I am not alone. I understand that. I know that many people go through issues that are similar to mine. I know that many people suffer with various degrees of depression and anxiety. I know that many people deal with the feelings I deal with. And while I may feel like I’m a part of something and I know I’m not alone, I’ve also never felt so much apart from anything and I’ve never been lonelier.
How does that make any sense? It makes perfect sense to me, even if I can’t make sense of it. Does that make sense to you?
You may see me in a social setting. It may be a large gathering. At that large gathering, you may even have a conversation with me. But how long does that conversation last? It’s very likely that I’ll just leave and stand by someone else for a few minutes. This cycle will repeat until I eventually leave the situation completely. No, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you or I’m not trying to pay attention to you. It just means that I’m not comfortable in social situations but I am making an effort to fit in.
I have a difficult time bonding with people. I’ve discussed that before. I’ve noticed that the people I’ve most recently gotten somewhat close to are people with similar social issues. I almost want to laugh about it. How we can bond at all is confusing to me. But then again, the concept of bonding and connecting to people confuses me in general.
Very early in life I was taught (or taught myself) that it’s better to by myself than be with people or situations that weren’t good for me. This particular philosophy was reinforced to me by people that didn’t do much in the way of socializing with anyone and often created rifts in the few relationships they did have. But, was it really a bad concept? Who wants to constantly be unhappy?
So, how does my lack of ability to bond with people and my separation tendencies tie together? I think fear is a major factor there. I am not good at connecting to people, and I’m confused and scared when I do. I am afraid to start a conversation with you, so I won’t. I have been shunned and rejected enough in life that it’s made me afraid to be shunned and rejected again, therefore it’s likely I won’t even put myself in the position to have it happen. It’s also likely that if you do get close me, it may cause me to panic, and I may try to escape the situation.
At the beginning of this entry I stated that I’ve never felt lonelier than I do now. Yet, I’ve been explaining how I don’t/won’t make an effort to contact or meet people and that I’ll run away from people. So again, I ask, does that make any sense to you? Because, it makes perfect sense to me. It’s my “normal.”
These behaviors and traits I’ve described and deal with are common with certain depressive conditions. I’ve been diagnosed with one where it’s very prevalent. I am not using that as a reason to justify or defend my (lack of) actions. There is nothing to do justify or defend, although I have been known to apologize if I realize that I’ve run away from people I actually do like. As always, I’m writing this to offer some understanding for me and for you.
I don’t know if I like being by myself. I’m just very accustomed to it. I’m physically by myself a lot, and emotionally by myself even more. I am distant. I am sheltered. I am isolated. None of this means I don’t want to hang out with you. None of this means I won’t hang out with you. Sometimes it just means I NEED to be by myself. I hope someday that need will be smaller, but until it is, I’ll be here. And it’s very likely that I’ll be here by myself, even if you’re with me.
Damn, well done here. The attachment styles that we have with our parents become the attachment styles we have with our relationships, which for many of us…sucks. What you describe can be looked at as a survival instinct, because that’s where it stems from. Parents are unreliable, in order to survive you have to toughen up and rely on yourself. Also, because parents are unreliable, people are seen as unreliable and a protective measure is not to get too close.
But then the major, obvious downside is that loneliness from never getting close. The depression from unreliable parents not instilling value in you, from not hearing your voice. So yes, you survive but you can’t quite make it to thrive….yet. It’s possible, but doing the work takes a loong time.
It may help to look at the psychological concept of attachment style parenting. This describes what different types do to the child…and therefore the adult if left untreated (which it usually is).
This is awesome, thanks for putting it out there ❤
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