Upsurge of Unbelonging

Still feeling the effects of yesterday’s upsurge of unbelonging. This living at the mercy of others has made me realize how alone I am in a coupled world. I’d pretty much come to terms with my situation, but that acceptance has deserted me momentarily. Exacerbating the situation, I’ve been researching various possibilities of non-automobile trips to take if I don’t have my car back in two weeks, and all of a sudden, the thought of taking a train to Seattle and then an Alaska cruise sounded wonderful. (Anything to escape this intense heat.) And then came the reality — cruises are based on double occupancy. Couples.

WANDERLUSTIt astonishes me the breadth and depth of grief. Whenever I think I’m done with it, there comes I day when I didn’t sleep well, didn’t eat well, and the sorrow settles over me again. I thought I was okay being around couples — after all, this is a coupled world — but these days of vulnerability show me . . . well, they show me I’m still vulnerable.

I hope I don’t sound as self-pitying as I feel. There’s no real reason for feeling sorry for myself. I’m reasonably healthy, still have friends who welcome me into their homes, have dancing and blogging, and perhaps one day soon, I’ll have my car back. I bet seeing that rejuvenated VW bug will make me feel rejuvenated, and if not it will certainly make me feel free.

But free to do what? That still is the question, isn’t it?

I have lost the habit I once had of telling myself, “I am where I am supposed to be.” Perhaps it’s time to start reminding myself again of that simple truth (or hope?). Maybe I am where I am supposed to be. Maybe the unsettledness and unbelonging I feel are symptoms of letting go. I’ve had to let go of so much over the past few years. My life mate/soul mate. Our home. My brother. My parents. My parent’s house where I found refuge in my grief. I’ve even had to let go of my grief. It’s in the letting go that we make room for what is to come, so I can see that my current state is necessary but oh, why does everything have to be so hard?


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

7 Responses to “Upsurge of Unbelonging”

  1. Holly Says:

    I have always had the feeling of being the odd one out, like I don’t belong around couples. Never quite fit in. One of the reasons I made my grand journey. When I hit Quartzsite, I discovered it didn’t really matter and no one here cared. I think a lot of that has to do with your environment and the people you are around. Not having a home base is probably exacerbating the issue. If it is any consolation, you are not alone in this.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I thought I was over the feeling of unbelonging, but any change, apparently, brings back some of the effects of grief. Odd to think we still haven’t met. I’ll have to fix that!

      • Holly Says:

        I know! We are a lot closer geographically than we were when we “met”. I haven’t been traveling much these days, but at times I feel the urge. My place here in Q is temporary…as is everything in life. I feel like there are more big changes and upheavals in my future, and hopefully a lot of good things too. As for the effects of grief, I saw some photos of our old place on FB this morning and sure enough, I’m missing the life we had there. I’m happy the new owners are enjoying the house and property, but it also hurts to see others in our home using our furniture, etc. Sigh…..

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          Somehow I got the impression you were permanently established. But when one is alone, not even a beloved cat, I guess there is no permanency since there’s no reason to be anywhere in particular.

          I sneaked a peak of Jeff’s and my old place on google maps. I was glad to see that the trees we planted were still there, but otherwise, it was not a wise thing to do.

          Yes, hopefully there will be a lot of good things in your future. I certainly hope we have both survived for more than simply the sake of survival.

          • Holly Says:

            I have moved enough in my life, thinking that each move was permanent, to find out that nothing is permanent. Even tho I have settled in here for the long haul, I expect something will come along to change all of that. I’m learning to look forward to the changes too. I still feel that there is someone in my future. I could be wrong. But to have it given to me after years and years of waiting and then taken away in such a short time…there has to be more. That was the happiest I have been in my life. And yes, looking at the past isn’t a wise thing to do.

  2. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    Years ago, when friends began getting married, our friendship changed because I was “the odd man out.” One way or the other, the friends began spending more time with married friends than with singles. When I was married, my wife and I had married friends even though we maintained our friendships with single people we’d known for years. I hope we never did or said anything to exclude them, though some excluded themselves because they felt out of place. Later, when our married friends began starting families, another slow change occurred as they slowly started spending more time with other couples who had had children than with us. I see these kinds of changes happen in so many areas of life, it often makes me feel that so many things I thought would last forever are, in fact, transitory. Even so, it still amazes me how often friendships somehow seem to depend on all parties continuing the status quo of their lives and that when one’s circumstances change, old friendships seem to collapse. You’ve had so many circumstances change that keeping a group of constant friends and frequently seen acquaintances must be a rocky road at times.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s one of the things that keeps me from letting go as easily — the danger of changing the status quo. People say the dance classes will be waiting for me when I get back, but my leaving will upset the status quo, and it will not be the same, assuming I do come back. But this latest upsurge of unbelonging is helping with the letting go. I know my gut feeling is correct — if I settle down, I will turn inward, stagnate, and become the crazy catless lady.

Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: