Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: A Lifetime Of Loneliness

Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Lifetime Of Loneliness



I've gone backwards and forwards on how to start this post for an hour now and I can't find a clever way to do it so I'll simply get straight to the point - I'm a lonely person, I never feel "good enough" and I don't have any real friends...and I'm absolutely sick of it.

It's not a new thing...infact it's a feeling that's haunted me throughout my entire life and one I've talked about before on my blog.

But it's getting to me more and more lately, and I am so tired of this worthless feeling that it leaves me with.

It started in primary school - where for some reason or other, I just didn't quite fit in.

I went to a very small school in the very small village that I lived in, and the problem with small village schools is that they can be very very cliquey - and if you don't happen to be part of those cliques, well you're pretty much buggered!

Maybe it's because I didn't go to the Brownies parades at Church on Sundays like the other kids did, Maybe it's because my mum & dad hadn't lived in the village all their lives like some of the others had...but whatever the reason, it was made very clear to me right from the start that I wasn't one of the "in crowd"...I wasn't good enough, I wasn't liked and that's how it stayed.

The kids at school teased me relentlessly....they teased me because my teeth weren't straight, they made fun of me when I didn't know the answer to a question....anything they could find to tease me for, they did.

Those children started me off on a life long journey of low self confidence, and they contributed towards me hating school which I continued to do for the rest of my school days.

I stood up to one of them one day....her name was Suzanne, she was a year older than me and much bigger physically so she intimidated me a lot and she'd made me life a misery for a year at least, when one day...with no teacher in the room...she pushed me over in front of the other kids and made me so angry with embarrassment that I stood right up and shoved her backwards.... I'll never forget that look of fear and shock on her face as I lunged at her.

She fell backwards and at that moment a teacher walked in, I thought she would tell on me but instead Suzanne scrambled to her feet and rushed away...I was so sure she'd come for me and teach me a lesson for pushing her over, but she never did.

Infact she never bothered me again from that day on.....she actually tried to be nice to me, offering me a seat next to her, trying to be my friend.

I wish I'd learnt more from that experience, I wish I'd carried on standing up to bullies.....

But, I didn't.

The fear took over and I carried on letting bullies make me feel stupid, and small, and less than.

I hoped against hope that high school might be different - I went to school in a different area, broke away from that crowd and had the chance to start anew - with kids who didn't know me...I was so excited, I could be anybody I wanted to be there! Maybe I'd finally be able to fit in and make some friends...

But somehow...I ended up being that same awkward, lonely girl that nobody seemed to like...who felt small, and stupid, and less than.

The "cool" girls talked about me when I walked into the room, sniggered loud enough to make sure I heard,tried to embarrass me whenever they could. 

They called me names,  made it very clear that they didn't like me....refused to let me sit with them even when the teacher tried to pair us up for assignments. 

One girl in particular made me sit there one day in French class while she argued with the teacher in front of everybody, yelling about how she absolutely was not going to sit with me.

She made me cry, in front of everybody. I was mortified. You just don't cry in front of your entire class when you're 14 years old. But I couldn't stop myself. She had broken me completely.

She quieted a bit when her friends had a sudden attack of guilt and said she was being too cruel, but it didn't stop her from doing it again in the future.

She was relentless.

She glared at me every time I walked into class,  made me feel intimidated and scared. 

I dreaded school every day because of her and her friends. I cried every night. I hated everything about myself because of how they made me feel.

They made me feel ugly, and stupid, and worthless.

And I'll never understand why, 15 years later, those same people still see fit to add me as a "friend" on Facebook as though none of these things ever happened.

It makes it all that much worse to think that these things upset me so much that I still cry when I think about them, yet they meant so little in their lives that they don't even remember them.....that somehow they think we are "friends".

And even now, as an adult, those feelings are still with me...I try my best to be sociable but it doesn't come naturally to me at all and deep down I know it's because I can't escape those feelings...Put me in any social situation and I still feel the same way I always have....

I feel that I have nothing interesting to say, that nobody likes me or has any time for me, I feel stupid, small, and less-than.

But my question is...will it ever stop?

I'm 34 years old now...and I've always felt this way. Can I ever really change it?

I see people around me with their tight friendship groups, their "BFFs", and so on and I feel so jealous...because I've never known that.

I've never known what it's like to be popular, or even to have just one true great friend.

The closest I've come is through the medium of the internet - where I can be "me" without worrying about tripping over my words, or saying the wrong thing - but even in this online world, those unworthy feelings remain.

Even in baby forums, and in blogging communities....I can't help but wonder if people are only talking to me because they don't want to be mean...if people actually really dislike me or find me boring or irritating.

I notice things that other people probably wouldn't think twice about - when I notice a blogger I thought I was friends with doesn't follow me back on social media, when I notice that a blogger comments on everybody elses linky entries but mine...It takes me straight back to that same feeling I had in French class...That people don't like me, people don't want me around, that I'm stupid and small and less than.

I feel like an outsider again - with no real "clique" to belong to...just plodding along doing my own thing, and sure...that has it's plus points...but standing aside and seeing the other friendships formed I can't help but wish I was involved too ... that I had that ability to make friends, to make people warm to me, to have something to say that people wanted to listen to....

But it can't always be everybody else who's at fault, can it? So maybe it's something that I'm doing wrong. There must be a reason for it, so what is it? And how can I change it?

Sometimes I feel as though life is a party I wasn't invited to....As though I'm just sitting here on the sidelines watching everybody else dancing and having fun...and I'm just sitting here, quietly sipping my drink and making my own fun...all the while desperately wanting to get involved and join the party, but nobody notices me here by myself.

I just don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Are some people just destined to forever be loners? Am I putting something out there to make people take a dislike to me?

I wish I had the answers, because 34 years of feeling lonely is a hell of a long time.

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35 comments:

  1. Huge hugs lovely, this is so awful and I hate that you feel this way! I love your blog, and I think you're fab xxxx

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  2. Sending big hugs. You are lovely! It's so rubbish that you feel like this.
    I never really had close friends until my girls started school. I got involved with the school PTA and made friends through that. Hopefully when your boys start school you can meet a whole heap of new people. Hang on in there x

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  3. I could have so written this post myself. I was always the odd one out at school and even now with a few mummy friends I've made I still feel a bit of an odd ball.

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  4. Totally understand everything you've said there. Making good friends is no easy thing - but like everything in life tomorrow is another day and it could all get better unexpectedly!

    I certainly get that twinge of sadness when people I enjoy reading don't reply to comments or don't add me back etc - but there are also people that do, so it's important to look hard at those that are making the effort and not to put all the importance on those that haven't I think.

    I definitely don't think anyone is destined to be lonely forever but it's a lot about opportunity, timing and luck. Don't give up hope just yet - your happiest days are probably just around the corner! Take care.

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  5. I love your honesty. Better to be you than other who may not be truly themselves on social media or in the real world. People can be so cruel. No one knows what struggles other people have and don't fall into the trap of thinking that everyone around you has this thing called life cracked. They don't. Most people are winging it on a daily basis and go through a myriad of emotions and insecurities every day. That said, everyone deserves a truly great friend. Yours is out there. Thanks for your honesty. It's a valuable quality! #AnythingGoes

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  6. Oh lovely, I'm so sorry you feel this way. We are not too dissimilar really. I can count my good friends on one hand and I don't see them very often at all. I keep myself to myself most of the time and I understand how lonely that can feel. Let's be friends! One new Twitter follower coming right up! #AnythingGoes

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  7. It's sad to hear that you were subjected to so much bullying. Children can be really silly. I won't say try not to feel that way now, because I know that's not the answer. It might sound like a silly question, but are you quite a shy person? Sometimes shy people can come across as not engaging with the crowd as they do better with smaller groups (shy person over here!). #Bloggerclubuk xx

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  8. It must have really taken courage to write this post, so you have one thing the bullies don't have. I was bullied badly at primary school and found coping mechanisms a bit later on. I would suggest it's never too late to find a counsellor, CBT therapist etc to talk to about your early years - 'not being good enough' often comes from somewhere we're not always aware of, and it can take an impartial listener to help unscramble some of the complexities of behaviour and thoughts. I wish you all the luck in the world, you certainly have the bravery to reach out for a helping hand. Jo x

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  9. Your post has touched me, as I experienced similar bullying at school. It really does knock your self-confidence immeasurably and I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. I feel under confident a lot of the time too and can't understand why people like me...or I often feel people are laughing at me. It's interesting what you say about your blogging life too - it's hard to shake off those worries about what people think of you and to stop noticing if people comment on other people's blogs and not yours. I have to say you come across as really lovely and I've always been a huge fan of the honesty in your writing xx #bloggerclubuk

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  10. This is a very honest post and I feel for you so much. I think it's just the way you have been shaped during childhood and unfortunately some nasty people contributed negatively to that. It's like your mind and opinions of your lovely self just need a big tweak. Have you ever had any proper support...sometimes the professionals can really help with this. I think you will find your friends, it's realising how important you are!! Lots of luck and thanks for sharing with #bestandworst. Xx

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  11. I feel the same, I don't have many friends since having my children as they have all drifted away now I can't go out all the time. I wish you lived closer so we could meet up. xx

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  12. I completely understand this too. I was never in with the crowd, and I'm still not now. I made some good friends here and there, but as I've moved around a lot, they alwasy seem to drift. It's surprising though, the number of people I meet who are similar - perhaps shy, or just out of the loop. There really should be a way of getting us all together! Let's think about it xx #BestandWorst

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  13. I too at 32 years old have had a gutful of being bullied throughout my life, infact I wrote a very similar post to this only days ago!

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  14. Oh hun, this is heartbreaking. I'm so sorry that you have been made to feel this way. It is hard to stand upto people and it takes a lot to do, and it sounds like you had your self-confidence stamped all over so no wonder you feel like this :( You have children now though, they are you're clique and no matter what they will always love you for who you are. Maybe counselling would help you? I hope you have a good family even if you don't have nice friends. Take care xx #sharethebloglove

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  15. I can totally relate to alot of what you said. I was never in the cool group at school and top had random girls add me on Facebook despite us never being friends. I've never had a few group of friends and thought the ones I had were strong, reliable ones but most of them worst. I've learned to rise above it and luckily have my best friend in my husband #effitfriday

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  16. Sweetheart. I found this really hard to read because I hate to think that you've felt like this for so long. I would bet a million pounds that the friends you have now, online or "real life" don't see you as someone to pity or feel sorry for. You're clearly very lovely and had rubbish luck with your school situation. I hope you can find peace with it - I truly believe that bullying stems from jealousy and insecurity and I bet your bullies arent living the life of Riley. Much love xxx

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  17. I don't really know what to say to this. I don't really know you. But what I can see, is that you have plenty to be proud of. You, (and no one else did that for you) are a Top 100 blogger! And you have beautiful children. Loneliness can be hard, but self belief can be harder. #effitfriday

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  18. This really hits a nerve with me. I guess you would say that I started senior school in the popular crowd, but it became apparent that I never really felt comfortable with them, and I was pushed out when I stood up to the group's biggest bully over her behaviour. I found another lovely group of friends who were decidedly not cool, but much nicer people, but I've always struggled with the underlying worry that people don't really like me.

    I came to realise that it's such a destructive cycle - I would start to think people didn't like me, so withdraw myself, and to be honest, once that starts I find it very hard to break back in, because, in all honesty, once you've withdrawn they probably don't like you very much! But the thing that changed things for me was the realisation that just because they might not like you, they probably don't dislike you - they need to get to know you, and you need to give them the chance to get to know you. I do have to push myself to chat to people but the more I do it, the easier it's become, and I would say that at 32 (well, 33 this week!), I finally feel that I'm becoming more confident socially.

    I really hope that this feeling improves for you. You should take confidence in the success of your blog - although you might feel insecure about it at times (I know I have those moments too), you're clearly doing so well with it, and I for one really love your writing and your honesty.

    Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

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  19. Wow - someone who feels like me! I don't have a lot of friends either and I became agoraphobic when in secondary school and lost all of my school friends. I have made some friends at Uni and I'm hoping these are life-long friends. I have grown in confidence now, but it's awful when you feel alone. Xxx

    Thanks for linking up to the #AnythingGoes linky! Janet

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  20. Oh Hayley!!! I can tell you right now that if you lived near me we would be great friends and you'd probably be coming over later for a cuppa. I think you are lovely so stop thinking that people don't like you because I do :-). I am lucky that I have been able to have one close friend at one stage or another in my life but I have never had a huge group of girl friends. To be honest I am not sure I would want that anyway as I was bullied by a big gang of girls and so I am always wary now. As the boys get older and start making school friends you will meet someone as lovely as you I just know it. xxxx

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  21. Oh Hayley I wish `i could give you a real life hug. In terms of blogging, I don't see you at all as an outsider, you seem to be friends with so many people. I often feel lonely in my life off of the internet. I know it can hard, but I love having our online friendship and being able to just open up with each other when we need to. xxxx

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  22. i was reading this nodding along, as whilst I wasn't bullied at school, I too never quite fitted in. I was alway the person in the group hanging around the edge. The one that people paired up with because everyone else was always taken. This carried on into adult hood and I have experienced bullying as an adult and this was difficult. I too have no one that I call my BFF and get jealous when I see people that have this. And now in the blogging world I feel like I am on that edge again looking in and hoping someone with pick me to be in their blogging group! I have no answers, but I do have a virtual hug to send your way. Thank you for joining us for #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

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  23. I'm sorry.

    I had a similar experience at school and it took a long time to leave that part of my life in the past.

    When we are small we often lack the tools we need to assert ourselves and the cliques and rules seem impenetrable.

    When it comes to linkies and comments I have to remind myself of all the posts that I read but don't comment on not because I don't like the writer but because I have nothing to add that would be meaningful and I would feel insincere and cheap leaving an empty 'great post!' message.

    There aren't many easy answers but I hope that through your writing and your honesty that you find like minded souls.

    From the comments people have left here you have evidence that people are interested in what you say. Half the battle is finding your audience and believing that what you say is interesting.

    #effitfriday

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  24. Oh Hayley, massive hugs. I was ok at school until I went off the rails then never really fitted in when I went back to college watching from the edge clinging to the friends that I had. Sometimes I find that you can be the loneliest when you are surrounded by a group of people. You're lonely but not alone xx

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  25. You have a very strong voice, here in your blog. And you write with real feeling. That is a gift that you should be proud of.

    I haven't endured 34 years of loneliness, but for the past 10 I have felt very much like this - I developed a chronic illness in my first year at uni and so failed to make any friends there. Plus all my friends from home deserted me because I was not the person I had been before. I was ill for 6 years. Even though I have now been well for 4 years, I still haven't recovered friendship-wise, and the whole thing has desimated my confidence.

    I can't bear to dwell on it for too long because I just wonder, 'what's wrong with me? why don't people like me? why do mean people seem to have loads of friends and yet I can't find one real friend?'

    I'd love to tell you there's an answer, but the best I have come up with so far, is that I mean the world to my kids, and that's better than meaning a little to hundreds of fake friends.

    Also (and I hope you don't mind me writing this because I'm just trying to be honest), I know that God loves me. He's seen every unfortunate event that has led to my loneliness and so He totally 'gets it' when I'm struggling with these questions #sharingthebloglove

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  26. Hayley, I don't know you but I want to give you a big hug right now. What an incredibly brave post to write, and I'm so sorry that you had such an awful time of it at school. Bullying is a hideous thing to endure and I spent the vast majority of my time at secondary school feeling like I didn't fit in. It's such a difficult thing to get over. I hope that the comments will help you know that you are not alone in feeling like this and that there are a lot of people out there who can relate to what you have to say and would be happy to be your friend. Hoping that you will find a way out of the loneliness x #sharingthebloglove

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  27. I can relate to this. I've never been part of the popular crowds and don't really have any close friends. I had 1 or 2 but they now live far away and we hardly ever speak or see each other. I have always doubted if people really like me or are just putting up with me. People can be cruel and others shoulder the burden unfortunately xx

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  28. You are doing NOTHING wrong! You are clearly a wonderful person. This makes me so sad reading this. You are a talented writer and it must have taken a huge amount of courage to write this. Life is so cruel sometimes. I suffered at school and still suffer from a lack of confidence now. I am ridiculously oversensitive about every tiny thing even now. And I have lost friends from withdrawing due to my lack of confidence which has then given people reason to dislike me! But you are doing amazing things with your blog and you DO have interesting things to say. Sending a huge hug and if you are ever in Essex, come for a cuppa! :) #sharingthebloglobe

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  29. I am so there with you, I was bullied relentlessly in primary and secondary school. Sadly it continued throughout college and I had a pretty awful situation at Uni too. It even continued into the work place at one point.
    I am now 32 and whilst I have built some good friendships I often wonder why people choose to be so cruel at times.

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  30. You've had so much isolation and rejection in your life it's easy to see why you feel the way you do. From my perspective I see courage for sharing this pain, belonging from the sheer number of people who recognise what you've been through in their own lives and commented on your post, and independence in your ability to stand alone as a blogger in your own right. These are the things I see, not your past. From one socially awkward misfit to another, you're always welcome at the #ShareYourMisery linky.

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  31. I feel like I want to reach through the screen and give you a big hug. I'm so sorry making friends has been so tricky for you. Never give up though, you never know who is going to come into your life when you least expect it and become a huge ray of sunshine in it xxx #sharingthebloglove

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  32. I also wanted to commend you on your honesty in this post, must have been really hard to write and share but I'm sure many of us can relate xx

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  33. It takes some courage to write about this on your blog. I am pretty much the same person as you. My hubby is my best friend really. I do have another best friend but she lives in Germany and I only get to see her every few months. Apart from that I don't ever get to meet up with anyone. I'm at home all the time. Because I don't know anyone, this is also the reason why hubby and I never get to go out. We don't have a babysitter. Unless my best friend is over for a visit, we never have any couple time. We are moving town in 2 months time. Hubby wants me to make an effort and meet new people. But because I'm nearly 30 now, the older you get the more difficult I find it if you get what I mean.

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  34. Oh wow what a read. Well done you for putting it into word for everyone to re are part there I can relate too overthink things and how other view me, probably,y more negatively than I should. It is hard battling with confidence and esteem issues and something many will never understand. Sending you a big hug and wishing you all the confidence in the world, if only it were that easy eh xx #sharetheblogginglovd

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  35. Bullying is the most horrendous thing, I'm so sorry that you had to suffer it. I have always felt like a bit of an outsider too. The thing is I don't ever go out of my way to make friends, and then I get upset when I realise they've all made friends without me... but that's my problem. I'm sure that you are doing absolutely nothing wrong and most of it is a self esteem issue rather than how other people actually see you. I think you come across as lovely through your blog and I love reading it! xx

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