Who are the lonely? Studies show that they are the young, the old, the middle aged. They are the poor, the rich, and the minorities. They are peoples of every race. Most of all, they are the different, the persons who feel they don’t fit because of their idiosyncrasies. They are the rejected.
I can remember being in high school, a critical time in the life of a young girl when she needs to feel accepted. I hated playing softball. I was not talented in throwing, catching, or batting the ball. The physical education teacher made us play softball whenever the weather permitted. She chose two captains, and they picked their players. You probably know by now who was the last one picked for a team and who always struck out. The pain of that rejection made me miserable.
Chronic rejection and the stress that it brings can kill you. Psychologists believe that it hastens the death of the elderly, especially those confined to nursing homes, and it may cause or contribute to many diseases, including cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and suicide. We all need someone with whom we can share our most intimate thoughts and desires, our pain, and our plans and our hopes. We need intimacy.
Allison, the young girl in my book Finding Her Heart, is different; and therefore, she is rejected by her classmates. She stays in her own world and has no friends. Her school diagnoses her with Asperger’s Disease, a condition on the Autism spectrum that inhibits social development. Does she really have it, or are her character idiosyncrasies a result of her upbringing and circumstances?
Instead of giving in to her aloneness, she fights. Her artistic talents win her scholarships, and she escapes to another world. In spite of her efforts, her internal demons accompany her, and she goes through heartache and trials. She yearns for intimacy and that special love which will make her feel she belongs. Does she find someone to love her, or is he only pretending?