The most alienated I’ve felt throughout high school is when I feel emotionally isolated because I haven’t had a romantic relationship.
My mom passed away in the middle of high school – literally in the middle, between sophomore and junior year. I spent the first two years preoccupied with her well-being, and the last two years dealing with grief and depression. I don’t think I ever really gave it much effort to find a romantic partner in this time period. I did have crushes and they were real, but unlike my peers… I never pursued them. I just thought it was pointless and stressful. I didn’t need that because I had a lot of other overwhelming emotions on my plate. You know, grief.
Being at the brink of college, I haven’t had a real high school relationship. I focused on school and making lasting bonds with my friends. I put a lot of time and energy in my extra curricular activities – everything I did paid off in the end. I don’t regret my choices.
Discussions get difficult, however, when I feel judged because I haven’t had the same experiences my peers have had. I usually feel like I have nothing to contribute, and sometimes I even feel like my peers see right through me. They know I don’t have any experience and judge me for even giving a sliver of advice.
In some ways, I think my mother’s death prompted me to put up a glass wall…something people don’t realize is there (sometimes I don’t even realize it). I find it really difficult to trust people in a romantic way since I’ve had such a major loss in my life. The love I have for my friends is so different; I know it won’t end in heartbreak (hopefully.. but I know I have good friends.) Relationships are different though and that’s why it’s scary.
If you want to put a positive spin on it, college is the time for “growing up and maturing” and “changing into a better you.” We’ll see what it has in store for me.