and have worth, it's not the place to reveal or invest who you are into. It isn't what they want, but just as equally, why would you want that, knowing that?

Even Einstein said, "The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before". Maybe where you eventually find a sense of belonging may surprise you.

 
Sorry @LeiaFlower , I missed the edit but something occurred also to me (just a thought): having a sense of belonging is a basic human need. One often typified by 'family' in culture and speech. But when you think about it, the family for example has been determined as the place where the most violence statistically is experienced in life. Even apart from dysfunction or abuse, there is a power differential, positions of authority, and often rivalry, competition, jealousy, poor boundaries or enmeshment, pretense, exclusion, neglect, scapegoating, role-playing and rigid roles (often defined by others), betrayal, secret keeping, and to a certain degree inflexibility towards difference. I have yet to meet almost any family without great challenges in some form, and of course the divorce rate is sky high. It's actually something with forethought most people don't want to be a part of or replicate in that form, in reality.

So the perception of people having a sense of belonging, may not be quite the reality of how they feel either, Or why would they act out in such ways? (Threatened by others, rigid in roles, gossiping, acting with pretense, looking down on others, etc- whatever applies. In most circles there are cliques and people can't even agree on what to eat. Or they're giving each other the finger in the parking lot). It's like neighbours, it is a spectrum. So perhaps the sense of not-belonging is not that uncommon. Just well hidden. People often feel they belong more where they are not known, and have a fear if they were known they wouldn't belong. So what they 'present' belongs, more than their authentic self and reality, much of which they're hiding but actually shows, if that makes sense. No one is perfect, but you can get a feel by actions and reactions of mindsets and presence/ absence of mutual concern, acceptance or welcoming. One of the bigger parts will be an absence of self-focus. (None of us can see anyone else if we're focusing on ourselves or appearances. or thinking solely of What's in it for me?, I don't think. Not in a natural and authentic or genuine way, anyway.)

Perhaps your sense of belonging will develop along with a sense of purpose. And the 1st purpose has to be to take care of yourself and your own feelings, and to protect your heart, and be a lot kinder to yourself.

Best wishes to you.
 
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Friday

Moderator
I can’t touch your title Q with a 10’ pole…as I’ve never belonged anywhere, so I would have no idea how to create a feeling of something that doesn’t exist in my life. But? I usually see that as an upside! Since I don’t belong anywhere? It means I can go everywhere. 😎

How to narrow down “everywhere”? IE As I don’t look for places I belong, or to belong?

- Where do I enjoy being / Who do I enjoy being with?
- Where is it important to me to be?
- Where do I dislike being, or with who, why, and why the hell would I stay somewhere I dislike? (Not to say there aren’t reasons, but it very much means I need to evaluate those reasons, and come to a decision about whether or not they justify my being there, or are important enough to stay.)
 
That David Burns has a good tool for making decisions it seems, though I haven't tried it yet.

I was thinking about this, but it came to me that many of us with our particular histories might find it difficult to feel a sense of belonging or affinity in most places or with many people. But then I also thought, it's up to us to mediate or moderate it for ourselves, what works for us, tweak how we go about in the world. I'm not sure where I am comfortable. But one can also be a visitor. 😊

But more importantly, things aren't really like they were years ago. By that I mean, 'families' are often blended; or people are on their own (especially if whatever they're doing doesn't appeal to anyone else in their family). Or they simply don't have any/ much, but why would that stop them from choosing? One 'could' not belong on the basis of anything- color, age, gender, creed, race, beliefs, disability, appearance, anything- you could be too old or too young, too white or not white enough, too quiet or too loud, or for that matter anything deemed as different. Or if you define yourself as different.

I'm not sure what it means to belong, but I don't doubt there has to be some personal definition or expectation or feeling involved, and that may be partly (or greatly) influenced by others but also our own internal thoughts or perceptions and beliefs.

What does a sense of belonging mean for you, @LeiaFlower ?

PS @Friday , it's strange, because I can't imagine you 'not' belonging virtually anywhere. Though I could see how you wouldn't want to belong everywhere. (Who would, really).
 
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LeiaFlower

Confident
What does a sense of belonging mean for you, @LeiaFlower
I guess more than belonging to myself. Though I need to work on self acceptance, I think it’s separate from belonging. Belonging for me is being able to be in a place where you don’t feel alone, not literally but more of a sense of connections. I feel as though the connections I’ve made so far is superficial as if I didn’t exist at all it wouldn’t mean anything. And when I’m in the same room with others it feels as though I’m always putting on a show. Maybe it is more self acceptance and feeling as though I’m small in comparison to others.
 
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