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This is a nasty thought to end a therapy session on. The answer is very few places until now.

I didn’t feel I fitted in at home. My sisters were a lot older than me. I felt a lot better about that when my mother told me they had tried for a fourth but hadn’t managed it before early menopause kicked in.

I didn’t fit in at school, because I was a foreigner who couldn’t speak the language and then, when I returned to London, because I’d lived abroad and had weird thoughts. I was awkward and stubborn as well which didn’t help. Some of this was circumstances and some of it is just me.

As a teenager I was never friends with my peers because I thought they were stupid and immature and they probably saw me as stuck up and conceited. I found adults easier to deal with as I felt more able to know what they wanted. I eventually did make a few friends but only one of them has stayed.

I was too scared to reach out to people.

I only once had a passion for a career and that was destroyed at college. Whether things would have been better if I had gone to a college that wasn’t living off an ill-deserved reputation I’ll never know. I took time but started to make friends but by that point my life was such a mess it wasn’t enough.

Even as a parent, I thought we’d start off at an even playing field. After all, we were all parents for the first time. But no, there were happily married parents in nice houses and there were those who weren’t. I almost gave up.

I still feel alone. I can be with a crowd of people and wonder who will deign to talk to me. I feel uncomfortable worming my way into a group but daren’t say “Hi, I’m here”. I stand to one side and wait to be noticed, wait to be drawn into the fold.

I have friends. I have different groups of people. I have people I love to spend time with and who I genuinely believe love to spend time with me.

But I still worry. I still feel that I’m not part of the gang and never will be. Whatever gang. I still don’t fit in with my peers. We didn’t all do the same things as teenagers, watch the same films, listen to the same music. I still don’t, and I don’t want to. But I still feel apart.

It’s been a long time since I’ve cried my way through a post and I’m not complaining. I get better and better at living with all this under the surface and once in a while it’s good to let it out.

The song that played in my head immediately with this question is Out Here On My Own. Not the version that everyone knows from Fame but the rather more plaintive and haunting version sung by a young Nikki Costa (8 year old?) at some competition. I don’t think it made it very far in England.

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