HI everyone,

I am mostly a lurker here. In my mid-50s. Very checkered history regarding achievement--on and off like a blinking light, complicated by not only lack of parental support as a kid, but also an ongoing sense of otherness within my immediate family, in my workplace, etc. The usual stuff.

I had a conversation with my sister today over coffee where I was sharing my thoughts and new learning about a topic of immense interest to me, and she listened only politely,which I observed but still tried to ignite some interest by what I was sharing.Just being me and wanting to...share. She did this thing where she puts her hand to the side of neck like she has a crick in it and then winces, then looks away, still holding her neck.It is a cue for me to stop talking. It instantly humiliated me and I stopped talking and made an excuse to leave. I am very sad today because I realize that I cannot continue to have such exchanges with my sister. This is a pattern between us and it is so damaging to me. I feel deeply ashamed to be me in that moment,and that shame carries over to the rest of my day/week/month. The only relief I get is to immerse myself in my interests and to limit human interaction as much as possible until I am regrouped inside myself. If you met me, you would see a warm, personable, funny person. I would work very hard to NOT show you my intensity. I stuff so much of myself on a daily basis and feel always alone. My relationship with my sister has always meant a great deal but I increasingly see it as toxic. I'm beyond sad today. I have worked my place into a position in life where no one really knows me and I'm afraid to show them and feel like, at 55,it's too late anyway.