Dear Coleen: I feel like an outside in my own family

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Dear Coleen

I’m 18 and in many ways I am incredibly lucky. My parents have been for nearly 20 years and, to the world looking in, it would seem I’m part of a very family. But for as as I can remember I’ve never really felt that I’m a proper part of the family.
I don’t feel as if I fit in or that I’m accepted.

I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a black sheep. I have always felt very lonely, even when the house is full of those who I’m supposed to feel closest to. My parents and brother are very tight, as if they were picked especially for each other. But I feel like I’m the scapegoat for all of their frustrations. I have spent years trying to explain how I feel but I’m always shut down or dismissed.

I’ve got to a point were I’m used to being alone with my thoughts and because of this I have a very and sure sense of who I am and who I want to be. I’m very proud of this.

But what about those days where I don’t feel so strong and I’m finding loneliness difficult? Am I on the right path and will it all make sense one day?

As I said before, I know how lucky I am and I’m incredibly grateful, but sometimes I feel as though I’m lacking that supportive mother figure in my life.

You always seem so strong and confident and I want to be like that.

Have your say in the comments below

Coleen says

First of all, there’s nothing wrong with being different to the rest of your family. I’m from a family of 10, including my parents, and we’re all very different. Some of my siblings were closer to my dad and some were closer to Mum.

The good thing is, you know what you want and who you are, and that’s what you have to focus on – your life. That sounds strong and confident to me.

Maybe you see me on Loose and think I’m super-confident, but I’m actually pretty shy in “real life” and I have down days too when I feel insecure. I’m no different to anyone else.

I’m sure your family love you very much. Maybe you don’t really join in as much as you should or maybe they don’t get your sense of humour, but it doesn’t mean you love each
other any less.

You’re at a tricky age and discovering lots of things about , and it’s not that unusual to feel a bit alienated from your parents. But maybe if you confided in your mum more, she’d feel more confident about offering support. Perhaps you’re giving the impression that you don’t want them to intrude too much in your life.

As for being different, it’s a great thing. It’s what makes life rich and interesting, and I’m sure your family love your individuality. Celebrate it instead of seeing it as a problem.

More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your , family, and relationship problems

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