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Lifelong friendship issues - I'm a (nice!) weirdo(128 Posts)
Not even sure where I'm going with this but need to get it out...
For the past couple of weeks I've been waking everyday having memories of the same incident (was years ago). Involved some people I'd known a year or so and spent quite a lot of time with and thought we were friends. They decided because of my mental health issues they would cut me out, it was very bare-faced and brutal. It's making my heart race just typing this. I won't go into details, but an important point is that on the day I tried to calm my "irrational" thoughts that I was being excluded but it turned out to be true. I was also lied to by closest in the group; I knew it was lies but it was that sort of thing where you can't exactly pin down an obvious lie, but it just doesn't add up, iyswim. This person has (years later) apologised, and admitted the lies, and others from the group have been friendly/pleasant - overall I get the impression I was badly misjudged and they realise that.
This leads to related thing 1. One of the people, who I didn't know so well, used to be a right cow. She seems lovely nowadays, so I'm not having a go at her exactly, but I feel so hurt that she was shown acceptance whilst I was excluded. She used to get horribly drunk and abusive, and act in an inappropriately sexual (forceful!) way to uninterested men. She just sort of got batted away like a fly, and sorted herself out over time. Now I'm all for showing compassion and trying to understand people - great. But it's not universally applied. It's like some people - and I knew a man who was the same as her - get the benefit of the doubt all the time, whilst others (like me) get, if anything, the opposite. I mean, I'd find it much easier to be sympathetic to someone struggling with mental health and seeking support than someone who deals with it by drinking/taking drugs and being horrible to others - but that isn't what I've observed from others. I also feel weird about the fact that she got herself together in a relatively short time frame, whereas I'm still struggling... a bit like "it can't have been that bad for her if she's fine now" type thing. I feel a total bitch for thinking this, btw, and wouldn't say it out loud or act on it. But then I think, perhaps the fact that she was accepted and had good friends is what helped so much? And then it seems even sadder that I don't belong anywhere.
I am a bit "weird" (but in a way it seems many MNers are too!) I've never been one of the popular crowd, as it were, but always found "alternative" type people I get on with (I sound like I'm talking about the school playground; I've no idea how else to phrase it!) Just my interests, priorities, and life outlook I guess - I'd be most at home round a campfire having a good chinwag/pondering than in a club, for example. I'm quite lonely day-today now, and really miss just discussing things with others who share a vaguely similar worldview. I spent a lot of time backpacking in my early 20s (I still avoid shorter holidays in favour of a longer jaunt every few years - kind of making the most of it ready to stop if I get a chance to have children!) and frankly this saved me, making me think about a lot of things and meeting so many others who were like me and thought about the same things... but it also exacerbated another issue, which is feeling out of place and older than my peers back home. Weirdly this has finally stopped and even gone the other way in some cases - I feel ancient inside, in a way, but on the outside they have professional jobs, and/or partners and some have children, whereas I don't so seem young in those areas of life. I'm early 30s now, concerned partner/children will never happen (but not missing a relationship, in itself), and haven't had a job for years due to poor mental health (whilst on the subject, will mention I've never really made friends at work due to aforementioned weirdness).
In terms of mental health, my problems are very much due to experiences, and I've had a hell of a job trying to get help. Have had some private therapy which helped, and working on things, becoming stronger person - used to be ripe for abuse by men. But I'm sure if I'd had supportive friends I could trust things would be so much easier now. I do my thing, try to be happy, do a couple of classes so I see people regularly, but inside I feel crushed at all the rejection I've faced in my life. A lot is partly due to circumstance - I don't live near old school friends as everyone dispersed for uni, I didn't go to uni myself so didn't make friendships there, I have lived in different places in UK but seem to have been out of sync with others - eg. making friends in between travelling, but as I started to settle down a bit they started travelling and often didn't return. So didn't have the deep roots of friendship that hold firm in troubled times - ie. poor mental health. I feel devastated that I've been judged (and my god people make up horrendous rumours - proper chinese whispers stuff!) as not trying to help myself/thick/nasty when I have always had a problem-solving outlook and have gone out of my way to support others where I can. And there's another problem - I'm more happy/confident in myself, take less bullshit kind of thing, but obviosuly this makes me less "nice" and more able to cut out wankers. But if empathetic doormat me wasn't wanted, why would a more assertive version be accepted by others?
Gosh, this is really long. I had other things to mention - mainly (1) old friend (from school) who became more scathing of me over the years and stopped speaking to me when I spoke up for myself, and (2) friend who I could confide in who unfortuantely was male and got a partner who cut out several female friends of his - she has even, it turns out, spread unpleasant rumours about me, which obviously it's much easier for people to go along with she is protected by virtue of her boyfriend being good friends with them... what I find astounding though, is that another woman who was also pushed out was re-accepted and turned against me.
I'm scared. I'm scared I'm missing something and all the pieceing together of everything over the past few years is somehow "wrong" and I'm actually a terrible person.... because if people have a long run of issue with others, it's the person, right?
Oh one more thing to add to the confusion - I recently had cause to meet some of my younger sibling's friends. Sibling lives some way away, but we get on like a house on fire. Although we are quite different on the surface, we share a way of thinking about the world, the way we reason things through or thoughts that occur. Anyway, sibling is massively popular with everyone (toddlers to grannies), and sibling's friends are amazing. Early/mid 20s but really nice, thoughtful mature people - especially noticeable in the men (in comparison to my peers at that age!) Many have been friends since school. Anyway, it's like my sibling lives in a different world! Where our shared worldview/thoughts/morals make perfect sense, but I'm somehow trapped in a parallel universe...
Thoughts welcome, tips, advice, ideas...
I feel really selfish having typed all that out but this is eating me up at the moment and I could really do with an outside perspective, thank you
Whoops - should mention, in case someone flags it up, I suspected ASD for reaons to do with social stuff - but I now think i'm just messed up/missed out on normal socialising. I can read nonverbal cues very well, make small talk etc. (Also in small groups who have just met, I seem to be one of the ones who gets everyone chatting... I used to be very shy though and learnt this.)
I am going to be assessed though.
ooh- just too long to read! Can you not make it shorter. It's like a novel.
Do you have any idea how rude you sound?
OP, I am sure that you are not a terrible person. People who genuinely are terrible don't tend to have much self awareness about it.
Bless you op. Im sure you are a fun person with plenty of chatacter. I used to be the odd one out at school and in social groups, and ive moved around a lot too. I used to feel like a freak! However, as ive got older (im 36 now), ive learnt that my individuality and quirkiness is a definite plus point, people seem to find it fascinating! I never get bored and its also made me extremely independent. Im sure you will feel like this in time too. Have a bit more faith in yourself as you get older your self confidence will grow.
It's all in the past OP, you are churning it over and overthinking the shittey treatment you received.There is a name for it, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called.Im guilty of this too and I get myself in a right state thinking how poorly people have behaved towards me and how I didn't deserve their venom. I can recall every single detail like it was yesterday and become overwhelmed by the negative thoughts, but all the dwelling, changes nothing, it's all gone. You too need to let it go and keep pushing forwards.Sorry, I can't be more helpful, but it floors me from time to time.
Everyone is someone else's weirdo. I have social dread, but when I'm in a social situation, I just pretend to be normal and confident and most of the time it's not as bad as I dread beforehand, occasionally I even have a nice time! I'm not bothered about making long-term friends though tbh, I'm happy with my own company. I'm polite and friendly to everyone though, but if someone's not nice back, or I feel 'rejected' by school mums or whoever, it doesn't bother me. It used to when I was younger and gave a shit, but now I just think 'ok phew, I don't have to bother with those particular bastards anymore'! I'd rather be a nice weirdo than a mean normal person!
Thanks for the replies.
mum I think the word is ruminating? It's not exactly like that for me though - it's more that I'll have nightmares and these memories that come without me consciously tinking about it, iyswim. What bothers me is how to move forward - I feel I need to learn from it, in the same way I've learnt from having wanker ex's. Plus a lot of these experiences have happened even as I've been trying to put previous experiences behind me - eg. in my first example when I told myself I was being irrational and paranoid but WAS actually being excluded. This is something I find really hard - people say stuff/give advice that isn't really how the world seems to work, I've been encouraged to ignore my instincts as "oversensitive" or whatever but they turn out to be spot on!
I do try to be positive and wouldn't still be here if I didn't... but it's so hard when I've always tried to make things better, absorbed advice, thought about things... yet it doesn't work out for me, and it hinges on friendships. For example, since I was a teen I have thought people are much more important than money/possessions, yet I am lonely and those who chase money have friends! Also I think it's important not to drop friends when getting into a relationship, but those around me do just that... yet it works for them! I seem to be the sort of person people have a laugh with then forget quickly... I'm never on the "A-list" of friends, as it were.
FatOldBag (Typing your username feels like I'm insulting you! ) I know what you mean - I'm happier and weirdly more confident in myself since not giving so much of a shit what others think. But at the end of the day, I'm desperately lonely. I would just like to have a conversation, or know someone's got my back, or just not be so... isolated. If I died it would be one of those body-found-months-later type scenarios. I feel like I've been parachuted in from another time when people were living in tight-knit villages...
Please, please could I have some help here?
I cant write how bad I feel or it'll get deleted (do NOT move this post to mental health please MN! It's relationship advice I need to fix thigs).
But everyday I wake feeling sick and worthless, struggling with these memories.
I dont belong anywhere. All my life i've been unwanted and rejected. The example I gace in my OP - I went to a friends for support and they called the fucking police on me to remove me! Even the police were baffled and couldnt believe they were so cruel. But its killing me - I'm unwanted, always unwanted, people seem to like to hate me - people make up lies and rumours and other believe them. Im terrified of people. I want friends so much but have been repeatedly abused orexcluded
I'm always the one a bully picks on. And others go along with it. I lost my closest friend because his girlfriend is a manipulative bitch, who turned the others agaisnt me to to keep me out the group.. Why me? WHy always me? Why dont i matter the same as others? Why am I held to higher sgtandards and lies believed? im so frightened
Hi, again. I can't explain why some people seem to get away with stuff. It's usually tangled up in particular relationships they have with other people but that's not much help, I know.
I hope it doesn't sound trite of me but have you considered mindfulness?
It helps you slow down racing thoughts and feelings. I was prescribed it for pain management. I was totally sceptical. So was everyone else on the course . It was , for all of us, I think " sod it, might as well go through the motions ". But it eventually clicked with all but one of us.
I just want to belong. I'd love to just have a cup of tea and a giggle with someone. I'm not asking for the moon on a stick. Why do I lack what others have so easily? Why am I expected to be chirpy and productive when my life is in tatters and I have to plaster a fake smile on and have no love or care?
What the hell is wrong with me? i just want the pain to stop.
I am lacking basic human requirements. My mental health, on its own, is a lot better... but i am broken because of the hurt and isolation.
It's horrible being isolated .
Please have a chat to your GP about mindfulness.
I'm sorry, probably not making much sense now. Just feel utterly crushed and devastated. So exhausted with having to spur myself along alone all the time. I keep hoping it'll get better but I've hoped that for years and years. My mental health gets better, but I am as alone as ever, in fact more so.
It's not anything mysterious or "mental health" that is the main issue nowadays - the big isssue is being so isolated and unloved.
I don't need mindfulness though. I need some basic care and companionship, and I dont have it. I am lacking a human basic need.
It sounds to me like you are mostly upset because they haven't played by the rules. Which makes it harder to predict if it will happen again. And it's confusing when people act out of character. It might be an ASD thing. I get very upset too by bizarre changes in people's behaviour that doesn't match a pattern. But I don't think you sound unusual, to me anyway.
Your thoughts seem to be racing around. Which is completely understandable. But that makes it even harder to deal with tough periods in life. Mindfulness doesn't make it all go away but it can help you face difficult stuff.
I have found that how you are perceived can change according to your situation - I went from being really quite popular with a huge social circle (like your sister) to knowing noone and struggling socially when we relocated - it was and still is hard. Could I suggest you join something where you mix with other people. I'm older than you and for me the WI has been brilliant - we have lots of young members too. The point is that you mix with all sorts of people and can pick and choose what activities you sign up for. Also there is always common ground for conversation and out of that friendships grow. Maybe a book club or a salsa lass, etc., etc. Or help out in a charity shop (or such like) - my DD did that and met some really lovely people. Hope that helps.
But in order to find it, you're going to need some extra help. And mindfulness is a great step towards that help.
I can appreciate the moment etc as in mindfulness. I can look at a flower and see the sunset and feel almost electric with feeling connected to the wider universe, etc etc.
But this does not make up for friendship, companionship, love (it also sets me apart from others, as most dont seem to think/feel like that). That's what is quietly crushing me.
I just really want to understand so I can avoid manipulative bullies, deal with people so I dont get cut out of friendship groups because of one person (like ex-frends partner), understand why some people are accepted despite awful behaviour whilst others are blamed, etc etc. Then maybe I can make some new friends and not be hurt.
Its a long shot but the alternative is death.
Im so sorry for being a fuckup, im trying so hard to make it better.
I know the feeling - also I am aiming for an adult ASD diagnosis - my DS1 has an ASD diagnosis. I do have friends but I suspect that I would have much fewer friends if it wasn't for my DH.
Where is your approx. location STH?
Mindfulness isn't about appreciating flowers etc. It's about recognising when difficult thoughts start to take you over. It helps you turn the volume down.
Which can help if you take a step like the one suggested- Women's Institute or something. That really isn't all doilies and jam making and elderly white women in cottages.
OP, I hear you. I'm in a similar place: I value family, but don't get on with my parents or siblings; I value community but have experienced horrible instances of social exclusion. It is very very painful, particularly when it runs counter to your values.
I also have a sense of being out of step with my peers and of having lived my early adulthood by my values and now being 'over-taken' by my peers who are now more materially established than I am and are suddenly making big and noisy discoveries about the things that I have been doing and enjoying for years - but have ignored my enthusiasm for for the past 25 years! I'm 52.
I've been having trauma therapy for the past year. I could no longer cope with problems related to social exclusion, bullying and my own failure to progress my life. There are links, I think, to bullying in childhood and a dysfunctional family. I am lucky to access this therapy through the NHS as it's going to take a long time
Were you bullied as a child? I think that one of the things that happens is that an early experience of exclusion/bullying somehow colours everything in your life. And then you're almost primed to keep re-experiencing it. It's important to recalibrate yourself, and I don't think that this is easy to do on your own.
I struggled without professional help for a long time - I wish I had gone long ago. This is so very painful for you - it has got to be worth getting help for.
Dilberry It sounds to me like you are mostly upset because they haven't played by the rules. Which makes it harder to predict if it will happen again. And it's confusing when people act out of character.
Yes! Also people joining ranks and insisting on a warped version of the truth. It's terrifying knowing they can all just pretend reality is different and you as a single person cant do anything. And feeling eternally condemned for a crime you didnt commit or something. So horrible knowing people dislike you, even hearing horrible rumours about yourself.
I thought maybe I'd got the "rules" wrong though?
Radishal My thoughts aren't racing. I just feel crushed. It might come across as racing because it's quite hard to put into words what I mean.
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