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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