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25 November 2015 @ 05:51 pm
illuminations  
I grew up always unsure of myself socially. I think this generally works out well for others, as that absolute uncertainty leads me to try to be more proactive in helping whatever is happening happen well. My mom mentions when we first moved into our new house when I was perhaps four sitting out front and asking, "Does anybody want to be my friend?" I don't know how things work, and I don't know how friendships are supposed to work. I just kind of fake it - as we all do - and hope that people won't get annoyed. I would hear that Alice thought I was super cute and so I would ask her out because I was supposed to... and then I never talked to her again because I had no idea what to do and no idea how to interact.

This is the life of an outsider.

I got pretty blessed in junior high, moving to the school where my dad was supremely popular. All the popular guys loved me and the girls were all of a sudden interested in me. It made it easier, but -- it wasn't earned. I just pretended like it made sense, tried to be nice to people, and kept on doing the things I found interesting. I'd never know who to sit with at lunch, and I don't actually know if I spent many lunches with other people versus trying to work my way through problems or a book off by myself somewhere. It's not that anybody rejected me at that point - arguably I can fit in anywhere - it's just that ... I don't understand how things/people work and would most likely sit there quietly absorbing things as an outsider rather than being there in the moment.

That's always been hard for me. It's not bad: I like doing the things I do, but I recognize that I have a hard time being part of groups. That's why I prefer to interact the way I do. That's why Greg is good for me: we can just be together and she doesn't need nor want anything from me other than just me being there. It's simply but important.

So I have this background of being an outsider and wanting to perhaps help people get together and share a sense of community together. That's who I am at this point. I try to not be that person sometimes.

I found it hard dealing with my male cousins growing up. I didn't know them, having had my mom marry into the film, and always felt spurned by them. I thought they were so cool - Jeff with his computer skills, Tron and his brothers with their soccer skills, but felt like I received a cold shoulder from them that I never really understood. My brother invited himself to a family reunion camping trick, and talked with one of the cousins who'd been a little less fortunate. That cousin explained that I'd come in to their lives so happy and cheerful and wanting to be friends and that there'd been no real reason to be mean to me. They'd just excluded me because they could, because it was a kid power game. And ... things never really got better over the years. All my life having a bunch of cousins who just were meaninglessly being dicks, helping me feel ostracized from my own extended family.

That "family reunion"? It was a "secret" family reunion where only the "right" family members got to go. My brother kinda invited himself along, and others haven't been invited and there's really no plan for such and supposedly they talk badly of those that they don't want to be part of their little club.

What bad people.

Life catches up and goodness comes and badness comes and maybe my life is better than theirs and maybe it's worse, but I hope I've generally been a better person than that. When I'd heard about this reunion I thought about the times I'd mentioned that hey maybe the extended family should get together and kinda been ignored. It's not gotten much better. I've gotten older and there's more distance and I think I like that. I hope I'm never like that to the people I love or am related to.
 
 
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Sallysallysimpleton on November 29th, 2015 09:00 am (UTC)
There's so much I could relate to in this post. From the life of an outsider, to dealing with odd snubs from extended family. As a very young child, I even did something very similar to your "does anyone want to be my friend?"

I believe life catches up and I believe your life has to be better than theirs.
slightly radiantalibee on December 1st, 2015 06:52 pm (UTC)
This is random and probably inappropriate, and I'm not sure it makes an ounce of difference how you answer, but do you ever think that you could be somewhere on the spectrum? I only ask because of your description about being unable to relate to others or figure out how they work.

Honestly, though, from the outside... either you fake being sensitive to others and having relatively high EQ REALLY well, or maybe you're not being gentle enough with yourself? I can barely understand ME, much less others. :)
Zachzachdms on February 11th, 2016 12:21 am (UTC)
I don't think so... ? I think I got put into a lot of pretty awkward situations growing up what with moving between houses every other weekend. That would be hard enough, but then having cousins who want to disavow you -- I think it just left me in a weird place by happenstance as opposed to anything innate.

Perhaps I shall ask more questions of others as to how they are able to read other people. :\