I wrote an article about a year ago about my loneliness and insecurity. That article, and this one I am about to write, are both very personal and I feel a bit uncomfortable sharing this information about myself but I figure that I probably am not the only person to feel this way, and if it helps even one person feel like they are not alone, then it is well worth any embarrassment or self-consciousness I might experience as a result of publishing it.
Usually when I am in a mood like this, depressed, it is because something recently has happened to trigger it. Or in my case it is usually a bunch of incidents that collectively trigger a lack of self-esteem. About my writing, I think I have a lot of self-esteem because I honestly feel like I have tons of talent in that regard. The book that I just finished, He Talks To Me, Too, tells the story, based on my true story, of a girl who wants a deeper relationship with God, but does not quite know how to go about it. She joins an organized religion, but is basically not allowed to remain within that community because she has a physical abnormality that makes her different. The island in the book is a metaphor for a church. She is told that she is not a good person, that God is not happy with her, because of her plans to overcome this physical abnormality through surgery. I feel it is an important book, because just like with this blog article, I’m sure there have been others who have been excommunicated from churches, etc., and made to feel like they are somehow less for any number of reasons. Discrimination is rampant in our society. It can occur because of your weight, race, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, or for a host of other reasons. If this book sounds like it would be interesting for you to read, it is coming out very soon on Amazon, and more information is found on the sidebar on the homepage of this website, jaclynhollandstrauss.com.
I was talking to a Muslim yesterday and we had a nice conversation. He said that according to Islam, there is a story about a woman who gave a dog water. She is worthy of heaven, because when she saw a suffering creature, she tried to alleviate its pain and discomfort. She was not Muslim, I don’t think, and the point is that whether someone is part of an organized religion or not, they can be worthy of heaven if their heart is pure. This is not to say that organized religion is a bad thing. The sense of community can help people grow stronger as a result of interaction with people of similar beliefs.
The two triggers that have engendered a mood of hopelessness in me today are someone not wanting to post my pic on my Facebook wall because it would show up on their wall, too. I’m not even sure if it would, but even if it did, the message is clear: This person does not want my picture anywhere near their profile. It’s possible that this is not what they meant by their refusal, but that is how I took it. It makes sense that I would perceive this explanation of what she meant, because I have been rejected a lot because of my looks. That’s me, by the way, on the cover of my book, He Talks To Me, Too. I should add that my asking this person to put my pic (it was a flattering, older pic of me) on my wall came after she prepared to post several others, so I thought it was a natural request. Facebook and Twitter and other similar sites are wonderful for people like me. I am not socially successful at all, and the little bit of attention and interaction I get from people on social media sites helps make my days a lot more interesting than they would otherwise be.
Another trigger was that I asked someone to add me to Facebook, and they ignored me and changed the subject. Not a big deal in and of itself. Some people just like to have close friends on their Facebooks, because they are very private. However, again, even though what I perceived might be false, and not worth bothering over, my emotional truth is that I was rejected once again.
Normal people would not react with such hypersensitivity to such situations, but my situation with organized religion is such that I put such situations in that context. Also, it’s part of a pattern. An isolated incident of someone not replying to a Facebook message wouldn’t bother me if every other indication was that I was popular. But things add up and form a pattern.
I love God. And I have very close friends, two in particular. One is in the south of France, and one is in the north of Mexico, on the Mexico/American border. But they are both so far away that it is not the same as having friends with me here, with whom I can watch movies, and do all of the other things that relax a person and help them to face the challenges of the day.
I try to be grateful to God for all of my blessings. But it is difficult, because I tend to have nightmares, etc., based on my interactions with people. In the past, rejection has been a theme to my life. One friend ducks out of sight so as not to be seen with me. I asked one friend to come visit me over the next week (a couple of years ago) but he said it was a bad time. I told him that I was really suffering emotionally and that I needed some comfort. He said he didn’t have time. I’m constantly asking people to do stuff with me, but am always or almost always turned down. I’m sure if my 2 close friends were living around me, then I’d have tons of fun stuff to do. But for now that is not my reality. I keep praying for a change in my circumstances. I want to be a happy person. I am well aware that people do not like to hear negative things all the time. But what if negative things happen to you constantly? I find life very difficult. I don’t know if it’s a natural weakness to my character, or if my life is really that bad. I tend to think it’s definitely the latter, but I am obviously biased, and perhaps because of my depression, I am not seeing the situation with the perspective I ought to be, like a more Godly perspective. For example, I know that I have to try to find a way to be happy without a lot of people in my life. This is going to be extremely difficult for me, as I love people. I’m fascinated by human nature. I am curious. But for some reason I don’t fully understand, people just don’t engage with me. There’s something lacking. And I know I’m not alone. There are many people who are lonely. We all just need to find a way to be happy with what we have, and not blame others for our circumstances. It’s very frustrating for me when people don’t answer my Facebook private messages, or when they give me a couple lines and then leave, unless they want something. There are many people on my Facebook list who only message me when they want something. They go through the motions of acting like they want to interact with me, but it’s not really the case. Otherwise, I’d hear from them other times. It can be very depressing when I hear from other people how people constantly ask them to do stuff, want to be with them, etc. I have to face the reality that, for the most part, people do not want to be around me. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but I know that God loves me, and that He is aware of all aspects of my life, and He will never give me, or any of us, more than we can bear.
My book ends with the message that whether we are part of an organized religion or not, we can be spiritual and have a deep relationship with God. It ends on a message of hope, because I thought that was important. We should do good for the sake of doing good, regardless of our own personal circumstances. He does not just talk to Church leaders; He talks to me, too. He talks to all of us, every human being on earth.
And this isn’t meant to be a depressing article, just an honest depiction of my current feelings. I’m actually kind of fascinated by how people feel about me. There seems to be a barrier between the rest of the world and me, and I can’t figure out who put it there, or why it exists. If my circumstances did change, and all of a sudden I was popular with a lot of social demands on my time, it would be a shock, but a nice one.