I’ve been trying to write this post for 3 days, starting, stopping, deleting, starting again. It was supposed to be an explanation for the title of my Sinful Sunday post.
Blow-in – Irish phrase: A stranger or foreigner, basically anybody whose ancestors have not lived within sight of the parish church for at least ten generations.
I don’t know if it’s just an Irish phrase or it’s used in other places too, I’ve only heard it here.
Where I live I’m considered a blow-in, but I think I would be a blow-in wherever I went. At least I would feel like one. The majority of my ancestors are from Wicklow/Kildare on my mum’s side and Galway/Cork on my dad’s, and although I still have family on the East coast it’s not home.
I was born and grew up in London, and while I still like to visit sometimes, that doesn’t feel like home either. Growing up Catholic in mainly C of E areas, going to a Catholic school in a different area, having two sets of friends. And the same through secondary school, meant I never felt as if I really fitted anywhere. I didn’t have many friends and those few I did have I wouldn’t class as close, certainly not BFF’s. I grew up learning how to be my own BFF. On the whole this didn’t actually bother me that much, I often preferred to spend my time reading or drawing anyway. I just think maybe it would have been nice to have had a few close friends.
This was as far as I got.
I know the things I want to write, but I can’t get the words down on the screen.
When I wrote about not having friends, even though I know all these things, seeing it in black and white like that on the screen, everything sort of crystallised. How shitty my early teens really were, how shitty most of my life has been. I’ve never done the girly sleepovers, make-up, shopping, talking about boys or any of those things so many people take for granted as a part of growing up. Now I have my little sister to do that sort of thing with.
I have had some good friends over the years, but never for long. Outside of my family I’d never felt wanted or needed, I’ve always felt like an outsider, always looking in. No surprise that I’d look for any type of affection from anyone. I’ve had boyfriends, but I was never the popular one, not the pretty one, I was chubby, short and I didn’t like anything much about myself. When I got older it wasn’t difficult, on the rare occasions I went out, to get drunk and hopefully find some randomer to fuck.
Over the last few years, being single, doing the various courses and actually having people ask my opinion about things, having real support, and finally being more open with others about my mental health, my relationship with my ex and whatever else I wanted to talk about have helped so much. I have slightly more self confidence and I know I’m not totally worthless.
I haven’t written about the things I had planned to write about but that doesn’t really matter. What matters to me about this is that I’ve confronted another piece of my life that I’ve ignored. I don’t know exactly what to do with it, but it’s out there now, I’ve acknowledged it.
And I’ll say again, having this space and finding such a supportive community is hugely important. And even though I still feel like a bit of a blow-in, at least I know that here I can be me. Maybe one day I’ll feel like I really belong somewhere.