My therapist said to keep a journal about loneliness…

But how can I track when, where, and what makes me feel lonely when the feeling never goes away?

I’ve felt it since I spent my elementary school years in special education. Nobody ever gave me a direct, clear answer as to why I was in special education, why I couldn’t finish my homework as fast as other students. “Learning disability” was the only hint I ever had. To this day, I still don’t have an answer. ADHD? Some kind of high-functioning autism? Probably not, but I don’t know. Nobody gave me a direct answer, not one of my special education teachers told me, and my parents were convinced it was no big deal.

So I’m expected to compete with everyone else to get a job, and no one said I shouldn’t or couldn’t have a family. Just that I would work more slowly – they didn’t bother to stress how working slowly would disqualify me from so many jobs. Nobody bothered to sit down and explain the kind of social problems I’d have. Do I have a serious problem or don’t I? I don’t know!

So I’m paying the Not-a-well-adjusted-person Tax, aka I’m paying for therapy. Not tax deductible, out of my own pocket, none of my 5 different types of insurance will cover a dime of it. I can afford two one-hour sessions a month with a practicing resident counselor. I’m not sure how I’ll answer this latest ‘assignment’ from her – the loneliness is just there, a background for everything I feel and do.