I see friendships forming around me, at work, other places, and I am deeply resentful of it. Because I am not part of it all. I am in the dark as to why not. Maybe it is my inability to do the smalltalk thing with new people, which means they probably fcind me dour, a silent statue that does not like them. Or something. It is one explanation I can come up with at least. Most of that silent time I spend talking inside my head, trying out different tacks and discarding them all with shame, getting closer to panic and feeling more and more uncomfortable all the while, until in the end so much time has passed that any chance of conversation is gone and I find myself alone again. (Is that what is called shyness? Do other shy people feel like that?)
This does not mean I never speak with people, I do - with people I know or with which topics of conversation that does not die out in one sentence appear. But even with people I know I have a very hard time actually forming friendships. Online I seem socially adept enough (I think, or maybe people just tolerate me better, hah), to the point of most of my RL friends today being people originally encountered online. Which, again, makes me feel safer online and makes it easier to connect there, since it has worked before. Out there in big bad RL getting a tenuous bond, reaching the level where I can call someone and spontaneously and casually go out for a coffee or similar takes years. But even then, there are very few people I think would actually go along if I suggested it. Most of the people I know and like and would like to hang out with for a bit smile politely (sometimes), look surprised (more often), and says "But of course - but I don't know when would be possible, not this week at least, we will have to try some time, of course, but not now" (almost always). And some time rarely comes.
It is painful only when it is happening. When I am alone, secure at home, or walking alone without anyone I know in sight, I am quite content. I seem to like myself (good thing, since I spend so much time around me), even if other people either prefer to keep their distance or misinterpret me grossly and think I would like them to stay away. But oh, how much it hurts when it does happen. Hurts to the point where I will have to go and hide in a restroom to cry a bit. Bites my stomach so I have a hard time sitting up, my body wanting to curl up in foetal position to protect itself. Stuns my mind so I cannot focus on the things I should do (a problem, as most of these situations happens when I am at work). But eventually I will be home again, home and safe and able to hug my cat who will pat my cheek gently and nuzzle my forehead and if that doesn't help, bump my nose so I run the risk of noseblood (I never have noseblood, almost - only twice in my life, but that cat...). And at home I am safe, and tranquil, and very rarely feel lonely. I do not know why this is - it has not always been such with other homes.
At work today I wound up in the unusual for me position of being confided in - of course not as a friend, but as the supervisor of the person in question who needed to talk to someone. Her story is not the important thing here and I will not relate it, although I hope my clumsy advice will be to some help to her. The thing that made me slightly wistful is that this is a person I for a long time wanted to be friends with, tried connecting with, only to have my attempts foiled by my promotion. And while that is not necessarily a complete show-stopper for a friendship, it sure as hell complicates it. (Especially when half the department treats you as persona non grata for half a year to a year.)
I suppose that was what triggered this post, since it got me thinking. However these are no new thoughts or truths, but things that I have always known - I just suppose I have not really expressed them as coherently anywhere. For all the good doing that will do me...