Longing to Fit In

I read Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English as a member of the From Left to Write book club.  I was given a free copy as part of the book club.  This post was inspired by this book.

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons, is the story of a German-Jewish couple and their baby daughter escaping from Berlin just before the Halocaust. Jack formerly, Jacob, longs to fit in, to be a true Englishman, but can never exactly fool the English, no matter what lengths he goes to.

Jack believes a true Englishman should be a golfer and although he applies to several golf courses in London, finds that there are no openings for people named Rosenblum.  And so he decides to do what most everyone including his wife thinks is impossible and insane; he will build his own golf course, one where Jews will be included, and where he will be the one in charge of accepting or denying memberships.

Having chronic illnesses, I too long to fit in.  To assimilate into the “normal, healthy” mom crowd.  But somehow, it just doesn’t work for me either.  I don’t fit in. Not with the full time working moms, nor with the stay-at-home-mom crowd.  My child goes to daycare, now Pre-K, full-time, not because I am working, but because I cannot take care of my child on a 24 /7 basis.  It is always awkward at children’s birthday parties or at school functions.  Everyone wants to know what it is that I do. Since I stopped working due to my illness in March of 2008, I have made very few friends in real life.  I let very few people “in” to my world.

I want to fit in with the healthy moms for my child too, but some things are just impossible; taking walks, actually playing with him on the playground.  I stick out more than Mr. Rosenblum in my wheelchair or scooter when I take Tyler to museums or zoos.  People stare at me when I park in the handicapped spot.

And so, like Jack and his golf course, I created a place where people like me could fit in.  It is this blog.  Sick moms can come here and feel normal and say things like, “Me too”, “I cry over this too” or “Thank you for writing this.  You say the things that I can’t.”

I hope I have built a place of acceptance,respect and refuge for my readers.

But in the end, I cannot run away from my illnesses and my limitations any more than Jack could run from where he came from.  But I wish I could, oh, how I wish I could.

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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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14 Responses to Longing to Fit In

  1. Pingback: Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English by Natasha Solomons – A From Left to Write Book Club |

  2. mer says:

    thast really hits home for me

  3. Emily says:

    What a heartfelt post. I’m glad you’ve been able to find your place of belonging here.

  4. AwwwTrouble says:

    This is beautiful. I am so glad you have found this space.

  5. Ashley says:

    Thanks for the post. I hate those awkward functions when ppl ask what I do too. I have recently become more honest and ppl seem cool with it which is nice. I think the more comfortable I seem with my life and illness the more at ease others seem with it.

  6. Michelle says:

    Fitting in is key – but it’s so important to do it without losing your identity, too. I’m glad you’ve found a place here for yourself. That has to be a relief.

  7. Lisa says:

    What a great post! And a nice tribute to the power of a blog. Not only does it give so many of us a voice or an outlet, but as you’ve shown, it’s also a place to just be ourselves and be embraced by our own community (whatever that may be).

  8. Thanks for your post — I’m so glad that you’ve found a place both to fit in and to dream…

  9. Jennifer says:

    Hugs Baby!! Love you!! XOXO

  10. Cheryl says:

    This is a great post. I’m glad you were able to create a space where you and so many others feel comfortable. It reminds me how powerful the blogosphere can be.

  11. Laura says:

    Having moved across country last year, I find myself stuck in a full blown identity crisis. My chronic health issues have become more symtomatic than ever and my support system is sorely absent in this new community. I have tried the Mom’s Club, Junior League & school functions, but I really just don’t have the energy & well being to develop new friendships with “normals”. I have looked for support groups so that I could find others that share my dilemmas, but these are unavailable in my area. The best place for this support & understanding is online, & I feel lucky to find this site. Please keep sharing, Emily. Your honesty about longing to fit in was just what I needed to hear today.

  12. Pingback: Chronic Illness Support | Searching for Health

  13. I’m glad you have this space… I just want to say that not all of us are looking with morbid curiosity or pity or anything bad. Some of us are able to look at a person in a wheelchair and not really “see” the disability.

  14. This is beautifully written. I think it is great that you have this space to write, share, learn, befriend, and fit in. I know I love using my blog for those exact same reasons – just a little place for hey, this is me.
    Jocelyn @ ScooterMarie´s last blog post ..17 month stats

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