As many of us know, humans are social beings. We crave for companionship, recognition, and validation. It helps us to develop into healthy individuals. So what happens to those that are not invited into a social group or isolated from others? How does this affect the mental and emotional status of such an individual?
I’m not here to bore you with research and statistics. Although I find all of this fascinating, I don’t have the time to look up such numbers. I barely have time to write my story (thanks to my lovely baby who just started to speak from her play pen; prior to this, she was sleeping). I want to be one of the voices to share with others about those are not included into cliques. Personally, I can’t stand cliques. I understand that we all have specific likes and dislikes and often gravitate to those that are like-minded. But, if you are aware of someone who is at a distant staring and your group, at least have the understanding that a simple smile or a wave would be satisfying to a soul who may long for human companionship.
Growing up, I was, in a way, like a goth (what is modernly called emo). Often those who are outcast become one just because they long to be with others but are somehow left alone. There is a feeling of depression and disassociation that often occurs. The mind and heart has to accept that one will never connect with others. Darkness often clouds one. The urge of acceptance and love never dies. I would have wore all black and even painted my fingernails black but I respected my parents enough to not do so (they were Christians). I wanted to pain of exclusion to go away so I started to attempt to memorize steps of how to harness energy from the sun and to remove yourself from your body. It came from a book that an elementary school classmate had found in our high school library. A cousin of mine had showed me the book and shared with me what was written therein.
Although I was successful in learning and removing the pain of isolation, I had another problem: the practice was increasing my anger. After a while, I couldn’t control whenever I wanted to use the energy that I was learning how to do. Anger increased my strength to supernatural. The time I realized I needed to stop this practice was when I became so angry with the same cousin that introduced me to these “spells” that I lifted her up and repeatedly banged her into the hallway wall at my parents’ house. So what happened to respecting my parents? What did I bring into their Christian home? I knew I needed supernatural strength to bind whatever demon(s) that were now lurking in my parents’ home as well as in my body. That is when I became serious with God.
I learned about God when I was a child because my parents went to church and often took me with them. However, I didn’t have a personal relationship with God until I was almost 17 years old. The demon(s) that were in the house pressed upon me to end my life before I turned 16. One day, when I was the only one in the house, I found myself in the kitchen with a machete in my hand. To this day, I don’t know how I got to the kitchen but I remember being in a daze. When I came to, I dropped the knife and closed the drawer. I was totally spooked!
After deciding to dedicate my life to God, the enemy of God didn’t give up on me easily. Since I decided not to practice those “spells,” insulting words like “bitch” was often heard in my mind but I understood that it was not my thoughts. One main threat that hurt was hearing that I would have to deal with being an outcast again and that I would never have any friends. That did hurt but I decided not to let that threat get to me because a true Christian would have an idea of what I had went through because God would impress on the heart of the person to be kind and loving towards me; let me into their social group or their individual life. So, with holy boldness, and after hearing various presentations of Seventh Day Adventist beliefs, I decided to get baptized.
The following event I will never forget because it changed my social life. One person started to smile at me whenever we had eye contact. At first, it was awkward. I felt uncomfortable. I even asked God, “Why is [name omitted for privacy purposes] smiling at me?” After a while, I started to smile back. A warm sensation was felt in my heart. Then it occurred to me that others may need that same smile. So I started to duplicate it; whenever I locked eyes with someone, I decided to smile ever so slowly. For they may need someone to simply say “I see you.”
“I see you” was a phrase that meant something to be ever since I watched that scene in The Joy Luck Club. A daughter was wondering how her mother thought about her. One day, the mother affectionately said “I see you” and the daughter couldn’t help but cry. It was healing to her tormented soul. I desire to bring healing to others just like this. One reason is because I have been there. I was once an outcast (or, in some degree, I still am). I still find myself excluded from social gatherings or social groups. I don’t have “friends.” I get tired often from conversing throughout the day because I am an introvert. But it doesn’t stop me from carrying about others. I have a warm heart. I desire to be a sound board for others who are still trying to figure out self and life. I want to be a cheerleader in the lives of others. Although I often don’t have time to write personal letters or make encouraging cards from scratch, I often pray for others. One day, I want to travel and present hope to others. I want to present topics such as stress, anxiety, depression, and share solutions. I want to be the light and the end of the tunnel that others are walking towards but don’t know it just yet.
Yesterday, I was able to finally give a track to a young lady that reminded me of myself when I was her age. Although our nationality differs, I could sense the sameness as in being an outcast. She wore her bangs over her eyes and kept her lips firmly pressed together. I often passed her by as I walk to work. After a while, this same young lady would walk with earbuds in her ears. Since it would have been a bit awkward to give her the track at the beginning of my seasonal job, I decided to only pray for her and wait towards the end of the season to give it to her. When I gave it to her, I noticed her black fingernail polish. She took the tract that says “A Love Letter From Jesus” and said “Oh, thank you!” in such an appreciative way that it caused me to want to pray that I will find someone else to pass another track to. I hope she understands that it was one way for me to say “I see you.”
In conclusion, I cannot believe that I was able to write all of this without needing to attend to my baby (it is dead silence via baby monitor; she must have went back to sleep)! Having a baby around also reminds me there is joy in life. When I was a teenager, I often helped my sister with her foster babies. It was a joy to play and talk to them. I didn’t feel lonely when I interacted with the babies. I felt like I was accomplishing someone important; helping a human being that couldn’t help themselves just yet. I ask each one of my readers to please find the joy of encouraging others who may feel alone in this world. We are all living on the same planet together and struggling with one thing or another. We need encouragement from those that see us often. And, who knows, that person may end up being one of your best friends.