Have you ever felt like you just don’t belong, no matter where you go? This week, F, T and I drove down to southern VA for my side of the family’s beach vacation. And like clockwork, it is once again leaving me more and more confused about who I am and who my village is.

A couple weeks ago, at our marriage counselor’s, we were talking about how incredibly important it is to have a tribe. A village. It turns out that we are really lacking that. The way that the void manifest’s itself is strain on our marriage. Without a larger village, F and I are like our own very very small village. We lean on one another and no one else. And of course, with only two of us, we just don’t have the resources to make it work. We aren’t enough. After the session, I broke down to Ford crying. It felt like there was this need really really deep inside of me but I’d never looked it square in the face; Once it was brought to the surface, the ache was deafening.

Every time I’d have a bad day at work or a big fight with F, part of me used to find solace in the idea that I still was loved by my family– my parents and my sisters. This trip has made me doubt that, to say the least. That can do scary things to a girl’s brain. To be ostracised by even her own family. To dread the mornings even on vacation. I want– I need– so badly to just be able to be myself and be loved as such. But who can do that? Is that an attainable desire?

I think the scariest part is that I don’t see an end. I don’t see a fix. There is no real solution to this problem. Family is one of those things that you’re born into; If it’s good, you’re lucky. If it’s not, you’ve got to find a village in the wider world. And for this introvert, it feels like the chances of that happening are slim.