What If

One of these things is not like the other.
One of these things doesn’t belong.
Can you tell which thing is not like the other
by the time I finish this song?
                   — Sesame Street

Ah, yep, me. I don’t belong.

It’s not a new feeling. I’ve honestly never, ever, in my entire life for as far back as I have memories felt like I ever belonged anywhere.

Not within the circle of my immediate family, my extended family, amongst my peers at school, or even those few years where I tried going to church and Sunday school. Granted, I grew up holding on to a lot of secrets I had to keep which made opening up to anyone pretty impossible. I’m stilling holding on to a lot of them, actually. So I guess it sort of makes sense in the context of being unable to just relax around anyone and simply be whoever I am.

On those rare occasions where I’ve felt like I could share my past realities with someone it tended to backfire in a way that made me feel like I was suddenly being viewed as weak and damaged. So much so, that it eventually undermined the entire relationship anyway. Perhaps that was pride of some sort? I’m not really sure.

I am damaged though. I wager pretty much every one of us is in some way or another. It seems an unavoidable consequence of life. The trouble I’m having is how to embrace who I am, what I’ve been through, and be able to be open and honest about it without feeling like it’s a life sentence to being viewed as less-than, while also not intentionally inflicting pain and suffering on other people around me (other family, really) who may or may not be aware of any of it and who I don’t feel deserve to have to face something that maybe didn’t impact them at all. Did that make sense? I don’t know that I explained that properly…

That’s where the anonymity of this particular blog comes in. When I started this years and years ago, I thought maybe it would be a place where I could release that voice within me that I am constantly having to silence in my everyday life without impacting anyone else close to me. But even under the anonymity of this, I struggle with thoughts of ‘what-if’: what if they find this blog? what if they make the connection between it and me? what if I reveal too much? and so on and so forth. There are literally thousands of ‘what-ifs’ floating around in my head at any given point of time. It’s very tiring.

On the other hand, what if opening that Pandora box of reality is exactly what I need in order to allow myself to finally feel whole and free?


M.A.Young is driven by her love of words, passionate pursuit of knowledge, and desire for a more inclusive and accepting world. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, she struggles daily with mental health issues including generalized and social anxiety, C-PTSD, depression, and self-worth.

She is the sole contributer to and founder of AnnotherVoice, a relatively unfocused blog originally created as a sounding board for the myriad of thoughts running through her mind. Her writing runs the gamut from fiction and poetry to current events and politics. She strongly encourages everyone to pay attention to the world around them and to vote!

M.A.Young has 176 posts and counting. See all posts by M.A.Young

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