catharsis_logs: (princess Starscream)
[personal profile] catharsis_logs
Lying in bed trying to sleep I for some reason suddenly flash back to the time when my best friend called me (with another of my friends) on the phone, pretended to be a different one of my friends and then proceeded to tell me that she didn't want to be friends anymore. I don't really remember what I did or said, if I asked "why?" if I got an answer to that "why" but I think I do remember hanging up the phone and running scream-crying to my dad until I think I got a call back from my friend where she confessed that it had been a prank she'd played on me. I think I was too pathetically grateful that it hadn't been true that I immediately forgave her (not that I was really in a position to not be forgiving. She was one of only a handful of friends that I had at that time and even then, the loyalty of said friends didn't go so far as to defend me from my biggest bully who happened to sort of be in the same group.

I was a quiet kid. I'm still quiet. It takes a metric ton to pry me out of my shell and even when I'm close to someone I don't really do all that much verbal communication. Sometimes I just shut down, like the words I want to say are lodged in my chest. I'll have things I want to say but for some reason sometimes I just can't force them out. I'm more prone to shutting down than exploding. I was very much in survive-survive-survive mode during my childhood and school years.

Coming up to my group's table in middle school I noticed that my primary bully was sitting at the same table. I sat down quietly and tried to fade into invisibility while not relegating myself to sitting at an empty table like a reject. Of course it didn't work, I don't know how I provoked her but I think I did or said something, not a 'bad' something, I just dared to exist around her. She then called me an unforgivable personally targeted insult that I won't repeat here and a silence rose around the the table. No one stood up for me. I considered my options as ice settled into my stomach and I started dissociating. I contemplated hitting my bully over the head with my lunch tray as hard as I could but that wasn't an option because while it had not yet escalated into physical violence I knew hitting her would cause it and she would beat the shit out of me. Instead I just stopped eating, not hungry anymore, got up silently, and walked away from my silent friends contemplating murder.

Things got better in high school. I finally had friends who were just as odd as I was. We were the 'weird' kid clique but at that point I really was receding away from active participation in a group. I didn't do well in a group setting and much preferred to talk to people one-on-one but I still liked being with them, liked listening to them and laughing with them. But as the years went on our group expanded exponentially. Instead of long tables in the cafeteria we had these strange circular tables with round benches attached to the table itself. Seating was limited. Several times we had to split apart into two groups and those who were relegated to the other table, away from certain personalities always felt a bit... lesser. The quieter kids were always the ones that were split off from the group, the more 'weird' and 'less tolerable' kids were split off and we ate mostly silently while the other half of our group ate raucously at the other table.

One day, I had stayed behind to work on my schoolwork and when I got to the lunch table it was already full. It was a bit of a first-come-first-served seating arrangement. Every friend I cared about the most was already sitting at the table and I wanted to sit with them. I think I tried to get someone to move because I think I recognized this as a turning point. No one did, of course, and no one appreciated my attempts to 'butt in' so I finally took a step back, gathered my shit up and went to eat in the back room of the school library after asking the librarians (whom I got along with and liked better than my friends) and so I ate my lunch in that empty florescent-lit office, not tasting anything and trying not to cry and feeling entirely empty all at the same time. I pretty much gave up on my friendships with that group after that incident. There was no point and I considered myself ever-so-vaguely unwelcome so I said fuck it and focused on getting the fuck out so that I could get away from all the people my age.

To this day I still deal better with people older than I am. It's getting better, my current best friend is two years younger than I am, but they're also the most... wholesome? friend I've really ever had outside of the internet. I know that they care about me, and I know that I care about them, and that I can talk to them without having to worry about reaching the 'limit' of their friendship or if I do cross some boundary I can at least trust them to let me know. We're both pretty quiet, and we don't really like going out and are perfectly content watching TV together. They're pretty much perfect.

I still kind of have a problem of attaching myself to semi-large boisterous groups like a leech and then feeling lonely when I can't interact with them the way I would like and feeling left out when I'm the one who holds myself at a distance.

I'm going to therapy tomorrow, where I can discuss this more in depth (as well as my illogical feelings of betrayal whenever someone indicates a romantic or sexual interest in me and my inability to discern the difference between friendship and romance in my own head) but I needed to bleed some of this poison off before I could try going back to bed. Better on paper than fermenting in my head and all that. Goodnight. (8:22am PST)

Date: 2017-03-14 02:04 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Well done getting this written down.

Date: 2017-03-14 03:50 am (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
What a cruel trick that was to play on you. :( I spent more of my childhood isolating myself than being excluded by others, so I can only partly relate, but none of that sounds like a good time at all.

That's awesome about your current in-person friendship, though. And I'm sure you've talked to your therapist by now, so I won't pick apart your second-to-last paragraph in the name of making you feel better! But I agree with [personal profile] alatefeline -- it's really good that you could get this out of your head like that. Go you!

Date: 2017-03-19 05:08 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
My brain immediately started trying to think of a third option, of course. Being my brain. All I initially came up with was people who don't do one or the other of the two, or don't do both. And then my brain began trying to imagine *other* ways to parse relationships and I might need to go write origfic meta now, if I can write.

Perhaps more usefully...

I have seen the orientation or orientation-component 'wtfromantic' mentioned in the context of people who aren't really clear on which feelings are romance-feelings and which are friend-feelings and which are platonic-partnership-feelings and which are random assorted cucurbitae (references available if wanted), and this describes me well, although for me, it is in the context of Aspie-ness rather than asexuality, which is where I think the term originated, so I hesitate to apply it to myself unambiguously. Which is to say..

'Romantic Friendship People'... this is a useful club of people to describe. I would like my membership card, please?

Date: 2017-03-19 06:04 am (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
My brain immediately started trying to think of a third option, of course.

*raises hand* Does it count if instead of experiencing romance and friendship either as mutually exclusive or as hazily defined regions on a single unbroken continuum, I experience romantic feelings in some but not all of my friendships, resulting in kind of a venn diagram situation?

Date: 2017-03-19 06:07 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Sure, if you want it to!

You like Venn Diagrams, too? Have you seen the triple ones? And the ones with lines for writing in them? Do you have other favorite graphic organizers?

(me = NERD)

Date: 2017-03-19 06:12 am (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
I adore them! I have seen triple ones, and even interestingly complicated ones dipping in and out to accommodate different levels of overlap, although when it comes to my own thought processes, I admit I usually just give up on trying to directly visualize sufficiently multidimensional systems before I get that far. Are the ones with lines for writing you mention blank templates, or something else my imagination is failing to think of?

I consider nerds excellent people, in case the above paragraph hasn't made my opinion clear. :D

Date: 2017-03-19 04:42 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Templates for writing, correct.

I also like concept maps and fractal trees for writing down / sketching brief ideas with a common center or starting point.

And yeah I am also nerd-positive. :)

Date: 2017-03-19 09:28 pm (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
OMG yes, somehow I'd forgotten those, but they are awesome for jotting down my very nonlinear thoughts!

Yay nerd-positivity!

Date: 2017-03-19 04:39 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
>> [Again, it's good to get this stuff down in writing because it helps me to articulate and work it out in my head XD] <<

Yes.

Having questions is important.

I can find some resources on related topics if you want? But also, it's OKAY to have questions! And there are lots of 24-year-olds, and other ages, who do.

Date: 2017-03-19 05:25 am (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
Oh, that's a very interesting point from your therapist! I guess I tend to forget that there are people for whom friendship and romantic feelings never overlap, because it's so hard for me to imagine. ^_^ Anyway, I'm really glad it sounds like she was validating of your feelings. <3

Date: 2017-03-19 09:24 pm (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
Oh wow, somehow I wasn't even thinking about people classifying friendship as inherently less close than romance (even though I know that happens all the time). Now I'm just... even more boggled. Emotional intimacy with friends is what keeps me going! If I had to wait for a romantic relationship to have any of that, I would be... so very much sadder and more dysfunctional than I am already!

ETA: Btw, I just saw this post on tumblr and it seemed relevant to this conversation! I'm willing to believe that not everyone works this way, but I'm pretty sure I very much do.
Edited Date: 2017-03-19 09:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-19 05:10 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Agreed, by the way. I hesitated to comment on the content above lest it further trigger bad memories, but: that was not okay. People should not act like that to you or to anyone. You deserve better.

Date: 2017-03-19 04:36 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
That sounds like it's a good thing! Being able to think and do something *different* with a memory or pattern pretty much requires picking apart the default you were pushed into at the time. And yeah, going back and forth happens, sure. But that anger seems like it's the kind of anger that wants you to be safe and respected. So good for you.

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Alexander

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