I’m Not Roadkill

I have a confession to make and it ain’t pretty. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed to tell you. {sigh} Here goes…

I’m insecure.

It makes me squirm a little just to write it. But it’s true. I am insecure.

Big deal, you might be thinking, considering each and every human being on the planet is probably insecure about something. I know, I’m not unique or special, but here’s why my insecurity really sucks…

…because no one knows (I mean, they do now since I just announced it on a blog). People around me assume that I have my ‘ish together. My hair is done, my house is clean, my kids are well-dressed, my marriage rocks. And basically, those are the things people take inventory of when deciding if someone has it together or not.

Oh, well, she’s not disheveled or drunk, so yeah…she’s good.

But, I’m not so good. Actually, lately, I’ve been bad. Actually, actually, I’ve been sad. I don’t discount post-pregnancy hormone shifts that wildly vary from me feeling like crying to me feeling like screaming are contributing, but it’s more than that…

I’ve just been feeling alone, or is it lonely? I can never tell the difference. And no one knows this. No one thinks to ask. And to be fair, I’m not blaming them for not asking. I mean, I look fine. I appear to be A-okay. No one would be the wiser, except that I had a meltdown.

That’s right, a week or so ago, I went to a party I was invited to by a mom I know. I don’t know her well and I didn’t know any of the other moms at the play date extravaganza that well. In fact, this is an all-too-familiar case for me. When it comes to friendship with other women, I am often left feeling like roadkill.

They see me on the road, but they don’t slow up or stop. They hit the gas and run me over…never looking back to see how I am…dead, alive, or injured.

I’m ashamed to admit that this was just your basic girl silliness and I was all swept up in it. So why did I go to the momma party?

Because I need friends. Because I have some kind of anti-friend-making force field around me. Because, since graduating high school, new friendships have formed as slowly as diamonds. Because I wanted to take a risk and be cliche and  “put myself out there.” Because I thought someone would care. I thought someone…I prayed someone…would slow down and see me.

In the end, I left the party crying. That’s right. I walked out trying to put on a brave face. I loaded my kids in the car and then I lost it. Tears. Check. Snot. Check. Ugly scrunched face. Check.I was leaving worse than I had arrived.

But then someone slowed down and saw me on the road. She didn’t hit the petal to the metal. She came after me. She asked the question: “What’s wrong?” and then she said the real words…the magic words:

“I see you, Nicole.”

She might never know what those four words meant in that moment, but thankfully, I do. No, I didn’t leave having made a bunch of new awesome friends. If anything, the divide between them and myself has grown wider, but I did leave knowing one thing…

..my God showed up for me. He sent her out to chase me down, to tell me that I’m not invisible. And just because no one can see my insecurities doesn’t mean He doesn’t. She saw me because He sees me. He knows I’m not roadkill, but that I’m alive…in Him.

Have you ever been made to feel like roadkill? Have you ever felt like God sent someone special, just in that moment, to encourage, inspire, or rescue you?

image props here

59 thoughts on “I’m Not Roadkill”

  1. Damit Nicole! I’m a freakin sucker for stories like these cause they make me cry! LOL…
    I’m a big cry baby…

    I know excatly how you feel…my wife and I sometimes feel the same way….she can seem fine and put on a sweet face and act like everything is ok…but sometimes it will slip out and she will tell me…i’m not ok…i feel lonely…i need relationships….talking to a 3 year old all day doesn’t cut it! lol….She is a SAHM….so it’s really frustrating for me to help her…

    We go out with friends….and sometimes…after a good and fun night….sometimes…we still feel like…we weren’t “seen”….

    Oh man that was just an amazing post…love it…

    1. Arny, stay home moms have it the worst for some reason. We are isolated at home with our kids, craving adult interaction and conversation. It’s so difficult to form community.

      I’m sorry you both know it’s like to not be “seen” but praying you are able to be vulnerable in the future too.

  2. You had my eyes tearing up there. I know that feeling well. I live almost every day hoping someone slows down enough to see me.

  3. Oh, my WOW, I so know how you’re feeling. I am so thankful I found your blog a week ago.

    I, too, appear to always have my chizness (new word?) together, but I leave social gatherings and even church small groups feeling left out of the “I-see-you-and-you-matter-circle.” One of the things that has bothered me lately is that if I don’t spill the goods on the things going wrong in my life to the people around me, then I must not have any problems. Therefore, I must lead the perfect life.

    As I write this, I’m realizing this goes both ways. None of us should ever just assume the smiling person next to us is “great” unless we actually ask and are told that fact.

    I see you Nicole! Thanks for this post.

    1. Heather, I so understand. It seems that those who spill their guts or have a laundry list of problems are addressed, leaving others to feel unnoticed.

      You are right. We can never assume so-and-so is doing fine. I’ve also realized that, yes, I have to speak up sometimes and be more vulnerable, as well.

      Thanks Heather for sharing!

  4. been there! but as i’ve now entered the meemee stage of life, it’s become more comfortable to just Prefer not to be seen. (and comfortable is a bad sign.) yours is a sweet, encouraging message. i should hope to be more encouraging to the young women in my life, teaching them to see one another.

    thank you for writing this!

  5. Nicole, that is such a brave thing to share. I know just what you mean about feeling invisible, and there is nothing like a moment like you described wher you suddenly remember that God sees you and you actually feel seen. I’m glad you felt seen, even if it was briefly. You’re worth being seen and God does see you and He know why you feel that deep need to be seen. Love you Nicole! Thanks for writing this post and remindingthe rest of us that we’re not alone in feeling that way. :-)

  6. Not to be Cheezy…. but I know God sent me you. I can’t think how impersonal my life would have been the last few years without you. Love you amazing lady… praying for you this morning and remembering when I met you. So alive and bright but also completely open and real. It doesn’t take long to be around you in your humble manner to figure out you are not “perfect” and that is the most amazing thing about you!
    I always remember leaving our Mentor’s house sort of in tears because a new member of our Bible study was fairly obvious in her dislike for me at the time. I knew I had to be the bigger person but feelings of hurt are still there. A place for the first time in my life that I felt so welcome and special, that really warmed my heart so much, seemed on attack or tainted. I remember calling you on the way home and thanking you, for never making me feel like I said the wrong thing… or was thinking the wrong thing, or was stupid. (this is different than being iron sharpens iron, I love you because you are exactly what Beth Moore calls a “heart” friend and always honest when it comes to accountability.) I lately have thought of some friends I have that whenever I leave their presence I have a sort of sick to my stomach feeling that I may have said or done the wrong thing. Worried what I said was taken wrong. I have NEVER felt that way with you. I always feel like I can just be me. There is not judgement there. I can make mistakes. Even in my moments when my brain isn’t working and I am feeling silly. Yes. This happens to me often.

    I truthfully think often girls just feel like they have the friends they have and do not desire more so they don’t go out of their way to make someone welcome in a group. I will say that is the one thing that MOST warms me to a girl or guy for that matter now. Something that REALLY makes them stand out in a crowd. (Your Hubster as well as you comes to mind, he is great at making all feel welcome and worth something) If he or she goes out of her way to make someone alone feel welcome. It’s thoughtful, kind, and what God wants of us. Warming. It doesn’t mean you always become best friends, but just making the effort for someone not to feel silly standing there shouldn’t be so difficult. To make them feel they matter and are not just there to take up space.
    I have definitely felt this way before and know exactly what your talking about. I guess it makes me want to make sure I am never the person ignoring someone alone. I will say though…… I think a real friend, an honest true person that you can talk with anything about, trust, and you both know the response is something you both want to be from God… Someone who returns your call or answers their phone, or responds yes or no to an invite. (I don’t think a lot people realize how these little things give someone a feeling of worth)
    I will take one friend like you over 100’s of regular fun socially secure girls anyday. Plus you’re just a BLAST to be around! I feel blessed beyond measure that you are my friend.

  7. Man you are so right on it. I am almost never alone but regularly lonely. Being in this new culture in Paraguay has really kick over my apple cart, then pummeled it with automatic weapons and set it ablaze. Sometimes I just need someone who gets it, right?

    God gets it and He sends me that someone periodically too. It is very different people at different times but He doesn’t let me drown, or bake in the sun on the side of the road I should say. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m enough then God confirms I’M NOT. But it’s okay cause He is. Then He sits down and kicks the sand with me and is just there.

    1. Ken, I can’t imagine how much being thrown into a new culture, environment, and language can make a person feel lonely.

      And man, you are so right. God does get it. He doesn’t abandon us or leave us to wither away. And we aren’t enough! That nails it for me. So good…thank you for sharing and thank you for the reminder that He is enough for me.

  8. Nicole, I agree with Ashleigh that it was brave of you to share this. Like others who responded, I have felt “invisible” a number of times, especially as a middle-aged, overweight woman, though there are other contributing factors. However, one thing occurred to me not that long ago, and I wondered if it might help you too, although I’m not sure if your personality is similar to mine in this way. I was basically a conflict-avoidant people-pleaser from childhood, and still do make a habit of “putting on a brave face,” happy face, calm face, whatever term fits the moment. It’s partly due to being a Southern born and bred woman, as well. But a while back, the old saying “It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease” came home to me in a new way, and I saw that much of my what I viewed as fading into the woodwork was probably a direct result of not speaking up more, whether that meant voicing certain needs, or what have you. Just a thought….

    1. Lucie, I think you touch on something important. My husband and I have discussed this idea lately. How much does a person need to complain, speak up, or “squeak” as it were in order to be noticed?

      I admit that I don’t always do a great job of letting those around me know how I’m feeling, for fear of looking like a complainer. At the same time, I also can admit that I personally do not always take the time to see if the person next to me is hurting. It runs both ways. As followers of Jesus, I want to strive for both–a genuine vulnerability and a heart that cares for others openly.

    1. Bethany, yup. It makes me wonder too though that if I appear to be fine and am not, how many other people must be struggling and I’m not even aware.

      From one anti-friend force-field girl to another, I’m praying!

  9. I somewhat recently returned from a year long missions trip, back to my hometown and church, and it was one of the hardest things ever to do. I’m not, or wasn’t, an insecure person, but when I came back and realized that all my friends had changed, and so did I, I wasn’t sure what to do. I felt like the new girl, a position I had never been put in before, and didn’t know how to handle it.

    And, just like you said, the worst part of it was the fact that no one else realized I was feeling this way. They all assumed I was the same girl they had known forever. And why wouldn’t they? I never once let my guard down to let them in.

    It took one of the worst possible situations for me to tear down the wall, open the curtain, let them in. It was hard. So so hard. But it was worth it.

    I still struggle with letting my wall down, but it gets easier. The main thing I’ve taken from my experience, besides that vulnerability isn’t always a bad thing, is to reach out to others. To see them. Because we all need to be noticed.

  10. Oh Nicole~
    Jesus sent someone to chase you down! I love that! This touches my heart to the core. Making good, solid, faithful friends truely is like trying to hold onto running water. It just seems to slip through my fingers each time I reach for it. I don’t know what it is about Oklahoma but people’s hearts here in the Heartland are pretty afraid of true friendship. They prefer the non-committal, non-community type. The “Howdy Neighbor” friend. The “Meet and Greet Time at Church” friend. These are what people try and survive on here and I can’t survive on this. God hasn’t yet sent someone to chase me down, I don’t think I have had that same desperation that you experienced yet to require it. God has given me just what I need to survive-I’m not starving but I am still hungry for more. Thank you for this HONEST and beautiful glimpse into your heart.

  11. Damn…glad I stumbled across your blog….thanks for that! Just what I needed to hear today! I’m gonna send you a song I’m working on right now with the line “It takes a lot of strength to fall apart”…ain’t it the truth…tks for being strong enough to let yourself go there!

  12. Yup. I’m so there. We are made for relationships, made to belong and made to bare “together” with “one another” – There are a thousand ways to take this little comment, but just know we all want close friendships. Shared laughter, shared moments, someone to call when things are terrible and wonderful – someone who’s female, who can relate to the femaleness parts that our hubbies love. Titus 2 says that we are to learn from each other (we women). And I could list dozens of books I’ve read on this very topic.

    We aren’t the first generation to struggle with this. But, know, friend, loneliness is a mommycentral-epidemic. And, I’m blaming it on the invention of the car and subdivisions. Alas, we own cars and live in the ‘hood. What are we to do? I’m just seeking the Lord to see! So far, he moved our business and our family and things are certainly improving, but I’m not sure I’ll be satisfied until heaven. xo

    1. Joy, I think you are right that loneliness is very much an epidemic among moms. I’d add that another reason is that no one tells you beforehand how isolating having a baby can be or that you should find a support system as quickly as you can.

      Thank for taking the time to comment and share. I’m blessed by your willingness to do so.

  13. First, I think that’s funny that we posted similar stuff. I feel EXACTLY the same way. I was telling Lisa (my girl) this weekend about a similar experience. I call it the”Cool kid” syndrome… And i’m not the cool kid. Sad that it bothers me,but it does

    1. Oh man, cool kid syndrome is still alive and well. I think more of us struggle with this than we realize, which should be comforting. But it should also make us empathetic and offer grace to those around us since chances are, they are feeling the exact same way.

  14. I am glad that someone saw you. Sometimes you have to feel seen even to feel like you could breath. This doesn’t just happen to stay at home moms. Try being a Christian single almost 34 yr old woman whose closest friends are all married for many years, stay at home moms of 3 + children and all the women I work with are lost and living completely different style lives than I am. I don’t even think my friends have the ability to see me anymore, they can’t relate at all. Then to make things more ackward, they are struggling with what they have been given at times while knowing that what they have is the unfulfilled ultimate dream of my heart. Therefore, I am left as the babysitter for their date nights and considered the “goody goody” by my co-workers. I am grateful though for a God that “sees” us and the hope that I will trust that and be encouraged by it more tomorrow than I was today.

  15. Oh yes…I’ve been made to feel like roadkill more than I can remember. I’ve been blessed he’s sent guys like Mike Perkins and Tony Alicea to send me a DM or e-mail at the right time.

  16. Great post. Sometimes I begin to think this idea of “girlfriends” is just a myth. Maybe we think everybody else has these big groups of close friends who just don’t exist. Maybe it’s a female urban legend. I put all this pressure on myself to go out and form these lifelong bonds, but I’m left feeling, well, like ‘roadkill.’ Is it our expectations that are out of line?

    1. Julie, you had me smiling! Maybe you are right..maybe this whole “girlfriend” thing really is a legend among women–elusive, rumored, but never actually seen in the wild.

      You asked if maybe our expectations are out of line. That got me really thinking. I don’t know, they may be. But then I think about friendships in the Bible–Jonathan and David, for instance–and I think, no, God can do it. He can bring me intimate, lifelong friendships and that’s still what I’m praying for and nothing less.

      Thanks for your great comment and adding to the discussion!

  17. wow! Nicole. You hit the nail on the head! I often feel that it is harder to make friends after college than it is to find someone to spend the rest of your life with. I tell my husband so all the time. I lament to him that I am craving friendship, a soulmate, a kindred spirit. He has had the same friends since high school so he does not understand. I cut out certain friendships because they just were not good for me but now years later when I have not found new relationships it makes me wonder if I did the right thing. Keep putting yourself out there. It will happen and remember you often feel your loneliest just after having a baby. I don’t know why but it is just that way.
    As for your moment, you are blessed. I have felt like roadkill as you describe plenty of times but have never had someone reach out after I have a meltdown, most likely because they take place in my own home when I am alone. I just keep working at it. I know God has friends for me waiting, somewhere, to be introduced when he sees fit. Just like he threw my husband at me when I was not even paying attention. I have faith and it looks like you do too:)

    1. Misti, your comment stirred me because I have said the same things to my husband. I too cut off unhealthy friendships, only to have them not replaced, leaving an emptiness.

      And why are the months following the birth of a baby some of woman’s loneliest? I had a girl write me privately after reading this post to express how alone she felt after giving birth a few weeks ago. I could totally relate. It is such an isolating time–you alone with an infant to care for and your thoughts. It feels like no one can relate or no one cares, which simply isn’t true.

      And you are right, God does have someone waiting for me..and for you. I refuse to believe that God has anything less than great friendships in store for His children. I’m praying and asking for nothing less. I’m praying for you too friend. You hold such a sweet and special place in my heart.

  18. um… were you writing from my brain? I didn’t go to a momma party recently, but other than that, I could have written every single word. Every one of them.

  19. A quote from the movie Titanic has always stayed with me and I think it often. :I felt like I was standing at a great precipice, with no one to pull me back, no one who cared… or even noticed. “

  20. Wow. It sounds like you and I could be great friends! I feel the EXACT same way. I try and put myself out there, but I am actually not a very outgoing person (you may be, I don’t know), I feel intimidated in big crowds of people I don’t know and find it hard to start conversations because I’m afraid I’ll come off sounding boring or something. I don’t seem to have read the same manual as everyone else on what is “in” to talk about these days. I also come off as a different person than I really am in order to sound “normal” or be to be accepted. I’ve had a few meltdowns myself. Thanks for the post!

    1. Laura, man do I empathize with you. I’m actually an introvert posing as an extrovert. Big crowds, dinner parties, social gatherings are tough for me, but I fake it really well. I will just say that my prayer is that you never have to be anything but yourself without fear of being boring or lame.

      I used to feel like I needed to apologize for myself for being an introvert. While I know God wants me to take more risks and try more, I also know that He designed me to be an introvert. There has to be a balance between knowing which parts of you are God-ordained and which areas He’d like us to improve. Praying for you in both!

  21. Well, I’m a little late to the party but…

    These words. I don’t know you but I do…you know? I too am so freakin’ tired of having to seem like I have my ‘ish together. And tired of not talkin’ about it. DEFINITELY NOT TALKING about anything awkward, or painful, or embarrassing, or controversial. Tired of suffering through life with my mouth closed, words left unsaid, pain left to fester, deep connections never reached. YECK. So done with it…

    So thank you. Thank you for writing what we are all thinking and feeling. I am running across more and more bloggers like you that are brave. Moxie, if you will. Authentic. Craving connection. Being real. Living life out loud and unabashed.

    Isn’t that what God created us for?

    1. Sarah, so well said and I couldn’t agree more. And you’re right, being authentic is what God created us for. I had a pastor’s wife pray over me a while back. I was suffering with a lot of unspoken pain, both physical and spiritual. She did not know this, but as she prayed she said “Nicole, the Lord doesn’t want you to just suck it up and care this. He doesn’t want you to just “deal with it.” He wants to do it for you.” I was so blown away and encouraged. God cares, even when others don’t.

      P.S. You score extra points for saying “ish!”

  22. Wow!! Not only did you read my mind, but you were brave enough to put it all out there for the world to read. Not only do I sometimes feel like road kill, but I even put my car in reverse and run MYSELF over again with the “you’re such a baby. stop with your pity party.” But it’s not a pity party. It’s real. I loved it when you said you have an anti-friend-making force field around you. I could so relate to that. I’m a 40-something working, church-going mom & wife, and it’s REALLY hard to break into “friend circles” at this age.

    Btw, I just stumbled onto your blog today and it is amazing! We need more thought provoking blogs like this.

  23. This is what I always felt like..still do..I have a hard time letting people in So I have kept a distance with the people of my community. Loneliness is Another story In itself. It’s so relieving to know that others are facing them too :)

  24. I missed this post when you first posted it back in 2011. I am reading it for the first time today.

    Oh my.

    All I can say, after reading this and walking alongside your words, allowing them to take me on an honest journey, is that my very spirit stood up and made the declaration that I want to be the person who encourages, comforts, listens, laughs with, cries with, consoles, and embraces the brokenness of our humanity through the very real power of The Spirit within me.

    You have inspired me, Nicole. You opened up a door I thought long closed. Thank you.

  25. Nicole, I’ve felt like roadkill so many times that Goodyear takes impressions of my back for new tire tread ideas.

    And to be honest, God hasn’t sent a whole lot of people to help me. But I’ve come over time to truly appreciate the times that He chooses to do it.

    1. Jason,
      My heart hurts for your hurt. But thankfully, God did send Someone to help you. Jesus…all day long, every day. Even when His presence isn’t experienced in the form of another person, He is still there waiting for us to ask Him to comfort us.

      And take comfort too in knowing that our Lord caries the tread marks of His enemies too. He not only loves you, but He understands.

  26. Ahhhhhh!!! Sometimes ok most of the time what you post is scary bc it’s like you watch my life lol… Ok so I’ve struggled with this for sooooooo long.. It causes a deep root of rejection In me to rear it’s painful face! I’m a totally laid back, go with the flow loving people Leo lol … But I get the same thing around other females … I can go to a gathering and not be noticed.. I of course sometimes can get my confidence up ( back to the Leo remark lol ) and just say you know what I’m gonna be noticed lol and talk … Other times I run with my tail between my legs crying ( literally) to my husband … But like you I always hear ” your so pretty, you dress so cool, your house is so clean , your kids rock, your marriage is amazing” yada yada… So not long ago one of my close friends said honey all these women are insecure in themselves of you and jealous… What???!!!! Jealous?? Why??? Is what I say .. Insecure of me???? Why??? I love people lol… But all women struggle with insecurity.. It has brought me down to where I say ummm should I let my house be dirty? Wear my Jammie’s all day?? Hate on my hubby?? Would ppl like me then?? But that’s obviously not gonna happen lol … One thing that saved me is my pastor told me ( she rocks) that I’m a solitare…. That God has people that he has set aside for his purpose only.. That his relationship is first and he is all and all like in a special way… That’s why we take it on as rejection and feel so lonely… And we spin our wheels trying to get friends etc… But God is like just chill your mine and it’s all good:) so my life is for h and to share him … Through sharing Him I’ve made the few friends I have but it’s been a relationship that started with Jesus.. Praying together, Bible studies etc… And a friendship has grown from that… So I’m staying steady on the path Jesus carved for me and knowing my life is meant to only make him known and he will supply the rest :) but yes it sucks sometimes lol.

  27. Love your honesty. I think every women (especially SAHM) can relate at some point in life. I have had seasons where I wondered where my “girls” were. Maybe it was “Devine isolation” but either way, it sucked. Praying for you.

  28. Hi Nicole,

    You are seen. You are heard. Thanks for sharing your feelings of loneliness and insecurity here. We all wrestle with that at times. I have some days, some seasons too.

    May you find safe people, safe friends. May you reach out, and pull someone else over for a quiet cup of coffee at home, and may it end with hope for you both. You are not alone. And this reminds me of Addy Zierman’s new memoir just out (“When We Were On Fire”) that speaks of similar feelings.

    Are you in MN? We could grab coffee too…

    Warmly, respectfully,
    Jennifer Dougan

  29. I just came across your blog today, and I so appreciate you saying the words that most of us are afraid to say. I am a SAHM with no friends or support system. My husband and I have tried to get involved in church, and in a small group class to try to get to know people and form friendships. We ended up making some acquaintances but no real friends. I am also an introvert, and its hard for me to start up conversations with people I don’t know. I try to put myself out there and make an effort, but it seems like it’s always one sided.
    I often feel like roadkill at bible studies and small group gatherings. Like I’m standing around listening to other people talking but not being part of the discussion or invited to be. Then, afterwards you wonder why you even went. I feel your pain!

  30. ” I see you and the you matter circle” is the best way to put it. I feel this way daily. I am in the throes of a “you don’t matter” conversation I’ve had with someone who I thought cared about me. really not doing well here. This was such a ‘raw’ post for me tonight.
    Thank you for sharing… really the question is… do we have to ‘fall apart’ in order to be seen… any ideas on another way?

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