“Stories Of A Prisoner’s Wife”

Entry 24

By Diane S.

Fitting In.

“One of these is not like the others.”

That’s usually me.

I have never been one who really fit in. I can’t really think of one time in my life where I have felt like I have actually fit in, at least, not when I was being true to myself anyway. There were are few times when I fit in with the “mean girls” at work because I pretended to be someone I wasn’t. At the time it seemed fun, but looking back I am very ashamed that I lost myself and did what was thought to be cool. There was a time when I fit in with the fun “party” crowd for about 6 months which was the single most self-destructive 6 months in my entire life. The ONLY reason really bad things didn’t come out of those 6 months is because even then, before I relied on and truly knew my Savior, He was protecting me; saving me to use me for His purpose in the future.

I am forever grateful for that.

I look back on those times and now see that every time I tried to fit in somewhere I didn’t truly belong I hurt other people in way or another. Fitting in doesn’t really seem to be my thing, it has never been natural for me. It’s much the same today.

I just don’t fit in.

Most days at this point in my life I think it’s worse than ever before. I find myself feeling like the odd one out in almost every scenario I find myself in lately. At church, at Sunday School, Bible study, work, at home, the occasional dinner with friends….everywhere.

That is not to say there aren’t a bunch of amazing, uplifting, empowering people surrounding me at all those places; because there are. People I have grown to love and appreciate. People who love me, encourage me and support me, but even in the middle of all that, I feel alone.

I feel like I just don’t fit in.

No one can relate to my life and that leaves me feeling left out, lonely and you guessed it, like I just don’t fit in. My life isn’t like everyone else’s around me. I don’t have kids, a husband at home, a home of my own, dinners to make, lunches to pack, carpools to coordinate, sports practices to take kids to, financial means to just go out to grab dinner impromptu or pick up a new outfit just because.

When I’m in settings like I mention above more often than not I am the one who is just quiet. I just listen as all the other wives and mothers talk about the busy weeks past and the busy week to come, but I have nothing to add to the conversations. Usually the only time I speak up is when someone asks for prayers and I chime in at that time for a brief minute. It’s not their fault, I think on some inner level I am envious of their lives because I know that mine will never take that path now. My life consists of waiting on letters, writing letters, waiting on phone calls, planning and saving for the next visit, trying to keep my head above water, making myself get out of bed every day to face another exhausting day and trying to balance the endless suggestions & opinions of what people think I should be doing.

This will be my life for the foreseeable future as far as I can tell with my human eyes anyway.

I just don’t fit in, anywhere really. Where does a prisoner’s wife fit in? Anywhere? I feel like people are talking about me when I am not around (and actually know some that are). Expressing how shocked they are that I am still married to someone who is in prison for 8 years…especially for the reasons Chris is. Saying how concerned they are for my well-being and how much better off I’d be if I just threw in the towel. Sometimes walking to a room is deafening because of all the things I think people are thinking about me when they see me. I don’t know if they are really thinking that, my guess would be some are and some aren’t.

All of that is further complicated by the life-long struggle I have had with depression and anxiety. My life would be a struggle of trying to fit in and not feel lonely regardless of my current circumstances. If I did have kids, a husband was at home, a home of my own, dinners to make, lunches to pack, carpools to coordinate, sports practices to take kids to, financial means to just go out to grab dinner impromptu or pick up a new outfit just because I’d still struggle to fit in just because that is the nature of depression and anxiety.

If you take my current circumstances, add in depression and anxiety then you get me. Someone who feels forever hopeless. Someone who feels that I will never be able to be in a setting around other people and truly feel at ease, comfortable and feel like I fit in. It’s discouraging & there is some very heavy guilt that comes along with all those feelings.

Lately my Bible has been heavy when I pick up.

I know it’s because of the constant guilt I feel that I can’t seem to find any joy lately. I know the answers that I need and yearn for are in that Bible but I don’t pick it up to find them. I pray, sort of, but I feel guilty about that too. I feel like all I do lately is tell God how much help I need and beg Him to deliver me. I don’t think I have been paying attention and thanking him for what he is doing right now in my life. I feel guilty because I can’t say a prayer that comes from a truly thankful place in my heart. So lately I haven’t prayed much which makes me feel even guiltier and more alone.

There is one place I know I fit in…Jesus’ embrace and rest…and I can’t even seem to get myself there. I don’t know how to get myself there. I should know, any good Christian would know, but I have prayed all the things I think I should. I have talked to God like He was sitting in the seat next to me, but I just don’t feel like He is hearing me. I have confessed sins buried far deep in my heart that were a wall between me and Jesus. Yet something still feels missing and I can’t figure it out. I feel like I am missing my “aha” moment. I feel like I am missing God and that somehow I am keeping myself from fitting into His plan for me.

That’s where this week has brought me. I just can’t seem to fit in anywhere, I can’t seem to find my place. I can’t seem to figure out what steps God is asking me to take. I don’t even need to know the whole path, I just can’t seem to figure out the first steps at this point.

I can take comfort in the verse below. Jesus told us a long while ago we wouldn’t fit in and the world would hate us. I feel like that perfectly sums up the last week or two for me.

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. – John 15:19