This sucks. I never expected to have this problem growing up. But I did.
I feel like my friendship making/understanding skills have been delayed for so long. I wonder if I will ever catch up. I wonder if I will ever be "normal" like other people. I wonder if I will be able to have normal friendships and to connect with others normally.
At first, the problem wasn't me. I used to think I didn't have any friends because of my social skills. But then I talk pretty normal, sound pretty normal....I think I am pretty normal. Except I am smart but then I am not particularly nerdy or introverted or anything.
It all started when I got bullied. I withdrew for a number of years. People labeled me with unwanted labels and reputations. I didn't deserve that. The problem wasn't me. Kids can be so cruel and it hurt a lot.
I developed trust issues. I became shyer from being told to shut up and being told I was boring, uninteresting, fobby, any number of names etc. I began to withdraw more to protect myself, I became more unfriendly to protect myself from rejection and hurt. It became harder for me to see who I could trust and who I couldn't trust. Then the teen and young adult years cast their own problems which intertwined with socializing. It became harder to meet friends out of school and when you don't have a group to introduce you around. I became more and more uncomfortable around people automatically. I would start to stammer and stutter when I never did so before. I would cast myself automatically as a reject, outcase, I would act like I didn't belong and didn't fit in.
I had started to OUTCAST my ownself. To victimize and put myself down before anyone else did. I was doing this internally without realizing it. After many many years, I had begun to do to myself, what was done to me. I was self-destructive. I was bitter, angry and blind. I did not understand what had happened. I had trouble saying the word "friend". I did not consider anyone a friend. I could not trust a person's intentions. I glossed over words like "friendship", "bond", "fun" because they were too painful and I told myself they didn't apply to me.
The situation got to where I couldn't bond with anyone. The problem had become me. My internal issues became more and more significant. I was attracted to bad people. I surrounded myself with harmful and dangerous people who hurt me and hurt my trust even more and abused and used me.
Even around people who might have been accepting or open or friendly, I was now a closed book. I had become someone I never set out to be. But it had happened.
Right now....I'm learning to heal. Learning to take small steps. Learning to observe people. It has been a long road. I have difficulty making friends. I don't have difficulty making contact or making acquaintances but I can't seem to take it farther than that. I have the most difficulty with people who don't need my help, with people who are put together, smart, successful, pretty, well-groomed. I think they remind me of the "popular" kids at school who hurt me so long ago. I felt like I never grew out of that. Like I am still stuck in high school years and high school world as an adult. It's been painful but I'm ready to talk about it and share. That is a first step.
To say what I couldn't say before. To face what I was in denial of. To be honest with myself about my troubles. To accept and to learn and overcome.
If you have come through similar circumstances, feel free to share your experiences with me.
I think people think this couldn't happen to them. I beg to differ. What happened to me could happen to anyone. I was perfectly normal as a young child, fun, engaging, interesting, I reached out to people. It was only after being bullied, teased, labeled, stigmatized, beat down, hurt, and rejected over and over, going to school in the wrong environments that I became like this. Overtime I developed behaviors and attitudes that led me down this path because I was even aware of conscious of it. I think this could happen to anyone.