About the Book
When was the first time you knew you were Other?
“I was the fat kid. I was the target of their practical joke.”
” I was the darkest child in my family. My stepsisters called me an ape.”
“They called me fag and spat on me.”
“I had a birthmark on my face and they called me Spot.”
“I stuttered when I had to read out loud. The other kids mimicked it and called me A-A-Aaron.”
“My best friend’s mother wouldn’t let her play with me because of my parent’s divorce.”
“I had poor vision, and they stole my glasses off my face. I was so…helpless.”
“Other children kept trying to touch my hair. “Why is it so wooly?” they’d ask me.”
Each of us has a memory of Otherness from some point in our lives. It revisits us to create self-doubt and fear that we are unlovable or unworthy of our successes. Consider:
- Kathy, an impeccably dressed 37 year-old executive who’s never let anyone, including her husband, see her cry again after the shaming she received for the hand-me-down clothes and shoes that were the best her parents could afford on her first day of school in the 4th grade;
- Ramon, a 23 year-old college student whose wit and feigned confidence are his method of distracting himself and keeping others from recognizing the pain of rejection he experienced upon coming out as gay in his teens;
- Sierra, a 45 year-old stay-at-home mom who was heavyset as a child and called “Jabba” by other children in her middle school. Even her aunts and sister scolded her to “stop eating!” She is still riddled with self-doubt and body shame.
No matter our personal histories or the characteristics of our lives that led people to view us as Other, we each experience it as such a part of our being that we doubt our ability to transform it. We question our intelligence, and attractiveness. We see ourselves as unlovable and doubt our effectiveness as partners and parents. We take ourselves to the brink of success, only to pull ourselves back or sabotage the possibilities for our lives. When we do have successes, we experience impostor syndrome and feel like phonies. In fact, we may even run away or numb our pain through drugs, food, or shopping.
This book will allow you to discover how Otherness has impacted your life and relationships. Together, we will:
- Identify the 6 character traps that became our armor for dealing with hurt;
- Explore how our actions push others away and ultimately keep us from being happy;
- Strengthen our abilities to create honesty within ourselves that can then enhances our capabilities in relationships;
- Use Otherness to foster our creativity and sense of purpose in life;
- Use our experiences as Other to inspire people we care about.