Rescue Journal

what do you do when you feel disconnected?

Alison  ·  Nov. 5, 2006

i just spent some time on the phone talking about this...and geez i remember feeling when i was younger,so many times that little niggling feeling that i was not fitting in around me with that seamless grace that is so very comfortable. i sometimes see it with the animals, with murphy, phoebe and thomas, who thru no fault of their own, are having difficulty finding that place that just says home and safe. i still occasionally feel the same except now i am old and cranky so i just put my head down to the task at hand and wait for the stuff i can't change to go away.

i think sensitive woman, and sensitive younger woman esp. (under forty) are walking targets for painful personal introspections on finding their fault for feeling disconnected. it has taken me a long time to learn a couple of is...we are born alone, we die alone and we truly walk a vast portion of our lives alone because others simply cannot see inside us. and even if they could, they are too busy fighting their own demons to take too much note.

and two...if i am correct in this thinking then the very best relationship that i can develop and take care of, is with myself. i spent years telling my daughters, relationships are for the overflowing good things inside us, they are not, and not cannot be for filling holes. i still believe this. i still struggle to accept myself and value myself and to treat myself kindly. i still sometimes feel disconnected from others with whom my mind says, i should share a common goal.

when i feel disconnected, i work even harder, i find more things i want to accomplish, and sadly, i sometimes think too much introspectively. if life is a journey, and the journey has challenge, is not meeting the challenge and surmounting it the real point of the journey in the first place? i am sure many of my sick or elderly clients used to feel the same as me. now surprizingly they don't. their challenge is to control their physical pain, or to learn a new way to put on their socks, or to adjust to the loss of their home and belongings when placed reluctantly into facility care. the biggest loss they suffer is the loss of their physical and emotional "aloneness", someone is always at them now for this or that, and that is really hard to accept. i think they might appreciate a little more disconnect sometimes.

funny how as we age we see things from different much of how i view the world now is either thru the eyes of the animals or my patients. i am beginning to think that viewing thru their eyes and not my own self discovered real or unreal limitations, might be a more accurate way to view the world. my eyes are clouded, with my wants and my needs and my own feelings of not quite fitting quite right.

my advice to the person on the other end of the phone if i could have verbalized it better? would have been to never let other peoples percieved expectations, shove you into an ill fitting envelop that mails you off to somewhere that you don't belong. be yourself and value yourself because yourself is the only person that will be with you for every single moment of your life. if you deny that person who you really are, and make them feel less than have just denied the very best parts of yourself that in your hurt and fearful blindeness, you happened to just miss to really see.



I've often said, when people bemoaned hitting their fiftieth birthday, that I would not want to go back to being 20 or 30 or 40. And I think it is because I felt compelled to "fit in" back then (even though I never did!) One of the best things about being an older woman is being able to do your own thing without being questionned (at the worst, one might be considered eccentric...or a crazy animal lady!) and without feeling you are somehow "weird". As a kid who never really fit in back in high school, and who has either always been just a little too feminist or a little too opinionated (same thing, to some people!), I find that I have finally reached the point where I am allowed to be disconnected and to hold my own opinions and do my own thing...and that is so liberating! Some women never have that opportunity.

Having said I would not want to return to my 20s or 30s, I must add that I would like to stay in my 50s and 60s and maybe my 70s indefinitely - because, as Carol says, there comes a point in one's old age when one returns to having do other people's bidding again and have other people around all the time. And I do NOT look forward to that. I will not go gently into that good night....

Several years ago, my adult daughter and I had been talking about my contentment at reaching 50, and she gave me a copy of a wonderful book of poems and stories that I love (in fact, the title poem is framed and hanging on my kitchen wall where I read it every day). It is called "I am becoming the Woman I've Wanted" edited by Sandra Haldeman Martz. The title poem (which is written by Jayne Relaford Brown) starts off "I am becoming the woman I've wanted/grey at the temples/soft body, delighted/cracked up by life/with a laugh that's known bitter/but, past it, got better/knows she's a survivor-/that whatever comes/she can outlast it..."
And the last stanza begins with "I find her becoming/this woman I've wanted.." Yup. I quite like me now. And disconnected or not, that's a GOOD thing.

cheryl smith

Good to read you again.
Relate to the disconnected.

Being only child of older parents in the 50's made you an oddity and alone
all the parents friends kids were teenagers while I was young
Had my kids when in my 30's everyone we knew had their kids while in their 20's
everyone is retiring and we have another 10+ to go

but then you do connect, people that admire your animals and you talk, a common subject,
the beauty of the river and the plants and the birds when walking or sitting on a bench at Burnaby Foreshore there are connecting points

Going to Poppy Days every year ahd having people ask you how the past year has been and they are happy to see you again