In The World Without The World.

I’m not an open person. I have been trying to be an open person for the majority of my short life.

missing_something___by_lillele-d31vg49I must be missing something. I’m not understanding the algorithm (I can’t tell a derivative from my ass with the amount of time I’ve been out of math) or I’m missing the software to conceptualize and understand the process.

The possibility of not being encouraged or praised for ideas as a child was thrown out in the air for a reason why I don’t speak up when I have something to say. That’s all fine and dandy, but I feel I lack a connection to the rest of the world. I feel distanced. Not dissociated, but distanced. As if there is a glass wall separating me from the remainder of the human race.

I have empathy. I can relate to people’s pain, I share in people’s pain, and it hurts me when others are in pain. But to connect with someone on a human level, on a personal level, without focusing only on their pain but to then also focus on mine . . .

I’m still struggling with that.

To have a simple conversation . . . that’s a whole other algorithm. How do you do it? When do you know what to say? When do you butt in? How do you not misinterpret their facial expressions or their tone of voice? All I hear are malicious things, mocking, deceit, half-truths, people saying things just to appease me.

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Even in an environment where I’ve been told I’m completely supported, I feel the most isolated. Over the years I’ve learned it’s not them, I’ve learned it’s me.

It’s me who sees their expressions twisted. It’s me who hears their voice tone wrong. It’s me who distances myself because I think they’re just there to play with me. I think they form a little tirade against me where they can gossip and set up tests around the office and the house and coach guests to be a certain way so I have to deal with it, so they have something else to gossip about.

Everything becomes a test. The dishes, the food, the garbage, everything. It happens at every job I go to, any group event I try to take part in. Everything feels like it’s pushing against me.

isolation-1So I isolate. I isolate so far I quit things. I skip classes, I drop classes, I quit jobs, I huddle in my room where it’s safe, and when I come out of it I’m left with just the static noise in my head. Then I get bored and frustrated with myself–why can’t I function like the average human being? Why I can’t I just “ignore it” all?

Then I get some more confidence. I apply for jobs I’m not qualified for because I know my writing takes me places my mouth never could, and when I get them I brag because somehow “getting” a job equates to “maintaining and functioning” at a job in my brain.

Then time passes and I’m the outcast. The anxiety hits and I’m going to work with an upset stomach and headache and returning with the same thing. Then comes the paranoia: camera’s are hidden in places specifically to watch me, and they’re watching as I type this, I feel it. They use it to gossip more. I had to close the blinds tonight so I could look for my paper check no one told me was sent here and I didn’t want whoever was probably watching me from across the street thinking I was digging through people’s files.

I’m aware that’s something people say is not happening. I’m always aware of how I feel.

It’s all too much. I’m isolating again, slowly but surely, ignoring calls to work or not taking specific shifts just to avoid too many people or too much turmoil.

I just don’t want to fail again. And I feel like that’s what’s going to happen. Then I’ll start the cycle all over again.

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It’s nice to get this out in blog form, but to speak it outloud to someone is my goal. I want to be able to freely speak and freely cry all I need without feeling like someone is going to use that information against me or is going to mock me or feel that I’m the definition of insanity. I don’t know how to feel that way about someone.

I can barely say “hello”, how the hell and I supposed to spill my guts to the world?

My supervisor will be here to take over my shift in 45 minutes. I’ve been here since 10:30 pm (I’m off at 8:30 a.m), got an hour or so of sleep, and one of the guests randomly took all of her belongings and left and when I tried addressing her, she wouldn’t speak or look at me. She didn’t help my situation tonight.

Nothing has been helping my situation.

Status Report Update: I feel like shit. 

 

Isolation Damnation

I was requested to write a post about isolation and how it makes my mind change and feel. So here, my friends, is my probably less than mediocre attempt (the fault of my insufferable writing skills) at fulfilling said request.

I’ve been an introvert since before therapists started calling me one.

I’ve been an introvert since before I knew how to spell my name (and I learned a lot of words before I could finish memorizing a french last name that I later learned doesn’t belong to my bloodline).

I’ve been an introvert since before I knew that I had legs and when I discovered them, I’m sure I was more than pleased–yet, still introverted, so they didn’t get used outside much. I wonder how they feel about that.

I digress.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThere are days I feel it is my calling to be as such, that Locke’s idea of being born with a “Tabula Rasa” (blank slate) in terms of personality, in terms of possibilities, emotions, and other advantages (or disadvantages depending on how full your cup is) is just a load of horse shit. I was an introvert in the womb. I was an introvert when half of me was in an egg and the other half in a sperm.

My point (finally)?

Isolation is my closest friend. It came at me from both sides: it forced itself upon me as a result of my severe social anxiety that eventually resulted in agoraphobia, and it gently caressed my skin as a result of my complete and utter personal choice to be alone with myself.

There are times when it is tough. Where are times when I’m lying on the floor bleeding from a self-inflicted wound or banging my head against the wall, or ready to leap from a cliff because I just can’t handle the floods of thoughts in my head, and I have no one to lie on the floor with me.

reaching-outEven when I make an attempt to reach out, I struggle in describing my experience because I’ve never been fully open with anyone but myself. There’s a disadvantage: I’ve so utterly disconnected with the idea of “sharing emotionally” that I’m not even sure I could define it properly. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have the option of speaking with people who share my experiences and thoughts, or perhaps it’s because I am essentially socially inept and wouldn’t possibly know where to start to go about finding these kind of people.

School days were plagued with feeling inadequate matched up to my socially successful classmates, and being mixed race in a school of mostly Caucasian and Hispanic students didn’t go over well–I didn’t act or talk “white” and everyone I came in contact thought I was Hispanic, including the teachers who would give me papers in Spanish without asking. There we’rent enough African American students to even form a group, so that wasn’t an option either.

Race, social anxiety, and my own need to be in my head kept me isolated.

The students in the advanced classes I took were Caucasian and talked all the time about their trips to Greece and Spain over the summer. So socioeconomic status played a part as well.

I skipped a lot of high school. It’s a waste of time anyway, at least in America.

Oh uh, bold statement, I might have just lost a reader or two.

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But it’s not all bad. For some reason a transition from a sheltered “kid” of 17 who was still legally unable to do anything really significant to an 18 year old “adult” signaled a time in my life where I realized how valuable my isolation is to me.

It leaves me a spot in my head where I am absolutely and utterly safe. There is no noise, no distraction, just the ocean of my own thoughts crashing on shore. Sometimes they roar and move swift in a storm, other times they creep onto the sand and only slightly lick the tip of my toes. But no matter their temperament, isolation has allowed me to feel them completely and wholly, with myself, by myself.

I wasn’t subjected to peer pressure. I was on the inside of myself looking out, observing, patterns of typical teenaged behavior and I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t care to move with the crowd: did I need them to live? I didn’t care to go to the mall and get the latest fashion trend: who am I giving my money to when I buy this shirt? I didn’t care if I looked like a loner: I mind my business, they mind theirs. Simple.

The one friend I did have got sucked up into peer pressure; it became a need for her to do as they did; she absorbed anyone’s personality if she stood near them, and took on their attitude, mannerisms, and imitated their actions.

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She did it to me multiple times when we were alone together. In a group, if I wasn’t the dominant vocal member, she would find who was and suck up to them.

This has resulted in her forcing herself to lose her virginity before we turned 18 (we’re both 21 now) just to say she did it, it’s resulted in her hanging out with 15 year olds at the age of 21 because the majority of people we have gone to high school with have alright jobs, party only occasionally, and grew up a bit. It’s resulted in her crashing a 12 thousand dollar car her grandparents gifted her within a month of her receiving it, only to get in another car crash a month later, a 1000 dollar ticket, and now a warrant for her arrest as a result of the unpaid fine.

She lives her life for the approval of other people; she has yet to find herself.

I was lucky. I knew myself before I knew knowing myself was a thing to be had. Who did I have to impress but myself? Who did I have to look up to but myself? Who did I have to listen to but myself?

 

While it results in me feeling overwhelmingly alone at times, while it results in me feeling jealous of those who can socialize, those who have friends to leave the house with every Friday night, while it results in me feeling like a freak compared to the social normality of my boyfriend, while it results in my feeling inadequate on many levels, it also results in me having a connection with myself I don’t think many 21 year olds have.

Isolation has ruined my life.

And it’s given it so many gifts.

I wish I could say more on how it changes things, but I have no personal experience with going from “not isolated” to “isolated”. So perhaps that makes my view biased.

While there are times I need a friend or some human contact, I don’t fish for it. I don’t need it to live or breathe or eat or even enjoy myself.

I enjoy making people laugh. I even would go so far as saying I enjoy entertaining, whether it be writing, videos, or just general group humor. But after all that is said and done, after I let the anxiety settle in my system, there’s nothing greater I appreciate than a good solid week in my room with minimal contact, and the title of a vampire.

In many ways I feel isolation is just a bitter sweet result of my many mental health quirks that have freed me from the disadvantages of sanity.