"Or in your case and mine, we have that generalized feeling of not belonging of constantly second-guessing our connection to people and activities, which is most likely an expression of how our family never provided that feeling of belonging, and also of how our respective families seemed to exist almost in isolation in a way, in the sense that there was no solid social circle around it."
A message board for ACONS was discussing this issue and I found it interesting that others said they felt they would never belong and were square pegs in the round hole. ACONs especially scapegoats are denied the kinship ties and love, that I believe some of us spend a life yearning for. I'm not sure that these things are replaceable. In my case, I spent decades yearning for a "family" and a 'sense' of belonging but now have gotten to a place of acceptance and resignation about the realities of the society I live in. I have gotten to a place where I have told myself enjoy the few people you do have--such as in my case my loving husband, don't spend life yearning for "what could have been". It's not going to be. I don't have a family and it's not a replaceable entity. In my case, finding the would be biological family hit a brick wall long ago.
Inside, I always have this feeling of "not belonging". I knew I never "belonged" in the family I was "assigned" to in my case. When the head matriarchs decided to condemn me as the scapegoat, that made me an "outsider" for life. I meet some sad people out in life who are constantly upset and frustrated that they have "no homes" or "group of people where they feel they belong". I was one of them too. This is epidemic in the Aspie world. Some are Aspies like me who feel the disengagement from life. Self-loathing gets twisted into these "what should have been" ideas.
When I see people who "belong", and I know nice people who have close knit families, these are roots decades in the making. They are enjoying a foundation that for most ACONs was ripped up the very day they were born to mothers and fathers without souls. I think the best we can hope for is "belonging" in our individual loving relationships and friendships and snippets of "belonging" within community that are short lived--different activities and people one remembers with fondness. Part of healing is accepting the reality about one's life.
I remember being 10 years old and wondering why I didn't belong in my own family, and well nothing changed that way almost 40 years later. Remember it was not something you chose, it was a choice other people made. I do think sometimes the "struggle to belong" can be counterproductive and lead to depression. There's a lot of unhappy people out there who are beating themselves up for not having close knit families and close local friends. I have been telling some of them, "its not your fault, don't get caught in the trap I did. Live your life and let whoever will come your way do so." I think ACONs we get caught up in trying to "fix" things that are not our responsibility. All those years I tried so hard even with the relatives who were totally uninterested. I knew I was trying hard to be "accepted" and find the belonging I had been denied. When I went NC some years ago, I finally had admitted to myself it never was going to happen.
That is something else I've given up. I do what interests me and keep in touch with the close and loyal friends, no matter how far away they live but accepting what is, goes a lot further in having some peace.