belonging · families · Matilda

Me and Matilda

I am an orphan.

But not in the typical way we think of an orphan. I mean, I have a mother and a brother. I had a father. I grew up with them, spent time with them, and we spoke often on the phone once I moved away from home. I’ve never lived close enough to drop by whenever I wanted to. And, maybe that was the point

Yet, I feel like an orphan.

I am Matilda.

How many times have I read Matilda by Roald Dahl with my children and/or seen the move? Yet, it was only during a recent viewing that a bell went off in my head, loud and clear: I am Matilda. And, like Matilda, I was born into the wrong family. Is that even possible? I mean, after all, Matilda is a creation of Roald Dahl’s very amazing imagination. Yet, every time I think about it, I can’t help but confirm this fact.

I am an orphan.

Maybe that’s why I never felt comfortable or accepted in my own family. I was never treated as carelessly by my family as Matilda is treated by hers, but I never felt understood or supported. Isn’t this the gripe of many children about their families? Maybe, but I feel differently about mine. I don’t belong.

Harsh? Perhaps, but now that I’ve accepted this (although I tried to fight against it my entire life, I’m ready to lay down my weapons). I can move on and work on the side effects of this toxic relationship. This doesn’t mean I’ve disowned my family. On the contrary. It means I’m ready to accept them and myself and, like Matilda, be happy in other ways.

Do I sound cruel? Selfish? Crazy, even? I don’t know but I feel liberated.

It’s time to move on.