I don't know if I'm just finally having an emotional response to some really crappy news I got today (not life threatening, so not worth going into), or if it's reality smacking me upside the head again, but I'm pissed. And hurt. And confused. Mainly, I guess, at myself.
Plainly put, I suck at making friends. I'm an introvert and shy by nature, which means it can take me awhile to open up to people, not to mention to even slightly trust them. And I guess I suck at keeping them too. I act like myself or make a mistake and do something stupid, and that's it. I'm branded with some label or left by the wayside or both because, hey, I'm human and I do stupid things sometimes. I also have Bipolar II disorder, which means at times my emotions have gotten out of hand irrationally. (The Husband says that's the case right now, but I'll get back to that.)
Instead of sitting here going back over my experience with trying to make and keep friends from my childhood, I'm just going to address the main thing that's getting to me tonight.
Since the Kid was born, I have been involved in online forums of various types, mainly parenting ones, because when I had him I had zero local friends. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. It was mainly due to the fact I wasn't working and was going to a local community college to work on my degree, and all that was there were either a bunch of teenagers fresh out of high school, or old people. So I tried out these forums to connect with other people and to have somewhere to go for help in this crazy thing called parenting. I got really involved in one particular area of a website's forum because they seemed like a good fit for me, especially because they seemed like reasonable, intelligent people. I tried to fit in despite having a few moments where I wasn't at my best in terms of posts I wrote and the like, but in time I felt involved. When the website the forum was on changed it's format completely (in 2007), some from the group made a completely new forum and invited a lot of the people over. I didn't go at first because I was still involved with the original forum, but eventually made my way over.
It was good at first since it was a lot of the same people with the added bonus of having a completely open and free space that wasn't controlled by moderators that worked for a website. But at the same time I had some rough patches there too because my bipolar wasn't completely under control yet, and I would have emotional outbursts and freak outs.Mind you, I'm completely aware now that my moods are under control that those outbursts were probably annoying and stupid on my part. I had those same outbursts in real life too, and I know that it made me look like the crazy person I was. But I also had an uncontrolled mental illness that affects mood at the time.
So I had wrote some stupid things and reacted to other things in stupid ways, but at the same time I was being very open and intimate with these people. I grew to trust that I could be myself (online) with them, and I wouldn't be branded a nuisance or a freak or annoying.
Or so I thought.
Also, I met some of these people in real life, talking to them face to face. I began, in short, to consider these people actual friends.
Or so I thought.
In the fall of 2009 I was finally put onto a mood stabilizer medication for the bipolar, and once it kicked in I felt like myself again. My mood cycles stopped, my extremes in moods disappeared, and I felt *human* again. But it was then I also started to notice that when I was on the forum, it seemed as if I was more of an outsider than someone considered a part of the community. It started to seem like any posts I made were either ignored or else barely noticed by others. I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind, wondering if it was just me overreacting to something that wasn't there. In the spring of 2010 I made a trip with the Husband and the Kid to a large gathering of several of the people to get to see them face to face for the first time. A couple of them even came in from foreign countries to meet us Americans. I did have a lot of fun, but that uneasiness was there pretty strongly. I kept wondering if I was missing something, or like I was the awkward cousin in the background. Again, I tried my best to push it out of my mind, though I did bring it up with the Husband at least once. Again, it was dismissed.
So I've been trying to keep up with the forum and the people because to me they're friends. I care about their lives and what they post about. Some people moved away from the forum for various reasons, and it made me sad, but I've still tried to keep on. Yet over and over the same feelings keep coming out. My posts seem more like background noise than worth anything. Threads I start quickly die. I even have killed some threads. I did have an outburst with one of the people that was in charge at the time (I can't recall exactly what it was about, but my response was a bit irrational), and I've gotten the vibe since then that I'm not her favorite person in the world. I have the near constant feeling that I have labels hanging over my head, that unfortunately the impressions I made back before I was fully treated are all there will be. I feel like an outsider, something that I've dealt with my whole life, and that breaks my heart again to have.
I try to push these feelings aside, I try to make my way into the pack, but once again in life I'm not one of the 'popular' people. Where some have pages and pages talking about something like a haircut, my threads where I try to share deep feelings because one of the few things I've ever wanted is to have a place to share that with others die a quick death. Hell, even inane things I share are too boring to notice.
And the worst thing is, I don't know anyone there I could bring this up with. Who I could confide in about these thoughts and feelings without worrying that yet another label will be put on me. I have approached a couple of people before, but don't get too into it because who wants the label of being immature and self-conscious, or worst, being annoying?
I guess I have to face the fact that I'm not a likable person. Maybe I'm too quirky and, at times, too emotional. Maybe I'm just a giant bitch and I don't see it. I'm just one of those people who was born not to fit in, anywhere, with any group. I have great dreams and ideas that I would love to do, but because of my own actions, don't.
I think perhaps I just need to stop trying so hard. Though I care about those people and want to know what they're doing in their lives, maybe I need to walk away. It won't be noticed. It never has been before. I don't want to cause any type of scene because who wants to think about people rolling their eyes at you, thinking you're a drama queen? I don't mean to be. I really don't. But I always end up being that in people's eyes. Even the Husband, just now, has told me that I'm again overreacting. I guess I am. What else can I say? All I know is the impression I get every time I've lost friends. Every time I feel less than likeable.
For the most part, as I live my day to day life, I do an okay job of not caring if people like me or not. But that's usually with people I don't know. When it's people I care about, I do care, and that sucks. I care too much. I don't want to be someone who disconnects with the world, but as the years have gone by and this happens over and over, it just feels better to stop caring. It prevents moments like this where I'm emotional and being told I'm overreacting. It becomes easier and easier to separate from the rest because it sucks so much to be a disappointment, or to be unlikable and not fully understand how or why.
It would be nice to get the truth about what I do wrong so I can fix it, but then I realize that I'll just get too comfortable again and fall back into old habits.
It's taking time, but in the end I hope I'll be able to live my life knowing I'm just one out of seven billion, and I'm not a special little snowflake. In the meantime I guess I'll have moments like this where the suckiness of it all spills out because I'm not a robot.
Overemotional? Irrational? Fine, I'll live with that in the meantime. If I could disconnect emotions and irrationality, I would.
Until then, again, ugh.