Struggles

[This is something I finished writing around 2013-07-29, first posted 2013-08-31 as a “guest posting” here on It’s Not Okay. Fairly likely I’ll add some comments later, but at least for now, that submission as I’d originally submitted it – and I’ll probably not alter that original text at all – even despite a couple typos which I finally only see *now*.]

And so I try, … dang hard, … over and over and over. Much of the
time feels like I’m just beating my head against a wall. Far too alone
and isolated. Not that I don’t try, and try a whole helluva lot, but,
quite regardless, way too damn alone and disconnected. And it hurts
like hell.

Friends? Relationships? Barely. At present, I’ve got one good
friend. Really nobody else on the planet knows me particularly well at
all – certainly at least not at all currently. And even that one
friend doesn’t know me *that* well – though knows me better than anyone
else presently, and quite likely as well or better than anyone has ever
known me, with perhaps at most an exception or two – if even that.

And even that one good friend – not like we can sit down and have a
long conversation – much as I’d love to. That friend finds it rather
to quite difficult to communicate – and quite especially with me. Most
of the time, very hard for that friend to even be around me for very
long.

So, how do that friend and I mostly communicate? By blog. Yeah, I
write, friend reads blog, occasionally provides feedback/comments, etc.
Communication means of last resort … yeah, … about that. ‘Bout a
step above international pen pal … and … have done that too.

Hard for me to write, … inefficient, time consuming, and … I’m
*not* very good at it. Really rather quite sucks, to a large extent.
Oh, sure, the *content* is there … but the delivery? Yeah, leaves
*much* to be desired. Like this entry … started it *well* over a
month ago. Got way too damn long. Over 7,500 words, and … it wasn’t
even 1/3 done … only sort’a barely started. And that was like the
2nd or 3rd major nearly total rewrite of same. Many many hours into
it. And the writing highly sucked, so … I essentially scrap it, and
try yet again, starting again from about zero. And maybe this time
much more limited in scope – though same “theme”. Painfully hard to
write, even. And, too, like communication restrained down to …
sucking chilled molasses through a cocktail straw. Ah, but oh so
*very* much better than absolutely nothing … ’cause, well, without it
it, … that’s about what it would be. But I digress. It ain’t about
the writing.

Friends? Relationships? Fail to connect. Over, and over, and over.
Not for lack of effort or trying. Try *so* damn hard, over, and over,
and over again. Just doesn’t happen for me … well, … almost never.
I do manage to gain a good friend or relationship, … about once per
dozen years. I don’t lose good friends easily – very loyal and
supportive would be quite the understatement. But, stuff happens, e.g.
they die, or otherwise are or become highly unavailable. So, yeah,
lose ’em at about the same rate or more; so much of the time I’ve got
no friend, no relationship, nobody, nothing. Highly sucks – especially
when it goes on for a *long* time. Gets to be very painful.

Therapy, communication training classes, etc. Been there, done that.
Has it helped? Barely. Apply all I know and have learned as best I
possibly can and … results? So damn near the same, if there’s any
difference, it’s so slight, I really can’t tell there’s any difference
at all. So, kind’a hard to know what’s working better, or worse, or
what ought be adjusted how … if the results are all still very highly
the same.

So, … why does it so miserably fail for me, and so consistently? I
wish I knew. I’m already over 50 years old. It’s not like I haven’t
tried, .. .for many decades. But I guess in more recent years, I’ve
come to realize that this just has *not* been working for me. And more
of the *why* – though I still barely know particularly why and how – or
more importantly, how I could even possibly “fix” it. But some
patterns emerge and some things can be determined.

Is it the words? Probably not so much that, though, sure, room for
improvement there too. But, of all the (few) good friendships that
I’ve ever made in the last … well, 33+ years … and any decent
relationships too, they’ve *never* started from having first met the
person in person. *Never*. Not that I haven’t tried, lots, … over
and over. Just hasn’t happened. Ever. Well, not since like once when
I was … not even 16 years old yet. Pretty rare even back when I was
a kid. In any case, where/how have I met/found good friends or
relationships in the last 33+ years? It’s *only* happened when we
first met some way other than face-to-face. Most notably on-line, …
and way back in the day, via personal ads in newspapers – yeah, when
newspapers actually came out in print on paper. Or occasionally when
having met over telephone. But *never* from having fist met in person.

I guess in first meeting *not* in person, … I have a fighting chance.
Sure, still rare, but the person might get to know me rather to fairly
well, before meeting in person. And, seems then I have a chance. But
is it the words? No, seems rather unlikely. In person, on-line,
phone, whatever – initial meeting, the words are about the same –
really not much difference there. Ah, then am I that scary looking or
something like that? No, not at all. Yeah, not some buff gorgeous
hunk, but quite good enough – probably at least “average” or so, or a
bit better. The one friend I do have said, fairly recently of me,
“great guy with a warm heart and the best of intentions”. Then what?
Well, among other things, in essentially that same breath same friend
said, “makes any conversation with you feel grating. This and a few
other communication things make it really hard to share time with you”.
So, too, a lot of the time I say nothing, … or very little. Seems
to often go much better that way – not that it goes well that way, but
most typically goes much better than if I talk or try to talk or
particularly interact. And yeah, even more so in group settings –
especially group social settings – I’m the quiet one, rarely say
anything. So I suck at group social. By the time I think of what I
want to say, it’s typically highly untimely – the conversation has long
since moved past that point or item, and would no longer be appropriate
or fitting … not to mention I have a hard time interjecting – groups
tend to talk non-stop – can’t really say anything without interrupting,
and I’m not good at that. And then, when there rarely is that more bit
of a break – it doesn’t happen at the same time I’ve thought of
something to say – or something to say that’s at all fitting at that
point. But much of it’s also the non-verbal.

Non-verbal. That’s a big part of it. Best I’ve been able to
determine, I typically screw it up royally on the non-verbal. But
without even knowing how, or what I do that messes it up. Wish I knew.
I don’t. It’s not like anyone points it out or calls it to my
attention. It’s not like I’ve got friends that can watch and tell me
or that would. Some bits I know, but helluva lot I don’t. Eye
contact. I tend to rather to quite suck at that. Biggest problem for
me with that, is when I’m talking or trying to, if I see or notice
someone move or react at all, it’s exceedingly distracting for me – I
tend to totally forget what I was saying or attempting to say – even
mid-sentence. So, yeah, that’s a hard one to work with or recover
from. Not making eye contact tends to set a very bad impression.
Completely and totally losing one’s train of thought, especially quite
repeatedly, also tends to make for a very poor impression. First
impressions matter. Yeah, … face-to-face, … may start out “fine”
at first initial instants, but by typically 30 seconds to 2 minutes
into it, I’m essentially dead. Person’s reaction goes from initially
quite to fairly positive, to … a pretty darn negative reaction by
shortly into it. Really, that’s almost always how it goes with meeting
first, in person, face-to-face. And, even if it *seems* to go fine,
… well, it most likely never does. ‘Cause I never hear back from the
person … *ever*. Unless they’re trying to sell me something. I just
don’t hear. Given out my contact information thousands of times – do I
ever hear back? No. Do I get the other person’s contact information?
Rare that they give it to me. And if I contact them, do I hear back?
No. Sure, too, there’s verbal that can be improved. But seems most
likely I’m screwed on the non-verbal.

How to fix it? Hell if I know. I keep trying to work on it, learn
more, practice. Results thus far have continued to be quite abysmal.
Yup, already past 50 years old. Never married. Had relationships, but
… really, never has quite worked out … yet, …but then again, have
had *very* few relationships. Like, geez, 50 years old, … how many
women in my entire life have I ever slept with? Four. And some of
those “relationships” have been as short as about 3 days or less.
Yeah, … most of my life *very* alone. Barely have one good friend,
and often even that seems/feels quite tenuous to me – though perhaps it
ought not. Whole life, never really had more than one friend – or
relationship – at any given time, … and much of the time, not even
that.

Cause? And how come I don’t just “know” how to do all that? It’s not
like most people have to be taught how to make friends or have a
conversation and “connect”. How/why am I “like that”? I dunno.
Autism or Aspergers or something like that? Debatable, but very
possibly. Whatever, needs “fixing”. Or, … well, not everything can
be “fixed” – some things just can’t. Well, … work around it
compensate, whatever. Need to learn *something* that works there.
50+, and still trying to learn how to make friends/connections. Maybe
I’ll never manage to. I don’t know, but sure massively sucks. Majorly
sucks for me. Sucks too for those that might be my friends or more –
their loss too. They never even get to know me. Haven’t had much in
the way of friends/relationships, but of those I’ve had, they’ve at
least highly liked – if not loved – me. Not a whole helluva lot of
complaints. But just about nobody really knows me, … and seems most
never will. Sometimes I feel like maybe I ought get a T-shirt printed
up. On one side, “Those that know me, love me.” And on the other
side, “Nobody knows me.”

And some people have it a helluva lot worse. I guess I’m relatively
lucky … yet it very much sucks. Yeah, I struggle with fair bit – but
(lack of) connection, and attempts thereof probably tops my list.

Well, enough on this for now, … lest I turn it into something more
than thrice as long that barely manages to come anywhere close to
getting the point across or even hardly scratching the surface.

And if you can stand to read my writing, you can read much more of it
here:
https://michaelberkeley.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: