I Feel Unwanted

I've always been the quiet type. I'm not very outgoing and I don't talk a whole lot. Big groups of people are fine, but I'd much rather spend my time with a close friend or two. 6 years ago while I was in high school I had an unusual reaction to the strep throat bacteria. Instead of the typical sore throat, my white blood cells attacked the part of my brain that involves social interaction & anxiety. I missed 5 months of school & was acting quite strange (unable to leave the house without having panic attacks/ being deathly afraid of non-family members/ unable to talk to people). Needless to say I lost pretty much all of my friends during this time, as I was unable to talk to them or communicate at all. Over the past 5-6 years I have been "growing up" and learning how to be social again (almost like reliving Erickson's developmental theory). As a senior in high school, I had the social skills of a toddler basically. I was still very smart (received full academic scholarship) & did well in my classes, but I didn't have any real friends my age. The closest thing I did to being social was volunteering at a local middle school twice a week (I'm a music education major, I would tutor and help out in band classes). Being around younger people/ people closer to my social development was not as intimidating, so I felt moderately normal there. As I've grown back up, I have retained a few friends from that experience, although it is awkward at times & is unusual for a college student to have close friends 5-6 years younger than him. Now, I struggle with being alone frequently. The friends I have rarely will talk to me if I don't initiate contact & I rarely hang with anyone at all. I get jealous when I see people I know having a great time with friends...especially when the people I consider friends do stuff without me, it makes me feel quite left out. This past week has been especially frustrating: I have been home the practically all week (except for a part time job). My brother returned from JMU this week, every day he has had a friend over or has gone out with friends. At the same time, everyone I try to talk/text ignores me or simply doesn't answer. Two of my best friends, who would normally talk most every day, also have been forgetting about me. I just want to have friends that remember I exist & would actually treat me like a friend for once.
lwalk019 lwalk019
2 Responses May 14, 2011

Mcgrumpy: The problem seems to me, as if it were a problem at all, you are a gifted adult who most likely does not have other Gifted adults near you to communicate with. People like yourself need intellectual stimulation. Small talk can be very exhausting and could bore the death out of people with a big brain. Some become very depressed (myself) when we feel so alone. We tend to have very few real friends, since most people like to ride the surface and we tend to be very intense and delve deep. I am currently suffering from a major depression. Do you have any suggestions for riding out this terrible condition without feeling so disconnected from myself and life altogether.

I feel the same way as you and have suffered several years of this. My situation started as a child and I know something is wrong , just cant put my fingr on it. I have 3 kids and feel empty inside so when I call them, I run out of stuff to say quickly! Now if they began talking about alternative medicine, nature, bio-chemistry, nutrition, I could probably talk for hours. I have a VERY awkward time discussing trivial matters and small talk just leaves me exhausted and bored. I also don't like talking about relationships. Hope some of this might resonate with you. Your friend ~ mcgrumpy