It did start with growing up. I created my own little world, making up stories with anything around me, whether pencils or dolls or well, anything. Then TV caught my attention and I lost myself in that world, next to still creating my own stories and reading. Then the computer came along and well, it grew from there.
As a child I remember being someone that my family said all too often I talked a lot. When I was comfortable, I did that. When I wasn’t, like in school with strangers, I got quiet and shy. Still I don’t remember finding it hard to make friends back then. It wasn’t until I hit puberty and that was damn early by the way, that my awkwardness and insecurities and self esteem issues started building.
It went on from there and I continued isolating myself and found myself awkward, barely any friends, even awkward around family and still losing myself in fantasy worlds, obsessions with TV shows and music groups and celebrities and making up stories, in writing now.
I discovered social media and it was great, cause you could make friends online, where you can hide the insecurities and selfesteem cause you’re not judged for your looks. Least that’s how I thought it would work. But I continued to isolate myself, turning inward more and more, selfesteem lower, insecurities higher, thoughts overpowering me.
In my job I have changed things already, I can speak up for myself and get things done, less afraid to ask for things. But socially… I’m in my twenties and I have cut off social media, because it was taking over and I had to stop cold turkey, same as the TV show obsession. The fantasy world I used to have, I miss it. Because now, all I see is life around me and the emptiness in my own life and how alone I am. I can’t vent in writing, be creative, because, well I’m not sure why. or maybe there’s too many possible reasons and the biggest is fear that it’s not good enough, that it’s stupid and honestly I can’t seem to write for my own enjoyment. I need gratification and that’s not what writing is about.
The isolation has brought me to my knees really. With social media not being my hiding place anymore, I’m so much more aware of how bad things are. I feel like a child who never actually grew up. I feel so much pent up anger and sadness and frustration and I can’t deal with it, I don’t know how. I barely have friends and no clue how to make them. People have tried to help, giving advice like: just walk up to someone. Or: I’ll come with you, we can talk to someone together. And I wish it would help. But I am finding myself socially awkward at every step.
Online I still find it easier to talk with people. In person, it’s as if I’ve never spoken to them at all. I can barely look at them. If someone else is there, yeah, the conversation might go okay. If that person leaves, the conversation goes quiet, awkwardly so. I feel uncomfortable and sometimes even get a concerned glance from someone asking if I’m okay. I see how other people do it, be so open and talk freely with anyone and I can’t even do that with most of my family. I barely go to birthdays anymore, because I don’t know what to say. I’m asked: how are you? Good. How’s work? Yeah, it’s going well. I honestly have no clue what to do other than that. And that frustrates me to no end. It hurts that something that looks so simple for other people, is so fucking hard for me.
And it’s not a case of, just stop thinking about it. Just walk up to someone. Just enjoy yourself. Just relax. I can’t pretend to feel comfortable. I can’t flip a switch. I can’t physically stand too close to someone without subconsciously stepping back or leaning back or sideways. And when someone touches me, whether accidental or on purpose, most times, I’ll jump or shiver or shrink back. Not because I want to or have any sort of reason to. I don’t know where that came from or when it happened. I used to hug people as a child and give kisses and sit on laps and wanted affection. Now, I want to be able to stand close to someone, touch someone, be affectionate, be open to people, let them in and bond, anything. But I can’t. It really hurts more and more that I can’t do that. I’m almost 28 and I’ve never had a relationship, kissed twice, am a virgin, have had 1 date and barely have friends.
I am in therapy for this and other things and I know it will take time. But without that safety net of my fantasy world, or being able to keep myself busy with anything else, cause of course this has to be the time where I don’t seem to enjoy anything and I feel completely lost and empty, the frustration builds. I’m sinking further to the bottom and like my sister wisely said, the only way is up. I do know that. and I know I’m impatient and stubborn. But mostly because it really all hurts a lot the more it happens and it’s hard to deal with.
I’m scared. Because I feel like Im gonna be left behind. People make other friends and the more time it takes and the more I’m awkward around people, the more time is lost to still make friends with them. And the most terrifying thought in my head, is that if I were to disappear (and no not like that), for example I would quit my job, people might miss me in the job, because I’m damn good at it, but they wouldn’t miss me as a person. I feel most barely know me. Honestly, I barely know me.
I don’t want to get lost in this void, going through life and work like a robot with nothing to say. I don’t want to be an empty shell or shadow on the wall. Thankfully I am getting opportunities to get through it and I have people supporting me. Because I can’t take this anymore and I can’t do it alone either. It’s time to climb back up. It will go slow and that will still be frustrating. But rebuilding anything takes time and effort. So let’s go for it. Time to take the plunge and get the hell out of this mess.