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To feel as though I don't fit in anywhere

(25 Posts)
anditwasallyellow Mon 23-Jul-12 12:30:34

AIBU or even ridiculous to feel like I just don't fit in and never have.

It's really difficult to explain but I just feel as though there's noone out there like me who I can relate to I'm a single parent and I live in a council house but I really really want 'better' for myself but am probably not smart or educated enough to ever get to where I'd like to be.

I come from a massive family most (not all) of whom are long term unemployed and have drug/drink problems or severe mental health problems. When I was at school the kids who came from backgrounds like myself were all drinking, smoking, stealing cars and bunking off school and this was just not me. But the others kids all seemed to have lots of money and be off on holidays, doing family stuff or in school clubs and we never really did anything as a family. As I've got older I've distanced myself from most of my friends because they all had children but only seemed interested in going out drinking and sleeping about and wanted me to do the same as them.

I ended up in a violent relationship for a few years hence why I now rent from the council after I decided to leave. But I feel as though people will always look own on me and judge me as a single parent who lives in a council house everywhere I go I seem to hear the old stereotype and I feel plagued by it.

I've always worked with lovely people but once again just feel as though I never quite fit in as they are always going on about their mortgages and slagging off people who come from backgrounds like me and how people always get something for nothing.

I'm in a long term relationship with someone who is probably more similiar to me in a lot of ways interest wise. But he's from a really well off background and a perfect family and can in no way relate to the way I've been brought up or the experiences I've had. I find it really difficult to tolerate his family, on one hand they are lovely and are desperate to get to know me more but I feel totally out of place with them. They will make casual recist remarks about where I live they are completely fascinated about where I live and work. They are from a quiet nice little town where there is barely a brown face and I am from a big diverse city and work in the public sector for Social Services and they just keep going on about how it's a 'different world' and how it must be very PC where I work. I dread to think how they'd react if they met half of my family.

I'm sure I'll be told I've a massive chip on my shoulder but it's just how I've always felt, like people are always one extreme or another.

PetiteRaleuse Mon 23-Jul-12 12:38:57

YANBU in that I think that a lot of people feel they don't fit in anywhere. It is a very common feeling, in fact. I grew up feeling I didn't fit in because I wasn't interested in the same things girls my age were generally interested in. I think the main reason I moved to France was because I didn't fit in at home, and though I didn't expect to fit in in another country the fact I was British and therefore different whatever I did made that seem alright, IYKWIM.

I find myself distancing myself more and more from old friends and family as I am no longer willing to make the effort to meet them more than half way.

I don't have any advice for you, other than I really don't think you are alone, if that helps.

As for your DP's family, it's him that you're in a relationship with, not them. They never will understand - they won't be able to - but they sound as if they are trying, which I guess is something. Steering them onto more neutral territory or trying to find something (even really small) that you do have in common might help.

saadia Mon 23-Jul-12 12:42:13

You come across as a really decent and interesting person. I don't have any real advice except to say you should be proud of what you have achieved and you are definitely the equal if not better than people who stereotype others on the basis of class or colour. I don't know what your educational background is but you might benefit from doing a course in something you are interested in and would probably meet a wider range of people who share your interest.

liketochat1 Mon 23-Jul-12 12:45:57

Background is irrelevant. It's who you are that counts. And you sound like a sensible, friendly person. Your partner obviously thinks of too. If anyone makes any remarks about your background it says more about them than it dies about you.

BlueBirdsNest Mon 23-Jul-12 12:49:00

A lot of people feel they never fit.

It is actually very very common

Don't be embarrassed of your family, the world is made up of lots of different people.

And having a council house is not a bad thing, do you know how many people want a council house!

Money is not the be all and end all, being a good person is worth far far more

SilkStalkings Mon 23-Jul-12 12:54:32

You need to find some more hippy artsy friends. They usually work in low-paid worthy jobs so are often more pc and less judges, even of some might have had middle class backgrounds or be well-educated.

Chrysanthemum5 Mon 23-Jul-12 12:58:37

It is hard when you feel as if you have a 'bad' background. I come from a pretty rough area, and now live in a 'nice' area. Even though I've achieved a lot I still feel inferior to people who had stable, happy childhoods. And all I can do is remind myself that no-one can make me feel inferior without my consent!

You sound like a good person, but maybe (like me) just a bit over-sensitive about what other people think of you. Your DP obviously values you so take some confidence from that. And if his family make comments you don't like you can either steer the conversation to something else, or pull them up on it - but the choice is yours.

JennerOSity Mon 23-Jul-12 12:58:44

I can totally understand the way you feel. I think a lot of the opinions which are expressed and make you uncomfortable are very broad brush generalisations for conversation fodder and actually if you dig into it there are far more nuances and grey areas in these opinions than you get from a shallow chat at work. I expect if the people who complain about the something for nothings, knew you had anything to do with it they would have a different opinion as they probably also recognise there are genuine worthy cases to whom the complaint does not apply.

I think these people have much more narrow horizons than you as they have less life experience, so you will always feel as though you can see more than they do, which makes it harder to come down to that narrower level with them in order to chime with their views.

I think you sound great and I bet they also think so.

It is a little like having lived abroad for a while, you are never totally at home in either country from then on as a part of you is always missing some culture / habit / food from the other country - so that feeling of displacement is permanent, but you are not alone in having it.

Hope that made sense! smile

anditwasallyellow Mon 23-Jul-12 13:31:09

It makes perfect sense.

I am definitely paranoid about what people think of me I feel quite transparent as times, but that's probably more about how I feel about myself.

SinisterBuggyMonth Mon 23-Jul-12 13:32:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maddening Mon 23-Jul-12 13:38:22

I feel that "not fitting in" feeling for my own reasons

I think you should not be defined by your background - it is a lifestyle that you have not chosen, do not live and have no interest in. I wouldn't let you bf background bother you either - it is the two of you that is important and it sounds as if you make a great couple.

anditwasallyellow Mon 23-Jul-12 13:45:39

SBM your post gave me a lump in my throat as it sounds so familiar. My parents were known to buy me a new outfit for say a party, let me wear it for the day and then take it back to the shop the next day. It seemed like a normal thing to do at the time!

anditwasallyellow Mon 23-Jul-12 13:53:38

maddening with my bf we kind of meet in the middle somewhere and it's nice but it would be nice to be ale to relate to eachother a bit more in other ways.

I think perhaps I need to accept that I will find common ground with people over different things but there isn't going to be anyone just like me and why shoudl there be.

Chrysanthemum5 Mon 23-Jul-12 14:04:04

There won't be anyone just like you because we're all unique! I don't have lots in common with DH, he had a really lovely, stable background with no money worries. Let's just say that I didn't! But I've accepted that we both bring different things to our family.

Inneedofbrandy Mon 23-Jul-12 14:46:36

Well I fit in with you!

thunderbird5 Mon 23-Jul-12 17:04:43

yep yep yep. me too. single parent too (for very good reasons) council prop which is not bad but its notmine at the end of the day, want so much to give my child a good life in a cottage in the countryside peace and tranquility,but its a constant struggle and because im in a new postcode now im having some benefits taken away, and i was struggling enough with the little i had. im a fulltime carer for my disabled child, ill NEVER be able to get a normal job and get a mortgage, ill always have to rely on government help, as will my child who'll ALWAYS need lifelong care, my family dont help, they cant cope witha disabled child, and as for so called friends, not ONE of them EVER offers any help, and childrens services dont help in the way needed either. i feel like a piece of dirt on someones shoe most of the time, yes, like you, classed in the 'single mum on income support' stigma, judged and ridiculed. everyday is such a struggle ive thought many times about ending it all, and id have to take my child with me as NO ONE can care for them. its all very well people saying take 1 day at a time etc etc but even 1 day is a struggle. my childs the most precious thing in the world and the ONLY one that gives me a sense of worth. i DO know how you feel, except at least you have a boyf, I have NO ONE.

stemginger Mon 23-Jul-12 18:39:49

>.... I really really want 'better' for myself but am probably not smart or educated enough to ever get to where I'd like to be.

I bet you are smart and clever enough - try the Open University, it is full of people from non standard back grounds

anditwasallyellow Mon 23-Jul-12 19:01:59

Thank you for all the nice replies.

I do feel happy and blessed in lots of ways, just feel like the odd one out a lot of the time. It's good to think I'm not the only one.

lovebunny Mon 23-Jul-12 19:59:52

you really have already 'bettered' yourself. you didn't go for the drinking, sleeping around. you left the bad partner and started again for yourself and your child (one? more?). you've found accommodation and made a home. you have a long term relationship.
the people at work and in your oh's family who behave in intolerant ways probably just have a less broad experience of life than you.
your position is a bit like my dad's. he made something of himself and his brothers are all envious and bitter. but the opportunities were there; he was the only one who took them.
keep going. good luck.

anditwasallyellow Mon 23-Jul-12 20:48:53

Just the one child no desire for anymore right now!

AlpinePony Mon 23-Jul-12 20:54:29

I think it's a very common feeling for those coming from a less than ideal childhood.

We can fake it to a certain extent, but we didn't have our foundations laid properly.

Time heals, as does working through the past so that you can leave it behind and embrace the love and joy you have in your life now.

I'd put money on your relationship with your pil's feeling strained for the simple fact you're not used to unconditional love and acceptance from parent figures - and so find it jarring.

dreamingbohemian Mon 23-Jul-12 21:16:26

I do know what you mean. I grew up in a very working class (and messed up) family (in the US) but had scholarships that meant going to nice school and then university in a different, non-working class city. Now I'm an expat and for the first time in my life associating with actual posh people, which is sometimes terrifying!

I also had divorced parents who lived in different cities, that I split my time in.

Basically I have never felt like I belonged anywhere, there are parts of me scattered all over the place.

And doing well in one sector of my life tends to feel like a betrayal of the other parts sad

The only comfort I can give is that the older I get, the less hard it is.

And you are not alone! You may not know anyone like you in real life right now but they are definitely out there smile

toptramp Mon 23-Jul-12 22:15:31

Well I came from a middle class nuclear family and I am now a single mum in low paid work so I am hopelessly downwardly mobile. I can't quite get my head round it. I don't always envy couples as I feel quite free to do as I want. On the other hand I miss hugs. It is so commmon now for people to be single parents and plenty of couples I know from good backgrounds claim benefits.

Adversecamber Mon 23-Jul-12 22:26:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Philomeena Thu 05-May-16 13:01:18

I came across your post four years later and I felt a tearful but also a little encouraged that there are a few fellow travellers out there. I want to send you a large hug and hope you are feeling better now as you sound like a lovely person. You have survived and your range of life experience is to be applauded thought we live in a society that prefers people who have a linear consistent upbringing to adulthood. I could have written large parts of your post due to a different upbringing to the life I am living now and the social circles I move in and different background to my husband. I am too tired and low at present to go into details but I would like to raise a metaphorical glass to you and I daresay we could have had a pretty good talk down the local pub. Best wishes anyway and hang in there...There are a few of us around...not many but we're put there with our mass of contradictions but genuine humanity.

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