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Underneath It All... (Long Post)


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Before I begin a big post, I need to impress upon those amongst you who take the time and effort to read all this that initially, I was not entirely sure where to begin. A friend of mine whom I met through online (YahooIM) could be considered the catalyst behind this. In the end, my post is meant to attempt to understand things instead of place blame or anything similar. Anyone who is acquainted with me will tell you I think too much about stuff, but in the end, life is about specifics, so I suppose my personality could be responsible for this...


My entire life has been a crazy roller coaster. From child abuse or neglect to adapted anti-socializing conditioned responses, my path that has lead me to an everyday visitor of Starbucks has been very unfulfilling. Originally, I began going to placed like the above mentioned to either study during my undergraduate years, or, in an attempt to seek temporary sanctuary away from places such as my usually desolate home or wherever I may be currently working. Thinking about all this from the top-of-my-head, I have developed the following fears, associations or whatever one might consider these that I list:

- I worry about what others perceive me as socializing as.

- I lack what I call "friends" that I feel content with.

- It's an unsettling feeling that I experience when I watch people around me busy themselves with others while I usually sit at my table with a book in my hand but nobody to talk to.

- I'm constantly fighting off the feeling of loneliness - the urge that demands that I be "head strong" and keep myself busy just because I lack many friends from day-to-day.


Since I've been unemployed, I have had many days and nights to sit around and think about these things. I understand that the deplorable employment experiences I have undertaken as of the past year and a half have been, to say the least, less-than desirable. Having said that, I have recently come to the conclusion that my time and efforts would be better spent trying my hand at counseling. I have been in contact with various individuals from a certain university to attain my Masters in one of the associated fields, and needless to say, I'm very excited about it. The possibility of attending school again feels so exhilarating simply because of the socializing aspect of it. Since I have gone through my undergraduate, however, I know what to expect - fighting the urge to come back to whatever apartment I wind up in after a day's worth of school only to have my nose in a book telling myself that the reason I'm in my apartment is to get some of my homework finished for whatever class I'll have tomorrow.


The point I'm making here is that throughout time, I have had legitimate reasons for being what some or many might perceive as being "anti-social", but in all honesty, I sometimes wish that someone would be "social" with me because I've never been against the idea of being social at all. It's just that I'm perfectly okay with going to Starbucks and being by myself with my books, but the essense of having a life where people call me every now and again on the phone to say "hi" or having a life where the occasional friend arranges a dinner date or movie, etc, feels like it's something I severely desire but am incapable of.


I'm not really sure why, too. When I sit around "doing my thing" at home, I try to get out and do things like go to the local park to play some basketball or go for a jog around the town. While the initial reasons for going to the coffee shops pertained to academia or momentary seclusion, it is now solely for socializing. It's a shame because despite the fact that I mostly feel peace while reading my books, I never really socialize, and in turn, I wind up feeling a horrible gaping maw of emptiness inside me that forces me to be "head strong" and independently productive while at home or whatever.


I remember when I first started feeling this emotion. It began during my Sophomore year back in High School when I first began to feel like I desired to have more friends and be one of the popular guys in school. I never had any girlfriends throughout my High School years because I was always sticking my head up a basketball's a$$. Everyday I would practice basketball. In the end, I realized that all that time I was missing out on the opportunities I had in front of my face because I was trying so hard to get somewhere through sports. I never went to Prom, Homecoming, etc, because I was always focusing on that damn game. Sometimes I wonder if it was due to all this that lead me down this lonely path I consistently find myself unable to part from.


As far as today is concerned and why I'm posting this; today my friend mentioned how she truly hoped I made it into whatever counseling program I decide to go with because she hopes I'll manage to be with people of "like mind". While I believe her intentions behind such verbiage were never meant to harm me, it did hurt my feelings because it made me feel as if yet again, I am perceived as being someone with "no life". This comment she made came directly after I told her that I was going to go hang out at Starbucks because I didn't really have anything else to do.


I'm okay with being social, but the thing is that I can never seem to locate people who I feel at ease with because I'm always uptight about things which always weigh my mind down. My grandmother constantly tells me I'm the absent-minded professor who's never aware of his surroundings. Things like this emit from my aura because of things like my stress concerning how I'm unemployed; how I'm single and feel like a loser because of it; I'm always worried about things, etc. When you catch me with relief, however, I'm a grand person to be around who smiles and feels like he's on top of the world.


My close friend has always told me that one reason I'm like this is because I have been dealt an unfair shake since birth as he's aware of some of the challenges I have faced in my past. I won't go into the details, but let's just say that I've been completely responsible for things that some 45 year-olds today have problems with handling on their own living on their own.


So why am I posting all this? I have no idea. I suppose one reason might be because I'm trying to rattle-the-shrub to see if anyone has this sort of life experience from a day-to-day standpoint. It would feel better if I knew I were not alone in this case, but also, I suppose I'm typing this all out to vent and get it off my mind - but in a "social" way. People always say that if you talk or communicate your stress, it becomes air. Well, consider me expelled!


Regardless, I fear that I may alway be this way - appearing unsocial, always using the smoke screen of some novel to hide my sadness. I'm not sure where to begin fighting this issue because I have problems believing that the only way to beat it is by openly approaching complete strangers of whom you've never even spoken a word to. There has to be a better way to find people in public of which you think alike and communicate well and emotionally easily with.


Thanks for reading.

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I wonder if much of your issue is the result of narcissistic tendencies? You seem to be overly concerned about, and focused on, yourself. Do you think that could possibly be the root of your difficulty in locating "people who I feel at ease with?"


I mean no offense when I said that ^


One more thing-- you remind me of myself in that you cannot seem to find people with whom you feel "at ease" with. I am, by no means, anti-social. I do have a few friends. But do I really feel "at ease" with them, as you put it? No. I don't even feel that way amongst my sisters. Sometimes I wonder if my expectations for others are too high.

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I just have no idea. I've been told before by people that I think about my own problems too much, so maybe it is what you suggest, but something that concerns me about that possibility is that what may be construed as being narcissist in nature could have variable contributions of other facets, that in turn, equate to perceived narcissist aura. Wow... Long run-on sentence...?


I'm not sure if I explained that well, but what I'm trying to say is that someone who's been raped and beaten by her husband is obviously going to have social issues. Regardless, what we see out on the sidewalk when we stroll by her, however, is a sad gal who's a bit down. For those of us who are "acquainted" with this exact same women who's had problems of such severity, we could very well believe that she's someone who "feels sorry for herself all the time". For those who are actually related to this women (depending on the time line of events) - they may very well end up telling the same girl to "just get over it because it's in the past", but we all know that such traumatic life occurrences are dealt with through extended periods of time that only the emotional psyche can determine the length of. In the end, who's to say she's being narcissist if she's always talking about that horrible time in her life... I dunno.


Not that I'm trying to come up with excuses here... I've already admitted that there may be the possibility that I'm narcissistic in nature. In spite of this admittance, I have to state that my personal self-image could be better. I constantly believe that I could "lose a few more pounds" and sometimes I believe that I'm not as "sharp" as I should be despite having a degree. I mean, for crying out loud - I'm unemployed and half the time, I feel like it's all my fault when deep down I eventually believe it isn't, but who's to say anymore...


I just know that I constantly feel this emptiness inside me. Religion or spirituality have no concern in the matter, so please pass over this as a possibility. Even my landlord tried to throw that up as a possible issue with me when I told her about my unemployment - but keep in mind that the gal is 82, so we have to have cheques and balances.

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Hmmm... I just thought a bit about what you responded with and while I think I now understand where you're coming from, I'm not entirely sure I could fix it because I've always seen my situation as being one of one country's struggle to conquer other lands while experiencing a civil war...

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