“People are stupid. I hate people.”
It’s been the refrain of my life for oh so long. Maybe that’s not right and maybe it’s rude. Maybe it’s both. For me though, it’s a defence mechanism. A phrase that I use to try and brush off all the negative feelings that come around when I feel rejected by the world around me and the people in it.
I have two friends. My best friend has stuck with me for years and she is the only person outside my family that I believe will stick around — at least, I believe it when my brain is doing well. The other one is pretty new. Like, within-the-last-month new. And, the only reason that I know she’s my friend is because she was awesome enough to flat-out tell me that she wanted to be.
I can’t trust my instincts. I can’t make assumptions about other people. I can’t pick up on social cues. Because they’ve never steered me right, and they’ve always steered me wrong. I struggle to trust people because they’ve never proven themselves trustworthy. And I’ve never felt like I belong.
I rush into relationships and scare at the slightest hint that they might be mad, angry, or faking it. I fight hard to doubt my fight-or-flight instincts, but now I’m left with no instincts at all. And no friends either.
I think I’m a good person and I think I’m a good friend. I just don’t believe that other people see that, and I’m not sure why. And it leaves me in a weird position because I’m just not sure what’s left to do.
I keep putting myself out there, but it’s hard to do, and part of me just honestly isn’t sure how to make new friends. I constantly feel like it’s the first day of school and I’m left on the outside waiting for someone to just want to be my friend.
I have a difficult past with friendships. They’ve never worked out for me. My history in friendships has been part of what brought around two really difficult core beliefs:
People can’t be trusted.
People will hurt me if I give them the chance.
Can you imagine how much more difficult that makes trying to build new friendships? Not only that, but I’m constantly afraid that some part of my personality is what’s turning all these people off of me. And I have no idea what it is. Am I too clingy? Too needy? Too aloof? Too talkative? Why won’t anyone tell me?
Over seven years ago, a girl who I thought was my friend told me that I am an “acquired taste” and it wasn’t until recently that I started seeing how ruse that is and how much it’s stuck with me.
I feel like I need to prove that I’m a good friend, prove that I’m a good person, or prove that I’m worth getting to know. I feel like every time I put effort into building a connection, it’s one-sided and eventually just fizzles.
I’m the one who texts first. I’m the one who offers to hang out. I’m the one trying to get to know them. And whenever I get too nervous or scared to keep putting in the effort, they just disappear. And I don’t understand why. If someone was trying to be my friend, I would never shrug them off, especially if we got along. As far as I know, I’m getting along with these new people, but it just never takes off.
I’ve had a very lonely week, and that’s probably feeding this post. I feel like I’m stuck inside with nothing to do and no one to see. I feel so isolated, and for once, I really don’t want to be. I want to have friends, I want to go on adventures. I want to have fun.
But for some reason, nobody wants to be friends with me.
I’m doing the things that I’m supposed to be doing. I’m ‘getting out there,’ I’m doing new things, meeting new people. I’ve even been vulnerable enough to take the first step and offer my phone number to new people that I meet, but it doesn’t seem to be making a difference. In the last few months, I’ve been trying really hard. I’ve been fighting the thoughts in my head that are just trying to keep me isolated — but it’s getting me nowhere.
One friend dropped off the face of the earth, and I’ve only gained one other. Of dozens of people that I’ve met. Is that normal? It doesn’t feel normal — it feels like something is wrong with me.
Did my past scar me? Did I never really learn what it means to build new friendships? Is that why I’m so lonely? Has my trauma really found another way to get me down?
I wish that someone would just show me the way. Because at this point, I’ll do anything.
People are stupid. I hate people.