Does anyone else feel slightly comforted by knowing that even superheroes have problems socializing? I mean, it used to be that wasn’t addressed in movies/TV. Now, in shows like Sherlock and movies like Justice League, we get to see truly amazing people who are also incredibly lonely and have problems socializing. Could we be on the cusp of less stimatization of mental illness?
Anyway, as I may have mentioned before, one of my anxiety issues is about socializing. It constantly feeds my depression. It’s a vicious cycle… I have social anxiety issues, which only serve to make me lonely (when I let myself feel anything), which only serves to make me feel sorry for myself and more depressed. Being aware of this, however, does not get me off the freakin’ hamster wheel!
I never quite trust people who befriend me. A large part is my depression/anxiety, but history has served to reinforce those fears. Few people who have called themselves “friends” have actually lived-up to that title. Perhaps I have high standards, but I kind of expect friends to be the people I can count on to help when, say, my hoarder mother dies and leaves me with a cluttered apartment to empty. Hubby and his father were there almost every day. My “friends”? They made it there for a few hours one Saturday. I get everyone has busy schedules and all, but an only child being responsible for emptying her hoarding mother’s apartment needs more help than that. At least do a few hours a couple of times, you know? It’s hard enough for a person with depression/anxiety to ask for help. But when the help offered is half-hearted?
Work is my only socialization these days, but few work environments are safe places to make friends. I’ve tried befriending co-workers many times in my 17 year career. It always ends badly for me. Truth be told, I probably have a HUGE target over my head because I am stupid and gullable. I generally take people at face value… but I tend to gravitate towards people who *seem* confident but that, in reality, are just a$$holes. One “friend” was only using me to get closer to my boss, with whom she wanted to have an affair. (Never mind whether I had feelings for the guy or not…) Another “friend” dropped me as soon as I started disagreeing with her about her politics. Another “friend” with whom I vented about my bosses relayed it back to them. (That did wonders for my working relationships with them…) Another friend seemed to only be interested in getting me in trouble with my husband while he sounded out his strategy for wooing his mistress!
Well, I’ve since learned my lesson. I keep my damned mouth shut now (figuritively and literally). I rarely confide in anyone in person, and I am much more guarded online than I have ever been before. I keep my distance from co-workers and avoid work events like the plague. But, because we humans are programmed to crave social interaction, I retreat to my haven online (here on DT). I can keep people safely at arm’s length, without risk of them hurting me – or me hurting them, while still satiating that craving for interaction.
That said… I still wish I had that one really good friend. The one with whom I could lie down outside and look at the stars… have meaningful discussions about trivial things… someone I could count on to cancel a flight and come help me when I’m battling another of my demons…. until then, I guess I’ll have to be my own best friend. I have never met anyone as worthy of my trust as myself, anyway.