So imagine going a huge chunk of your life with people doubting you everywhere you go. Imagine getting things thrown at you on a daily basis because people thought you were weird and there for it was funny to get cheap thrills off of making fun of the special kid. Imagine people constantly calling you a retard or SPED monkey or people waiting for you to talk in class so that they could mock your voice. Imagine people forcing themselves to be nice to you because you’re so strange to them that they have to try incredibly hard to find redeeming qualities that clearly don’t exist to them, they try so hard that they no longer come off as genuine, as a matter of fact they seem so fake that it makes Santa and the tooth fairy or bigfoot or the end of the rainbow become the realest things ever. Imagine dealing with so many fake people that when the genuine ones come along, even they feel fake. You constantly put up a wall when people get too close because you fear getting hurt. As genuine as those trying to get close are, you fear that it may be all another facade. The scariest thing of them all is when people tell you that they like you or that you’re awesome or that you’re a great friend.When you go your entire life being made to believe that you’re worthless, you actually start to believe it and despite your best attempts to love yourself, there are points where you feel worthless, like you don’t matter. Sometimes you even feel that the world would be better off without you. Over the years I have constantly built a wall to keep people out and only allow in the ones I want in. I’ve developed a sort of paranoia when it comes to really nice people. You never know when someone can stab you in the back or shatter your heart in to millions of un-mendable pieces. Every time someone tells me they like me or that I’m awesome or that I’m a cool person to have around I start to panic because such paradigm was almost non existent when growing up. It’s so foreign that my defenses go up, it’s like an army of white blood cells amassing for an all out attack when a foreign invader enters your body. You keep them at an arm’s length until you deem them safe or they slip up and in that case you can go for the kill before they do.
Paranoia much? Yeah you can say that again. Many people would say that in order for me to be this paranoid about what people think of me I’d have to think the same terrible things about myself. This sadly isn’t too far from the truth. I’ve come quite a ways as far as self esteem goes but there are days where I just don’t feel very adequate and its those days that I get caught the most off guard. I don’t hate myself, but I don’t always feel that I piss excellence I claim I do. I’ve been kicked around so much that I constantly feel pressure to always bring my best or as my colored folk would say, keep it 100. I’m constantly setting that bar really high for myself and when I’ve reached that bar I’ve had to set it even higher so it’s really easy for me to feel as if I’m not doing enough and without any notice it sneaks up on me. “Flemmings is such an awesome person” or “you’re amazing”. This goes back to what I’ve written in another blog post where I don’t see myself as anyone major, just another guy who’s simply here. I’ve been put into a situations where I’ve had to try so hard to get people to like me that people simply liking me for being me frightens me bit. It’s very odd at times to know that there are people who genuinely like the person that I grew up with many people hating, the person that people thought it was funny to throw things at or call a retard or jump in a school yard or steal things from or mock or talk trash about when they think I didn’t know, the person I was systematically taught to hate and constantly wanted to change or at some of my lowest points the person I simply wanted put an end to.
For a really long time it was hard for me to fathom why people liked the person I hated so much. I didn’t even like me so why would anyone else even bother? Over the years I’ve come to realize just how unique I am but the years of pain and loneliness still sneak up on me in the form of terrible flashbacks and that fear of getting hurt. I’m slowly learning to jump out of that comfort zone and to stop building the wall I usually build when people start getting too close but it is still tricky. I’ve been working on how I look at myself and though I’ve come a long way there’s still a decent amount of work I have to do. Making brand new friends are tricky because it’s like having to redo that whole slowly letting people in and trusting them process all over again. Through college I had one small group of friends and I stuck with those friends til the very end without ever thinking that one day we would be separated by great distances and though we would always be friends from afar, they weren’t anywhere near me and with the exception of reunions I would have to make a new set of friends to hang with locally, something I hadn’t done in years. In the two years I’ve been out of school it’s been tricky trying to find that group of people I want to devote my time to. I go to a weekly meetup where people sit in a bar and just play video games but I haven’t really found people that I can truly connect with. Sure there are awesome people that are great to talk to while I’m there and interact with but I really haven’t found those people that I feel I fit with, the people that when I’m around, everything falls into place. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with everyone else, everyone is really down to earth, I’m my own problem. I’ve learned to be really picky about who I’ve let in and so has anyone who has been bullied for being different and not fitting in. I guess this is my way of saying that if it feels like I’m being distant to you or keeping you away, it’s not that I don’t like you, it’s that you have to clear my minds equivalent of a TSA checkpoint at an airport before I can let you in and any attempts to force your way through will get me in a panic. If I really like you and I get that hunch that you’re a really genuine person then I tend to expedite this process exponentially. I’ve had people who try way too hard to get close and it just doesn’t end will, I wound up ignoring them completely or pushing them away slowly until they get the hint. I guess I’ll end this by saying that if I don’t warm up to you immediately just give me my space, new people can be a bit of an obstacle as I don’t always believe that I’m likable and new people can be a tad bit frightening. I do warm up to people eventually but it takes time and until then just be patient with me. Also, don’t try to be fake with me because I can smell it from miles away. If you don’t like me then at least act like you don’t rather than trying really hard to pretend you do cause at least I’m honest with myself, if there’s a day I’m not satisfied with me then at least I’ll admit it instead of pretending to be.