19 year old guy..
I'm not quite sure how to write this. As a child I was always very shy. My dad left my mum when I was about 3 or so, and my mum has had boyfriends on and off since then. I was bullied all throughout junior school by one boy. He was the one who everyone hated, yet for some reason saw it reason for me to be the victim of his rage. I remember many times of being in the playground and there being a group of boys and him always pushing me away when I got near to the group. In the end I just used to sit on my own by the edge of the grass and occasionally talk with the teachers who were on "lunch duty". I then went to senior school which was much improved environment wise, but I was still incredibly shy. I had one "best-friend" (who had come to the school in Year 9), yet he was the guy who was exactly who I wanted to be - well-liked by all 'hierarchies' of the year, so him being who he was and having the friends he did didn't have a lot (or "enough") time to spend with me. GCSE years still seemed to be the same. Went to college for A-levels and AGAIN seemed to be the same as I always was - it seemed so daunting, so many people? I then last September went to university. I had gone there with several external expectations. To grow as a person, to develop myself intellectually, to meet like-minded people. I built uni up to be some kind of utopia far off in the distance and once I got there everything would change and be great, studying subjects I love, going out with friends every night. I was sold this wonderful, bountiful dream. Turns out that uni is not a utopia, it's just another set of buildings where I live in a tiny room in a flat with people who hate me. I thought making friends would be simple, living in a hall with 1000+ people, and I always try to be friendly and polite. But last year I didn't even make one significant friend. The people there were are all so outgoing compared to me - I don't hold that against them, I just find it impossible to talk to them and relate to them. My flatmates all know each other and get along so well and I was just the social outcast who couldn't even cook. I felt like I just wanted to be back home with real friends where I feel happy and comfortable, yet I barely have any. It was a struggle to get up in the morning as I felt I was just an education robot, i.e. go to lecture + tutorial but have no "life" outside of that - I would simply between/after lectures go back to my room and sit on the internet/watch TV. I had nowhere else to go, nothing to keep me occupied somewhere. I was sure my flatmates hated me (I had been put in one of the few single-sex flats, so I was living with 7 other guys). They were all out practically every night - not that I feel so egoistic to hold that against them - but most of them were immature twats who ran around at 3am banging on my door asking if I'm deaf – NO, I’M REALLY JUST SLEEPING. They would sometimes hold parties in my flat and I didn't feel I could participate as I was the "outcast" (for the times they would come up to my door, laughing, asking whether I wanted to come to the flat party). Everyone around me seemed to get on so well with their housemates; I certainly did not. They were intimidating and liked to do pranks on me and **** and I know they talked about me behind my back. It got so bad that I used to start hardly ever going into the kitchen to eat as I was so scared of seeing any of them. I pretty much went hungry all day and crept in there late at night only when I knew no-one was there or not at all and just kept food that doesn't need to be in the freezer/fridge and ate it in my room. I resorted to eating cold beans just so I didn't have to see the people in my flat or I would go the Tesco Express on Wilmslow Road for food that I could eat straight away. I was sick of seeing the same four breeze-blocked walls. My sleep pattern was the real undoing of me last year. It ended up that I was sleeping 6am - 1pm, and even got worse that it was 12pm - 9pm -- I got into that because of trying to stay up a full "day" to try and shake my sleep pattern off but ended up giving up around lunchtime I was so tired, and got into sleeping for the day. I would spend days and days "trying" to shake off that sleep pattern. I would wake up and it would be just getting dark. My entire activity that "day" would be going to the Tesco Express (which stayed open till 11pm) and getting a microwave meal. I would then just sit in my room all night (my "day"). I managed to move flats in January, but I was so mentally exhausted that I barely went out for the remainder of that academic year.
I want to be social, but feel like I have never have any energy to make friends.
I feel as I have had no "experiences" to draw on for conversation - at least with regard to social activities, "being out with friends". It is as if everyone in this world has a photo-album - most people's are full of snapshots of memories of fun times they had (maybe some weren't that fun, but they have had the experiences), whereas mine is mostly empty. I might have snapshots in there that most people wouldn't even consider putting in their albums - a slight conversation with a shop-assistant, or finally plucking the courage to say something in a tutorial and the tutor responding to it. I seem to have no memories of "fun teenage life" - I have had, throughout my life, either none, one or two friends - but even though they were my friend in school I often felt that I was somehow a 'waste of their time ' - that I didn't have much to say to them outside of school, that I had no experiences with other friends to relay etc. They're other friends seemed so much more lively, exciting, social. My life seems to have been "education" (school, college, uni) and "domestic" (home, halls), of which the latter could be sectioned again into "the internet". My social life seems to exist on there; in place of one existing in real life it exists on an MSN contact list. Sometimes I love it, talking to people all over the world, sometimes I find it no replacement at all for a zero-existing social life in the 'real world'. And indeed just as I'm typing this now, the photo-album idea can be exemplified by one thing: photos on Facebook. I see friends of mine from school, some of whom were like me, now seemingly being tagged in over 500 photos. Their profile page is full of comments by friends of theirs talking to them, inviting them out to clubs etc. I've been tagged in about 6 photos, and the rest are just photos I added from holiday snaps as I couldn't bare my photo amount to be that low, even though now it is still embarrassingly low. (I guess this seems bizarre for those who don't use Facebook! It seems two things matter on that site - amount of friends and amount of tagged photos of yourself) I remember feeling incredibly low the first time I realised how much of an active social life my (previously shy/introverted) friends were having at uni. Why wasn't I?
I feel so clueless about socialising when it involves alcohol. Shameful as it sounds, my first experience of alcohol was in freshers week. Yet still to this day I feel clueless about what to order at pubs, in clubs etc. And don't get me started on drugs! (and the derivations, variations of - what the actual **** is MDMT?) Am I supposed to have already known the details of smoking hashish with one of those dodgy vaporiser things? I desperately want to be social-skilled, knowledgeable of the teenage lifestyle, and able to take part in it. I remember a few times my mum has told me what she got up to at university when she was there, her expectation that I would be able to identify with it all. I hate being an outsider.
My ideal "social" meets seem to be with a single person - when there is group of people, or even just more than one, I seem to lock-up, as if when I'm only with one person I can't be judged, as a conversation has to be maintained with JUST that person, but when there are two people (or more) who are then talking I seem to just drop out of talking, feel self conscious that they will judge me as in-adept socially, that they have more experience and interesting things to talk about than what I can contribute. Which makes sense, their photo-albums are way more fuller than mine. I guess what has prompted this posting is that in a month or so I will be starting 2nd year university and I know that I *HAVE* to change. University seems to provide an unparalleled opportunity to meet loads of people, yet I blew my first year. Part circumstances, part my own introvertness. Once I get into the proper "world of work" there will be no such opportunity for meeting people as uni provides. Yet I remember telling myself after I'd got my A-level results and uni was rapidly approaching. I can't keep having crap year after crap year after crap year and hoping with all my heart that the next will be infinitely better. But I don't know how to become more "social", having lacked life experience (through barely living one, compare to most people I'm surrounded by). Sigh.
let no foot mark your ground
let no hand hold you down