At a very young age I could sense that I was different from everyone around me. I never felt understood. All of my immediate family thought they knew me, but they really never did. In fact, I still don’t feel that they really get me, to this day. I always kind of felt like, as the old saying goes, “a fish out of the water”.
I always preferred to play with my stuffed animals over dolls. In fact, I owned very few dolls but I had a collection of over 150 stuffed animals. I always felt comfortable when I was interacting with them. As a young girl, I would dress my stuffed animals up and have tea parties with them, rather than dolls.
In my heart, they were my family and friends. I talked to them. I took them for rides on my bike or in my wagon. As I made my bed in the morning, I would always arrange them in just the right way and in a very specific order on the bed. At night, I would alternate who got to sleep with me, as there were too many for all of us to be comfortable, you see. I did not want to leave anyone out, so this seemed like the best solution to me.
My stuffed animals gave me what I felt I didn’t have in my household. They gave me companionship and understanding. I looked after them in the way I wanted to be looked after. I loved them. I kept them clean, made sure that they were all comfortable and most of all, I made sure they were understood. I made up all kinds of stories about and with them. I took them on adventures. It was the family and friendship I longed for, and I found it in the safety of these little creatures. You know, like Tom Hanks and “Wilson” on that sandy, sunny beach. LOL
I did not have any friends that lived close by at a young age and my slightly older brother was not interested in playing with his unusual little sister. I felt that my parents were always very, very busy. They saw to it that I had the essentials to live but it seemed there was never time for anything extra for me.
Honestly, I believe that none of them understood me and maybe even thought that I was just a “problem child”. I think that’s what they called “different” back then. They certainly did not see me as being normal. Being an empath I could sense that. Though at the time, I didn’t know how or why I sensed these things. I just did…
I was a lonely child but my animal friends helped me to cope with that pain. Looking back now, I know that my family did not have the tools to recognize who and what I was. If they had, I believe my journey in life would have been much easier and happier. I used to spend hours with my stuffed animals. I would make sure they were comfortable while we were watching television or when they were watching me color in my books or even while I was doing my chores. I needed for them to know that their comfort was important to me. I needed them to know that I loved and appreciated them and that they were absolutely the most important things in my life. I needed them to know that they mattered to me! All of those things that I longed for, desperately….
I always spoke kindly to them and when the arguing in the house between my family members got loud, I would try to buffer the sound from their tiny little sensitive ears. After all, they were there for me when I was sad, or mad, or happy. I felt that I wanted to return the favor and be there for them. They were the family I had to create for myself, in order to survive. I believe that we are a species that needs companionship in some form and my stuffed animals were mine. At least until I got a little older and could start looking outside of the home I lived in.
I believe that I was born an empath and because I did not form a connection with the people in my household, I turned to animals. I really wish I had understood what was happening at the time and that my family had realized, or, at least, even seemed to care what was happening. Sometimes life gets busy. We’ve all heard people say that. I have said it myself, from time to time. However, I try not to say it anymore because it is no excuse. I urge you to make the time to try to understand the people in your life. Try to imagine, if you can, what things might look like from their perspective. Or, at least make an effort to let them know that they are seen. Just because we are not all the same, does not make us bad in some way. It is what makes life interesting and challenging. Being different is a blessing and should be treated as such.
The most intelligent, interesting and caring beings I know, are different. This is what I call BEAUTIFUL! Our creator did not want to make clones of everyone and have us all be exactly the same. Quite the opposite I think. Why then, I ask, do so many beings feel so lonely? I believe that most people have been taught to feel shame for being different… Is it because somewhere along the way, someone decided that being different was something to be feared? Could it be that beings or things that are different can be more difficult to understand? If so, I think that this is so wrong on so many levels. The shame is on those who cannot, or will not, embrace and celebrate being different and on those who criticize and ridicule.
My hope is that someday, those who fear, will try to understand and be kind to those they view as different! Here’s to a world where love and kindness is our collective first response to being different!
Go on then, Go and Be… Beautifully Different… by design!