Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nobody Knows Me At All

It has been brought to my attention, recently, that nobody likes me. I'm not trying for a sympathy play here - oh, poor baby. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms. That's not it at all. It's just a simple statement of the facts: nobody likes me. I have had this pointed out to me in a most kindly, detached, professional manner. People don't *get* me.

I think that I'm a hard person to like. I know that I'm a hard person to get to know and understand, and I think that the two are related. I've never been a popular girl, and I've never had many friends. There have been a few here and there, but I've never had very many.

I'm not really sure what it is about me that makes me so hard to like. Sometimes I feel really awkward, like I don't know what to say or how to act, and I think that's part of it. I'm uncomfortable around people a lot of the time, and I tend to try to fill in the silence with anything, which usually results in me sounding stupid.

Then, too, I'm an only child, and I think that being raised with only adults, not any other kids my own age around, was a big factor in my turning out like this. When I was little, I had lots of friends my age, but that's not the same as having siblings around to help socialize you.

I'm a very sarcastic person. I can't help it. I have been all my life - ever since I can remember. It's who I am. I am bitter and cynical and sarcastic and... dark. I just am. It's as natural to me as breathing. But not everyone likes that. And I can accept that, but I can't change who I am, any more than I can train myself to walk on my hands. So I'm not Miss Mary Sunshine, and I'm not a very happy person, and I don't know how to act like one. I tell dirty jokes - I think they're funny (I don't tell the ones that are in really bad taste, though). I curse like a drunken sailor - I have since fifth grade. I tend to overshare, usually to fill an awkward silence. I'm not very pretty, and I'm not into the trendy popular stuff that so many people are into.

I'm what we call in my business an "odd duck." And apparently it makes people uncomfortable. They don't like it. And they don't like me.

So, now comes the big decision. How do you move forward from something like this? Can I put up the walls that I need to, to keep people from seeing what they don't want to see? Am I strong enough to do that? I honestly don't know. Or should I move on, find a place where people can deal with people who are different than they are? Can I find a pond where odd ducks are welcomed? I haven't yet. Or, when you look at it, and realize that you've lived a life entirely without friends, a life where nobody has ever liked you for *you*, picked you first, wanted you most, thought you were great - can I really stomach another seventy years of this? It's not a very appealing prospect.


Anonymous said...

I seriously think your a very self indulgent person who expects the world to bring something to them rather than bringing something to the world. You have little children to inspire and they don't need a perfect mummy but they need a mummy with some self esteem and so I think you should go get some help. You can get over this and move forward just stop all this self analysis and get up and do something. One day at a time make a list and work through it. I have been there and I got up and walked and made new get up and do something. Please use your talent for more than this. Write childrens books!!!

Anonymous said...

and you do have friends...look at the people who take the time to read your blog and reply...people who have never met you feel drawn to you and want to help.

Julie said...

I just heard about a book called "Against Happiness: In Defense of Melancholy" -- or something like that. The author's premise is that the value of darkness is underestimated in modern American culture.

I thought it made some sense -- that maybe we confuse "happiness" with "cheerfulness."

It could be that you could compromise yourself a little in order to be more liked -- learn to play the game a little more.

If that would make you happier, and you still had someplace where you could really be yourself, then I think compromise is good.

If not, then screw 'em.

Anonymous said...

Julies comments were spot on. But I do think your sarcasm stems from lack of self esteem. I don't think its right to change yourself for others but you do have to negotiate yourself around people and sometimes as Julies says that means "playing the game" will find friends you don't have to do that with...I only have three friends like that myself. Its the depression hurtnig you. I know you want to get out of this rut and you are an honest caring person. Ww all read this everytime we log on. You care you care you care. You are a brilliant writer and I would love to read a childrens book you write one day.

Jane said...

Ahem. If one can't be self-indulgent on one's own blog, where can one?

Also, the depression. It's a killer. It ruins everything it comes in contact with. It saps self-esteem and sucks away the will to do better and to change.

The next person who tells me that if I want to fix things, I should just "stop worrying" or "get over it" or "do something" is going to Get It. It's not a bad mood or a bad day. It's an illness. Go tell an alchoholic to "step away from the booze" and see how effective that is. If I could just *stop* feeling this way, do you think that I would keep on feeling this way just because I want to?

I finally made a doctor's appointment today to get back on track. I was pleasant to people all day. I made a specific point to be cheerful but reserved, and it seemed to go over very well. So be it, I suppose.

Thanks so much to those of you who have been so supportive. You have no idea how much you do just by being there.

Anonymous said...

hey there. To show I am no hypocrite I will share something with you Jane. I have had depression for over 10 years. I am a happy mother of one running her own business paying off her house in the suburbs of Wellington New Zealand. Every day I tell myself to "get over myself". Not because its funny but because there comes a time I HAVE TO STOP the self indulgent me me me and go "ok world here I come" IS a battle this whole depression and I fight it like a mother f'er...its NEVER going to beat me and I will over come it by never surrendering and thats why I am appearing hard on you but it's for your own good and cause I give a very big shit about you. I really like your writing and I think you have a gift. One day Jane you are going to stand and shine and if I can kick your ass half way there I will through this medium.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah I am so pleased you went back tot he dr thats really really a great get off your ass move and guess what....YOU DID SOMETHING!!!!! One great simple easy something that means deep down is a person capable of caring for herself and making healthy decisions. Sorry about the heavy self indulgent thing...yes its your blog but your writing changed from witty to down and out poor me and it got a little sad...a little too sad.