Sometimes I wonder why I even bother trying. I am very aware of the fact that I do not think or act like most people which is something I’m actually pretty proud of most of the time. Of course, there are times when the depression sinks in or the anxiety spikes and I feel that grim isolation that comes with having been diagnosed and living with mental illness. These are the times I really am not sure how to be myself and I try my best to fake being human until it passes. But, as I’ve mentioned before, faking it until you make it is not something you can rely on when your brain is wired completely different than most people in the general populous. There are certain situations where I wish I could escape the fire of misfiring synapses and just function like everyone else. I hate getting in my own way.
It’s really hard to meet new people and not feel like I need to wrap myself in body armor, especially when I’m trying to get to know them without making it difficult or awkward. I am often a target of sympathy because a lot of my life stories are sad tales filled with heavy sighs. So, conversation has proven to be difficult, especially when I have to talk about myself because I don’t want to evoke some sort of emotional response or scare them away, especially if I find them interesting. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to have a deep and meaningful conversation when you’re constantly afraid of revealing a part of yourself that might scare them away. The worst is the look I get when I tell some people what my life has been like, especially over the last few years. I’ve long since given up on trying to impress people but there are some reactions I would rather avoid when talking about myself. I hate pity, sympathy, empathy, or any other sort of reaction that puts that look on someone’s face that’s tantamount to looking at a puppy that’s been kicked one too many times. I don’t need that. I know how to take care of myself.
How hard is it to have a normal conversation and treat someone like every other human even though you know they’ve seen more than their fair share of hell?
I recently experienced this on the first date I’ve been on in years. Admittedly, I met her over the internet on a dating website but she stuck out amongst the vapid and repetitive nonsense I was seeing all too often on other womens’ profiles. She seemed to have heart and we connected alright by message. We met up at a bar and grill, had some food and decent conversation. There’s something you need to know about me. I don’t have much of a filter around people anymore. I’ve been around myself for far too long and don’t have a problem saying what I think. This is good and bad. Some people find it acerbic and blunt and even take offense to it. At the same time, I found myself trying to keep the sorrow of my life over the last couple of years out of the conversation. “Why?” you ask. The most common response to telling the majority of my life stories results in a paradigm shift from getting to know each other to either a counselor/patient dynamic or just really awkward moments of silence where the other person doesn’t know how to react.
In this case, I can only speculate, but I think we fell into both categories. To my credit, I think I was doing quite well considering I had been awake since 3AM that morning thanks to a wonderful bout of insomnia.
I’m 28 years old and I still don’t understand the dynamic of human relations beyond the simple things. Because, while I thought we had a good time and she even agreed to meet up again, I now find myself being ignored. It’s like every connection I’ve had with a woman in the last few years in microcosm. We meet, we talk, I think we connect, she leaves, and I never hear from her again. No returned texts or phone calls. And while it ate at me for a little while I just came to the conclusion that I am an acquired taste and some people just can’t acquire me. She was nice, which is something I haven’t experienced in a long time. I have a history of finding the crazy ones and they rip my life apart, so it was a nice change even if it was only for a couple of hours. I did my best to abstain from talking about the horrors of my life but I did tell her I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder. Part of me wonders if it put her off in some way but, quite frankly if someone can’t accept all of me it’s just a waste of my time, isn’t it?
I shouldn’t make assumptions but I feel it’s kind of shady to tell someone you’d meet up with them again and then completely ignore them. But people will be people and I’m beyond the point of caring about the people who don’t give me the time of day or can’t accept me for who I am. I know I’m weird, I know I’m crazy, but I’m proud of who I am and who I’m becoming. I am constantly seeking to evolve and if the disclosure of the fact that I’m wired differently than most is a problem for someone, it’s really not worth my time to convince them otherwise, is it? I’d like to think I’m worth the time despite my many quirks. I just don’t understand the people who seem to decide otherwise.