OK, so here's the thing...
The last two nights my housemate has had half the staff of the club he went to the other night over and they've been engaged in quite the bender for about 36 hours. When I woke up yesterday morning and started talking to them, I started to feel really uncomfortable. Now, I've said on more than one occasion that I really don't like new people, a point I reiterated to both my housemate and his new friends. It occurs to me that this not be entirely true. I like new people fine, it's just I anticipate that they won't like me.
When I was a kid, my younger brother was always the one with the friends while I was the "smart one". This has clearly fucked the pair of us up in vastly different ways (I'll leave my thoughts on him for another post, this one's all about me). I can never remember a time that my brother & I were ever really friendly. In fact, most of our interaction has been characterised by my distaste for him and his railing against me. Maybe it's the fact that Mum always valued my academic skills far beyond any virtues he possesses, I don't know (ugh that sounds arrogant). Anyway, he always had lots of friends, whether at school or just from our street. I was always slightly odd - more insular than other kids (although not classically introverted), more mature with my speech but always eager to be accepted by those around me. My brother was much more able to connect with the kids around him than I was, making the juxtaposition between us more stark. Whenever he had friends around, I spent much of the time being ostracised - directly from him or by his manipulation of others. I guess my interactions with new people have always been coloured by those early experiences. I see myself as different to others and, rather than accepting my differences or using them to my advantage, I tend to close down in the company of others. I guess I expect people to dislike me so rather than be myself, I become a closed down version of myself. I click into 'safe mode' where I say nothing but bland generalisations - nothing to interest or offend. That sets me into a paranoia cycle and makes me just want to run and hide.
And yet, I crave the attention that comes with meeting new people. I'm too scared to be myself but I desperately want to make connections with others. What I was feeling last night was tinged with more than a hint of jealousy that my housemate was able to make friends like this, with only the tenuous initial connection of asking for a phone number.
The worst part is, last year I was able to do this. Last year, I felt energised, confident even that I would be accepted if I only talked to people. I felt that I could be active in making these connections rather than merely a passive entity sitting in the corner of a club. I think the energy absorption from finishing my degree, starting my new job and having lost lots of weight had washed from me the neuroses that prevent me making connections. Now, a year later I feel like an electron that's been pushed into a higher energy level but the essential instability of the situation has made it too transient to last. I feel like I've dropped back down into my ground mental state.
I am the saddest person in the world - mourning lost photons.