Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

June 02, 2012

A lonely only child

Vanessa is an only child and her very first job as a kid during summer vacation was working in a place where she had nobody to talk to.

“I was totally alone packing perfume for a small manufacturer and it was awful," confides Vanessa. “It was a brutal reminder of being an only child in a neighborhood where everyone had brothers and sisters to play with, and I had nobody.”

“Thankfully, all that changed when I qualified as an accountant and worked with a great team,” says Vanessa, “and then our company was taken over by a big corporation and I was back to square one.”

“I was placed in alien territory - with people, but ignored by them – and it was a much worse situation to be in than my first job when I was simply working alone."

“My childhood was very lonely, and this new situation at work brought back unhappy memories not only of my childhood but of my first miserable job."

"By situating me in alien territory the new management was setting me up to have a miserable existence," says Vanessa. "If it was intentional it is unethical of them, and if it wasn't then they have no idea how to manage staff."

"For me, the most important part of having a job is being part of a social structure. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere, here. There is no group at work that accepts me as belonging to it."

"All day long I overhear the people in the ‘alien territory’ talking about their work and I cannot join in because it is not similar to the work I am doing," says Vanessa, "and, on the occasions when I have asked questions about their work, they treated me like a spy or an intruder. It is most unpleasant."

Read more about Vanessa's situation:

  • alien territory
  • Deliberate alienation

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