Adrift on Memory Bliss

09/23/2009 13:47

I understand claiming that "I'm so alone, no one gets me!" is the stereotypical teen mantra. But I guess I have a more complex problem, this one being more mental than anything.
Over the summer my friends cut me off like a dead hand. Chop. Gone. And it was on very hostile terms. We don't speak or acknowledge each other in the hallway, or in class.
It's gotten to a point where I *don't want to* be their friend again. So I'm trying to butterfly out. I'm trying to meet and talk with new people.
My problem however, is that I'm paranoid. I'm paranoid they are going to betray me or abandon me like my other friends did. So I won't talk to people for fear of rejection. I won't talk to people I know and talk to through the internet in real life. I'm setting myself up for feeling lonely.
And I'm not sure if I deserve it or not. I left my friends as hostile as they left me, and I feel guilty. So -in a way- I feel like I deserve being lonely. Though, that makes me feel bad and I want to go refuel the friendship with people who make me feel bad.
I'm not sure what to do. I'm afraid to branch out, but I can't go back to where I was. -- Alone-At-Sea

 What Mary Says...  What Crystal Says...

Dear Adrift on a lonely sea:

The "I'm so alone, no one gets me" mantra can be used all throughout life, not just when you're a teenager.

When you're a teenager you're trying out a lot of things: finding yourself, discovering where you fit in, acting in a way that may not really be you (just to fit in) ... and sometimes people gang up on one or more people within a group. It's like the Salem witch hysteria - someone says something like, "Tammy is a bitch or acts weird or is a slut," everyone starts to believe it and then everything turns hostile. Boom, you're out of the group. I'm sure that's what happened in your situation.

This happens in adult life, too, but it's usually more subtle.

It's normal to feel lonely and somewhat guilty, wondering if you could've been different and what you could've done, but what's done is done, as Yogi Berra would say. You should shed that guilt like an out-of-fashion shrug sweater. It does you no good.

Will you get hurt again? Betrayed? Kicked when you're down? You betcha. That's life. Things like this make you stronger, not weaker.

Eventually you may discover that you want to put little pieces of yourself out there, kind of like you're testing the water. You'll find a few great people in your life who accept you as you are and love every part of you, even the annoying, close-minded, downright mean parts.

You can't keep yourself sheltered; it's not good for you. Branch out a little bit, make some new friends and see what's in store. This could end up being a really good time in your life when you look back on things.                          







Dear Adrift on a lonely sea:

Well my dear, you need to get yourself a buoy!

(Waiting for applause for my one and only oceanic pun)

Look, I’m not sure what happened with your old friends, but if it ended as bad as you say it did, that ship is about as recoverable as the Titanic. Sure, there were some cool ass things that went on whilst it was afloat, but now the thing is covered in barnacles and sea goo and it’s just best to think back fondly and move on. Otherwise, you very well might drown.

As for how to move on – remember this, the sinking of the Titanic was a perfect storm of stupid craftsmanship, negligent workers, and just plain ol’ bad luck. Once that baby went down, you can bet your ass they made some fixes to protocol to ensure no captain went a-sailing willy nilly into mammoth ice daggers again. They learned from their mistakes, and as such so should you. Be the nautical ice patrol of your own life. Don’t go head first into cold, inhospitable waters just because you want to make friends fast. Go slow. Test the waters.  Assemble a good, solid team. Find the people in your life that FIT.

And whenever you get a little nervous – when you hesitate or want to bail on meeting up for some good ol’ face to face – remember the words of Emerson: “What we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us.” Stand strong my dear. Remember your self-worth. Because we all mess up - it’s the way we move on that matters.

Oh, and P.S. - Let me say you are a very eloquent writer! In my morbidity I plan on using the “dead hand” reference for years to come. You might consider a career in writing!







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