Standing on the Outside

Outside

When I was growing up the Australian rock band Cold Chisel were one of the voices of my generation.  One of the hits they sang had the words

I’m standing on the outside looking in

And often lyrics of a song come to me when I am in a situation where the song has a message or a theme that resonates for me.  I was feeling my deep solitariness after leaving the dog park, going to the market, ordering my favourite coffee, settling down with a good book conscious of all the couples and families together who were sharing a joke, close, intimate chit chat and food.  I felt my the deep theme of aloneness and solitariness that has been a constant throughout my life.

I thought of the times this feeling was a deep pain for me, made me feel there was something wrong with me, made me long to connect, to know the right thing to say to be with others, but that always evaded me.  I realise now with shock that picking up alcohol was an attempt not to come to peace with the feeling that I just felt all the time that I was standing on the outside looking in to a world I didn’t fully understand or feel I belonged in.

This last week as I have been reading through even more of the letters my older sister wrote when she was 19 and I was just 3, that the family was involved in a world I didn’t fit in to, would never fit in to.

I don’t know what my Mum was thinking having a baby so late in life.   She didn’t want to stay home with me.  She was working nights from the time I was only 2.  I don’t think it was an economic necessity.  All throughout my childhood she could have easily come home to be with me (my sister has told me this as they were in the fashion business together), but she chose not to.

She did what was done to her as a child when her mother went out to work but the difference was that for my Nana that was a necessity.

I feel that after just over 16 years of on and off therapy I am only just really coming to terms with the painful  feelings that resulted.  I tried to address it with her this week, only to be given an excuse.  She made an effort to reach out and connect and I opened up to trust her and this afternoon she has let me down, yet again making a promise she failed to honour.

Yesterday I was in tears over the fact the doctor recommended she go into hospital with fluid on her lung.  She refused to go.  I was worried that she might die in her sleep but in a way it may be a relief.  I have such a mix of painful emotions around our relationship that at times its like living in a mind/body warp.  I feel very twisted around and the pattern of let down is so frequent I am beginning to see I set myself up for pain when I have much contact with her at all and hope not to be hurt.  Maybe its a message from the Universe.

I think I have to accept I am on my own.  I think I have to accept the feelings of loneliness that come.  I think I need to accept that I will always feel that I am on the outside looking into a world were others connect and I cannot, not really. But I do know that I CAN connect with myself.  And that that is the most important connection of all. (And reading this back I am sure that I DO connect with others at a deeper level from time to time.)

I seem to have carried this aloneness and loneliness for years. Since Saturn which contacts my Moon is currently retrograde in sextile to my natal Sun Mercury Venus Jupiter in the seventh house and trine to my North Node in Leo I am beginning to see that I have to accept this profoundly Saturnian pathway.

With my South Node in Aquarius in the Seventh House conjunct those planets my thoughts naturally gravitate towards others.  I think of ways I could get together with them, connect, make some contact, but things never work out as I had planned and somehow I end up all alone and on the outside.   With Leo North Node in the first house maybe this needs to be and I need to celebrate the ability to be alone and find gifts within it.

Today I will spend the whole day not totally alone, but with my dog soundly sleeping after our morning walk/play time.  I need to stop longing to be with others.  Another song comes to mind a lot lately, Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Again, Naturally.  It was a soundtrack to my youth, played on the stereo in our living room in those lonely years when I came home to an empty house with no one there to talk and so I turned to music.

Thank God for music,  and books.  How would I have survived my youth without those things?  Maybe I just need to be grateful for the gifts that being on the outside can bring.  The ability to see below the surface of things, a sense of connection with oneself and the natural world, an artistic inclination or inclination for creativity and beauty beyond the endless distractions of, at times, superficial relationships.

I still feel the pain of exclusion though, but the up side is now, that I can comfort myself. I can talk to my therapist. I can reach a deeper understanding of how by hoping for the hopeless I set myself up for upset time and time again.

4 thoughts on “Standing on the Outside

  1. I can really relate to feeling on the outside looking in, both as a teenager and as an adult. Others get to have families, close friends, but not me. I also took refuge in books and music, and still do. It’s actually a good skill, to be able to derive pleasure from books and music – not everyone has that. Glad you can comfort yourself now.

  2. Yes, “saved” by music and books. I also do that lyrics thing and clearly remember relating to the song “Alone Again, Naturally” when I was young. Haven’t thought of that tune in so long… Spring has arrived in this neck of the woods and pupster Fiona wanted to sit outside doing dog meditation all day both days this weekend. Apropos of learning to become friends with oneself, on Friday I watched Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED Talk “A Stroke of Insight” again and then found a much more in-depth interview she did with Oprah a few years ago which was even more inspiring. Thank you, once again your posts are so synchronous with what I’m experiencing.

    1. Oh thanks so much for sharing all of this, Flora. I love to think of you both outside in the spring beauty, as we experience the falling leaves here. I am tempted now to check out those talks and interviews. Love to you and the pupster. xo

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