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I think I am, literally, driving myself crazy.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Lately, it seems like I haven't been able to speak functionally to people. Like, whenever I speak, I sound selfish, or dumb, or like I don't make any sense...

I feel like this is spiralling out of control. I have the distinct feeling that people's feeling about me range from indifferent to hatred and that, other than Ian and my kitties, everyone has some sort of problem with me that causes them to not want to be around me.

I feel totally worthless, unloved and alienated lately.

And I can't help but feel like it's my fault. Like I was never taught how to be social, like I'm too self centered, too judgemental, like I'm not interesting...I never go out and have fun, so it's like I'm spectatoring my entire life.

Sometimes I like to chalk it up to the fact that if I have relationships as intense as the ones I have with Ian, my best friend Cheryl (she's like my non-romantic soul-mate) and my kitties, everything less than that seems like it isn't worth my time or effort. But I KNOW I need to get out more often.

Last week, I invited these 4 friends to come to my apt for a dinner party. One girl came down with a cold, so all 5 other people cancelled on me, citing Amanda's cold as their excuse. Do I have cooties or something? Am I that unfriendly?

It was my best effort, seeing as how I never get invited out.

And reading the wedding thread made me think about who would be in my bridal party...and I have Cheryl and my sister. Who I'm not even particularly close to.

I don't know. I'm just really upset and lonely. Anyone have any advice or vibes to spare??

Loves you guys!
post #2 of 16
We love you, too, Allie . I am so sorry you're feeling this way right now. It can get very difficult in college and the years immediately following, when everyone is sort of going their own ways.

Some friends will come and go, but true friendships, though they take time and effort, can last forever (corny,I know).

Are you involved in any clubs/groups? Maybe the Chicago chapter of NOW? Getting involved in organizations can be a wonderful way to make new friends! I know it's easier said than done though. I'm hoping this bad slump ends soon (and that Ian proposes already!). At least you do have a good core group of people (and kitties!) who love you and that really is what matters most.
post #3 of 16
Your posts convey you as warm, caring person. I always enjoy reading them.
I do understand what you mean, though. I always feel like people are judging me, or tolerating me, like they do not really LIKE me. I am always saying the wrong thing, or stumbling through conversations. I often sound very brusque or short with people, when I do not mean to be anything but nice. I have ear problems, and often cannot tell the volume of my voice, so I am seen by some people as loud and obnoxious. I know this is hard for some people to take, so I will try to be unobtrusive, which comes across as snobbish. I alway find it very surprising when someone says something nice about me. The few friends I have are good ones, and they understand that I am often misunderstood. My mother never allowed me to have friends growing up, and when I did make a friend, it was always "Are you sure they want you around? Did you invite yourself to go around them?" She always made me take cookies or candy with me on the rare occasions that I was invited anywhere "to make sure they will let you play with them." That made me feel like I had nothing to offer as a person or friend. The comment about being a spectator in your own life really hit home with me. It took getting away from my hometown and years of therapy to enable me to make the friends I have now. I often marvel that the man I love thinks I hung the moon, and has since the first time we met. My mother even told me I should be nicer to him before we were a couple, because "nobody else is ever going to think that much of you, you better grab him before he finds someone else." I have a lot of acquaitnences (sp?) but very few real friends, and have learned to live with it. I hope it helps to know that it is probably not you, but things that happened in your life, like not being taught to be social. I think you are probably a great, misunderstood person.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys!

I was just talking to one of our male woman's studies majors...he seems like a really great guy and we just haven't seen enough of each other to develop a friendship, but he was telling me that a lot of the people I used to hang out with don't like to be around me because I "think everyone's an alcoholic who's ruining their life", which is not true. I just don't drink, so I don't go out and party with them more than a couple times each term, mostly because I feel totally alienated by my choice to stay dry and drug free. Alcoholism runs in Ian's family and his mom finally got help around the time we started dating. Helping him through that really made me see that when you really, really love someone you CAN be totally selfless. But he doesn't drink in solidarity with his family, and I am considered (and consider myself) part of his family. And, here, these people think that I am looking down on them! Certianly, it's difficult to be around people who make choices that I think are scary and destructive. I'm really trying hard to come to terms with that. But I don't really think anyone is a "bad" person for doing these things. I'm just....scared of what they do is all.

As for the other people, I don't know why I feel such a huge disconnect.

And it's really sad that I can't seem to find a church or faith organization that I'm comfortable with. I know that would help, but the fact is, most organized religion is too restrictive and conservative for me. That, and my STRICTLY Roman Catholic family recognizes the following faiths: roman catholicism. THat would also cause a problem. It's easier to be agnostic than something other than Catholic in these parts.

Thanks, though, you guys. Leo, Lola and I are at my parents' house for Thanksgiving. My brother is playing with my cats right now and helped me get their softpaws on (they're not allowed in to my parents' house without softpaws, which I think is a reasonable compromise).

Anyway, you guys are wonderful. I didn't know where to go with this, but I needed to tell someone outside of Ian and Cheryl and I knew you guys would be here for me, which means a lot.
post #5 of 16
I think I understand how you feel. I just got an e-mail from the girl who was my maid of honor and i was here's updating everyone on a baby her aunt adopted 2 years ago after he had been abused by his aunt to the point he will never function normally. This happend 2 years ago...I never knew! You'd think if she wanted people to pray for the little boy she'd ask her 'best friend' to pray...but I was never told. Since she hasn't returned my phone calls...well I guess that tells me I made a bad choice for my maid of honor, good thing I had 2! The other was family!

Since finishing college and getting married I don't seem to have many friends other than my husband. I have a few that I still talk to, but we are at very different stages so we're not as close as we used to be. It stinks but I'm just trying to wait it out I guess.
post #6 of 16
I feel for you as I know that situation well....

I have to agree we all grow and change... I am far from the person I was at 19 when I got out of high school... I am evan far from the person I was five years ago and my friends mostly went on the school of life track or the college get married have babies track... Me for the time being is on the caregiver my life can wait track...

Here is a great big
post #7 of 16
Allie, I'm not sure what to say. I wish I had some magic words to make it all better.

I will say, though, that if your "friends" are that intimidated by you choosing not to drink, they probably DO have a drinking problem!
post #8 of 16
Allie, I think you are great!
I also have fel tmany times inmy life that I just did not mesh with anybody. I never smoked or drank or partied in high school and im young adult life, I just felt like a fish out of water in the social scene - yet my interpersonal skills at the office and with people one/one were very good. I got promotions and always seemed to be singled out as a leader - but I really was not. I just cringed at the thought of being in a social group. If I had to show up at a party or club, I would always arrive early so I could get my bearings and leave as early as I could. I never said the right thing, and was always just overlooked by others. It seemed nobody wanted to sit at my table or invite me other places. It felt very odd, because I genuinely was interested in people inside of me, just not over a drink! I also wasn't particularly spiritual, although I knew I was a very sensitive and deep person.......I just had a REALLY hard time fitting in.... until I did two things that changed the course of how dismal I felt as a social zero: I took a class about something that really. really interested me...and... I volunteered for a cause that I was passionate about. And shazam, I swear that changed everything. Instead of looking outward to find a church or group to click with me, I started from the most inner values I had and matched them to people and subjects in the outside world. That was 15 years ago and things are very different for me now, and I am so grateful. Now, I have no idea if you'll find any help in my little story or not, or click with anything I wrote, but TCS is a place where you are loved for you - no dinner parties needed. You love kitties, you are a warm, supportive and giving member and all I can say is
post #9 of 16
Allie, I think that is a wonderful that that you are doing for Ian and his family by going dry. That shows you have such sensitivity and compassion. If people do not want to be your friend b/c you won't drink with them, then they absolutely are not worth of your friendship, plain and simple. That is such a PETTY thing for them to judge you on!

If you're ever down in my neck of the woods, come with me to my church sometime. It's about as far from conservative as they get!
post #10 of 16
lionessrampant: You should appreciate this disconnection. If the people you are around don't appreciate you for what you do, and on top of that, expect something from you that you can't provide, then just forget about them. Friends aren't the end. They come and go. Don't fully trust them either. Ignore everyone and just focus on yourself. If you think there is a problem, try to fix it. Also, if you still feel depressed you could ask your physician for anti-depressants to help you feel better.

Plus, you're only 20. This goes double for what I said about friends. Be smart around people, don't let them take control of you. If you let that happen, you will feel even worse. If your friends have a negative effect on you it is best to cancel them out.
post #11 of 16
I think if you found people that are like you, you could do things with them. You're probably thinking way more about why they don't like you than they are thinking about you period. Some people just don't click, and some do. You will know when you just click with someone.

The most important thing when making friends is to be yourself. When I was in college, people flocked to me for some reason. I was talking to a friend about it once and he said it's because I smiled at them. What? He might be on to something, though. People generally want to be around people that are kind, natch, so if you smile at people you might be surprised how many people will stop and talk, and probably even invite you somewhere the same day.

It seems like you are lacking confidence, hence the not being able to speak properly and worrying about what other people are thinking of you. I promise you that it is rarely what you think. Amanda could have been really upset about not being able to go, so the others didn't want to go without her. Or maybe the others are just as socially awkward as you are, and Amanda is their crutch. Ya know?

Good luck. You should just go out there and try to strike up conversations. Once you have some experience, you will feel more comfortable than right now, doing something new.
post #12 of 16
I'm glad you have so many friends here at TCS to share with. Best of luck to you as you work through this problem!

P.S. You have always seemed very nice and well spoken here at TCS. I wonder if you are seeing more problems in yourself socially than you really have?
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks guy! You're all very wonderful people to be able to sort of spill my guts to.

I really appreciate all of the support.
post #14 of 16
I think many of us have been in the same situation as you are. I'm a bit older than you, and I'm married, but my social structure has shrunken over the past two years. All of a sudden, my "friends" were no longer returning my calls. I was starting to think they were making pretty dumb decisions with thier lives, and I guess I made that a bit too clear.

BUT...I realized that I don't really care too much now, since they probably weren't right for me anyway. The friends I have now and few and far between, but we are certainly devoted to one another and make it work.

It sounds like you need to find some independent thinkers - ones who will show up to your house by themselves, not in a pack! You'll find them, be patient, and put yourself out there for people to meet. And remember your own fabulousness - you will meet a lot of people who will be nice, but won't be your friends. But you'll meet one or two along the way who will be right.

A big myth of adulthood is that you have to have a lot of friends, and you'll go to "dinner parties" together and raise your kids together and have great New Year's parties at each other's houses. This is sadly not true, and if it were, wouldn't you eventually GET TIRED of doing what everbody else does in your "group?"

Also, if you are truly fabulous (which you are), you will gradually let go of being defensive or thinking you're a loser. People seem to be able to tell when you feel badly about yourself. I never really got over that one, but I'm working on it.

Hang in there! You are wonderful, just the way you are!
post #15 of 16
we love you Allie!!, I wish you all the best.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueberrybeth
I think many of us have been in the same situation as you are. I'm a bit older than you, and I'm married, but my social structure has shrunken over the past two years. All of a sudden, my "friends" were no longer returning my calls. I was starting to think they were making pretty dumb decisions with thier lives, and I guess I made that a bit too clear.

BUT...I realized that I don't really care too much now, since they probably weren't right for me anyway. The friends I have now and few and far between, but we are certainly devoted to one another and make it work.

It sounds like you need to find some independent thinkers - ones who will show up to your house by themselves, not in a pack! You'll find them, be patient, and put yourself out there for people to meet. And remember your own fabulousness - you will meet a lot of people who will be nice, but won't be your friends. But you'll meet one or two along the way who will be right.

A big myth of adulthood is that you have to have a lot of friends, and you'll go to "dinner parties" together and raise your kids together and have great New Year's parties at each other's houses. This is sadly not true, and if it were, wouldn't you eventually GET TIRED of doing what everbody else does in your "group?"

Also, if you are truly fabulous (which you are), you will gradually let go of being defensive or thinking you're a loser. People seem to be able to tell when you feel badly about yourself. I never really got over that one, but I'm working on it.

Hang in there! You are wonderful, just the way you are!


RIGHT ON!!!!!
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