“So, there I was on a tour of a foreign place. It was cool to see how they do things there. I got really absorbed in something and when I went to get back on the transport, I realized they had left me behind. There were only a few of us they left behind. The problem, man, is that it was a different planet and my transport was a spaceship. I am on the wrong planet and these, these people you see here, they are not my people,” he said, trying to explain his sense of loneliness, his sense of isolation.
He went on to say how he simply did not belong here and he cannot figure out how to get back to his planet of origin. (I will spare you the story of how I thought the woman in Florida was using figurative language when she told me the same story and then I realized she was being literal.)
Have you ever felt that way? Like you are out of synch or you do not belong, that maybe just maybe you were not from here and “your people” left you behind? It can be really painful to experience and it leads to more isolation when they try to articulate it and cannot do so adequately. No one “gets” them and they feel like they are better off alone. They stop even trying to fit in because it seems futile.
Many of us start with the belief that everyone thinks like we think. Of course you wouldn’t race the school bus down the street and then cut in front of it simply to turn right at the stop sign. That would make sense, but…
All the traffic is stopped on the highway, and on the shoulder comes some BMW with the driver talking on his cellphone and he goes fast and hard and forces his way in, near the front of the line of course. He went on to tell me- On my planet, there are consequences for that sort of behavior. Here? It seems to be rewarded.
I tend to accommodate people if it seems reasonable. On my planet, when someone does something nice for someone else, it is acknowledged and reciprocated, not taken advantage of or assumed that because you sacrificed yourself this one time, it would happen every time. I miss my planet, he told me.
Can you think of a time you felt like this?
What did you do to cope?