When You Don’t Fit In

hiding to fit in

geralt / Pixabay

Miss Crafty built a dam. She has been busily constructing it around her and allowing certain people on certain bridges. From one bridge you couldn’t see the other and therefore left completely oblivious to the other side.

In this way she built herself a safety zone. An area where she could be herself.

She only let her immediate family into her safety zone.

I knew she would build it some day. I knew that the walls were starting to be constructed but I didn’t realize that she had completed the project.

Yesterday I discovered her dam and it broke my heart.

Miss Crafty has always been smart. She thinks and processes at a speed years beyond her age. There are times when she is smarter than me.

It has always scared me. My Husband and I do the best we can to keep her intellectually challenged and emotionally balanced.

On one bridge are her intellectual peers. It depends on the subject how old these peers are. For math they are the 13 or 14 year old A-students. For other subjects they are about 12.

On the other bridge are her emotional peers. They are your stereotypical 5th grade girls who love horses, pink, earrings, and all things girly.

Those two bridges cannot cross. Those two parts of Miss Crafty are at war with each other and she struggles to balance it.

And sometimes she fails.

Yesterday was one of those days. So I found myself in a tear filled conversation about her intelligence when she confessed her dam:

“I pretend to not know things just so I can have friends and fit in.”

My heart shattered.

Her dam was completed. She had learned something that no child should have to learn.

She learned to split herself in two and hide the other half.

She can’t fully fit in with her intellectual peers. 12 and 13 year-olds do not have the same maturity as a 10 year old. They are interested in different things.

She can’t fully fit in with her emotional peers. When playing, she sees the flaws in their plans long before they ever attempt something. 4th and 5th graders simply don’t have the base knowledge to understand physics in the same way. While Miss Crafty can see they are doomed to fail, they are obliviously enjoying the fun filled moment.

So she pretends.

And as we laid on my bed and shared tears I tried to empathize the best I could. Everyone can understand the difficulty of not fitting in as a child. I know what it feels like to be left out. I wish I didn’t.

I did the best to offer what hope I could. I let her know that it is okay to have these feelings, and that there is nothing wrong with being smart and wishing you weren’t. I also let her know that she would eventually find some place she fits in, it just many not be tomorrow.

I told her that she is just fine as she is.

And we watched /Scorpion/.

If you haven’t seen that show on CBS yet, it is amazing. I cried through the first episode.

Miss Crafty isn’t as smart as these geniuses but I see many similar qualities and quirks in her.

While we watched the show, she laughed and looked over at me and whispered, “I can totally understand how he’s feeling right now.”

And for the first time in a long time I think she could fully relate to someone–even if it was a fictional character on the TV.

I don’t have the answers for her. She knows that God loves her as she is. We often tell her that God made her exactly who she is, and that she is perfect.

That gives her foundation and security, but doesn’t solve her problem.

For now, she doesn’t fit in anywhere.

Being a parent is hard. It breaks my heart to see her hurting, and all I can do is pray, love her through it, and give her the confidence to shine.



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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carl
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 13:20:37

    Scorpion is a great show. I’ve though “I’ve seen this in this child” and I’ve seen that in that child” many times. I’ve even thought “I remember feeling that way” a few times. It is hard for children when they realize that the rest of their peers are like aliens who just don’t get it.



    • Crystal
      Oct 28, 2014 @ 19:30:17

      It is a very careful balancing act and one I’m still learning to walk. I know as she grows up she’ll adapt and adjust, but for now it is so hard to watch.



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