One of the hardest things to deal with is the feeling that I mess everything up. Everything I do drives people away. Everything I say drives people away. Everything is just wrong.
These are the days I wish I could start over. Just hop in a TARDIS or press rewind or just wake up from an awful dream. It doesn’t happen as often when I’m home. To be honest, that’s probably because I spend a majority of my time immersing myself in other worlds. The people in books are easy. I can get inside peoples’ heads, read motivations, judge facial expressions without ever even seeing them. Most importantly, the life I’m living is not my own. There’s something comforting about being able to just step out of my own life whenever I want. Even when it gets really bad, I can just ease myself out of it. I don’t have to dwell on things I could have done or things I should have done, because I’m just the spider on the wall. I can get attached and not have to worry that a character’s just going to walk away, because the character’s immortal. They exist forever on the page, and if I really like something I can just read it over again. Everything is easy in books.
The falling-out with my suitemate S was awful and drawn out. It took over a year for me to come to terms with it, and even then I still don’t think I’m over some of the things that were said. Some things fell apart more quickly than others, and it was awful. Dealing with that kind of uncertainty over the six months or so it took for our relationship to fall apart sucked, for want of a better word. We’d each tried to repair things somewhat at different points in time, and in retrospect that probably only made things worse.
I don’t know whether I’d prefer a quick falling-out to such a long one, though.
When you live right next door to the friend you just fell out with, you kind of have no choice but to put things aside at some point. You’ve got to talk to each other about something, whether it be who’s showering first tonight or do you have the salt or what are your thoughts on putting up a poster in the common area? That makes it easier to clear the air. No matter how sad or angry or frustrated I might get with S and P, I know where I stand with each of them. We’re on friendly terms, and we talk fairly regularly about benign things like physics and research and books. There’s not a ton of uncertainty about it anymore, and I honestly wish I could say the same about A.
The uncertainty is the worst. I don’t know why she did it. One day we were talking and the next we weren’t. Just like that. I suddenly have no way of contacting her–and I’ve tried, believe me. I’ve texted her and emailed her and messaged her. I haven’t heard from her in months. About this time next month, I won’t have heard from her at all in a year.
I try to tell myself I didn’t do anything wrong. She was going through a lot at the time, and maybe it just got to be too much. Maybe she just withdrew–I know I’ve done that before. But the thought that maybe I did do something wrong just starts leaching in sometimes. Was I too clingy? Too needy? Too sad? Too unsympathetic? Did I say the wrong thing? Did I ask the wrong question?
On nights like this, when I get into arguments with my family, that uncertainty comes back. Except it’s not a question. I always say the wrong thing; everything I do pushes people away. There’s something wrong with my tone of voice, with my expression, with the words that happen to pop into my head as I respond. Everything I do is just wrong, and I can’t do anything about it. And once those thoughts start going they don’t stop. Sometimes I start pushing people away because I think I have to, because I can’t do anything else. Sometimes people just walk away themselves. Either way, when stuff like this happens I’m left right where I always seem to be when I’m at my worst: completely alone and overwhelmingly lonely. And that just keeps the cycle going.
I’m introverted. I like being alone. I’m alone most of the day now, and I love it. It gives me the time and the space to read aloud, with the voices, because that’s what I like to do when I’m alone. And it’s funny, because whenever I get in a weird mood and start Googling for advice, it’s always something like “learn to be happy on your own,” or “get used to being alone.” I’m already used to it. It already makes me happy. It’s been making me happy since I was little, just like large groups of people have been making me miserable since I was little.
But being used to or happy being on your own isn’t the same as not being lonely. It’s not the same as wanting to be with a close friend. There are days when I’m perfectly happy having no human contact whatsoever, but those aren’t the bad days. Those aren’t the days when the uncertainty gets so overwhelming I can barely think. The bad days are when I have to tell myself that I don’t need other people, that I’m better off without friends, even when I know that it’s a lie. I need people. Not all the people, but somebody. It’s so hard when your best friend doesn’t live close enough to walk over when you’re having a low day, especially when you can’t trust yourself to talk. I don’t want to talk, I just want to be near somebody, and that can’t happen when neither of us can easily get to the other.
This probably isn’t going to make me feel better. It probably doesn’t even make much sense. But it’s part of my homework, so it has to be done at some point. I’m gonna go read now. I’m just gonna go and slip into someone else’s head because right now I can’t keep writing. And I’m going to post this now, before I decide it’s stupid and erase it all.