It feels like last week had eight days.
Damn, that’s a Beatles song or close to being a Beatles song. I’m actually too tired to write. The week’s been terrible, including today (that’s what I meant with eight days). It’s a never-ending routine, a reoccurring nightmare, feeding the angry demon and releasing the brake I thought I had control over. But I seem to be tearing up each string in my body whenever I try to grab hold of my patience.
I don’t really want to go into detail concerning my work life. There is nothing new, nothing but a tiresome routine. Of course, it’s one of the main things that drive me insane along with people. A day off is a day I spend alone with personal stuff. Sometimes, meeting friends is like going to work, except you are somewhat more relaxed. Now tell me, what kind of arsehole would say things like that?
I went to my friend’s wedding last Saturday. I didn’t want to go, but she’s one of the few friends I would never lie to. We met up weeks before her wedding so I could explain my social anxiety. I have a wedding phobia, even though I’ve never been to a wedding. I knew in advance that I wouldn’t like the atmosphere, the people, the music, the church, etc. Later I realized that it wasn’t the church (I like old churches) I was dreading, but the party afterwards. We arrived at a hotel, and I knew nobody.
I’m no good at making first approaches to anyone, and of course, my friend was busy socializing with her side of the family. However, she noticed me standing there on my own. Standing alone in the crowd is the most terrible thing ever and brought up horrible memories from over 15 years ago when I was still in school. First, I would stand alone, pretend to be observing the ducks in the lake. She noticed and sent some friends over, which was nice; otherwise, I would’ve been on my own for over six hours. Something like that happened to me numerous times before, so I don’t go to parties, weddings, or birthday parties if I don’t know anyone. People don’t fucking understand. I don’t drink! (But I would smoke pot.) At least she knows me, and she knew that I wouldn’t have made the first step to approach people.
I still wish I had lied to her and said I didn’t have time. I had been dreading that wedding for months, and I still went for her. This was my first wedding and the last one. I went because I’ve never been and because I wanted to make an effort to overcome myself just that once. Her argument was, “How would you know what weddings are like if you have never been to one?” That was when I gave in. (She always wins in arguments.) Maybe I regret having gone, but I don’t regret seeing her happy, her tears when her husband made his speech about how much he loved her. But for some selfish reasons, I could’ve done without all that. It didn’t interest me, and by being present at the wedding and the after-show party, I felt miles away. I couldn’t share that happiness because it appeared so foreign. I would’ve liked to talk to her but didn’t dare to approach her like a cockroach on her big day. We only smiled at each other, complimented each other’s dresses and talked about how lovely the food was.
I didn’t (want to) catch the bridal flowers. I had no partner. The woman who caught them had to get on stage and dance with her boyfriend alongside the bride and groom. How fucking ludicrous and embarrassing. Well, it didn’t look embarrassing when they did. I never knew what had happened to the connection between her and me. She’s still the same person but so distant because she’s far ahead of me, and I won’t ever let myself be where she is now. Why is not important.
All I admit is my selfish point of view, the dread of being in the midst of people I don’t know, overcoming my social anxiety disorder, forcing myself towards small talk, and then ending up hating myself for it because I feel like I wasted time that only contributed to anxiety.
When I left her party, she hugged me goodbye and said, “Looks like you have overcome your wedding phobia!”
I didn’t know what to say; it wasn’t just a wedding phobia. I didn’t want to elaborate or talk about me, except that I wore that green evening dress to annoy her. (She hates green.) It wasn’t about me, and I just wanted to go home.
I didn’t sleep well that night; I don’t remember why.
Sunday was terrible because I had two phone calls to make. And if there’s one thing I hate most, it’s talking on the phone; I can’t stress that enough. Each call is like a big task. The talks are so repetitive; I can’t stand them.
A friend of mine wrote in an email the other day saying, “You speak so much sense, P!”
That is not true; I speak nothing at all. I write. So if you’d like to put it this way: I write much sense, or at least I try.
I must be such an arsehole for viewing friends as work. I’m meeting a friend this week on a day off, but it’s not a day off anymore. A day off is going to the library, locking myself up in my room, being alone, writing and reading, which is my meditation. If I told you I’m doing this for somebody, you wouldn’t believe me anyway, so I won’t even bother to explain.
All I know is that I can’t take it anymore. To these people, anxiety is overrated. I can’t control my anger and nausea. When trying to make people happy, I dig into my energy reserve, realizing that I don’t want what my friends have, but I still try to give. How often did it happen that I mindlessly gave away kindness after receiving it? It’s not easy to say, “I don’t want you,” “I don’t want your kindness,” and “I’m not interested.” You don’t want to be indebted to them. So far, they’ve always wanted something in return.
You might say I have problems appreciating gifts. I can sense sincere gratitude; I might even be more grateful than you. I appreciate reliability, but nowadays, people don’t show enough appreciation. Like my ex-friend A.B., she exploited it. She chased me for a translation that I did for her. She never thanked me for it. Or S.L., who borrowed me for a presentation that cost me hours of my time. I would never do these things to anyone, no matter how self-centred I can be. I would never use people for my own advantage, which is why I never ask for help.
There will be friends that walk away angrily, and some will show understanding, but I don’t care to explain.