I try not to whinge. My life is pretty good, all things considered – I have a job, we have a home, we’re more or less physically well. I have my beloved Tobermory, I have good friends, I have cats who mob me in the mornings demanding cuddles.
But I seriously need to get my act together. There’s a group in my present dance class that know each other, certainly on a casual basis, mostly as a result of all going to the Sunday night social dances. The ones that I have an ongoing fear about going to, for fear of being left out.
Last night, a few of them went out for a drink after class. I was excluded from the invitation (and by the bye, I always thought it was bloody rude to ask everyone else in a circle of people and leave one person out). And I know why it is, it’s because I don’t go on the Sundays because I’m convinced I’ll be left out. And now I’m being left out and it makes me feel like shit. Which is stupid, because if I could just get over myself for ten minutes and actually GO on the Sundays, I might not be left out!
It’s a stupid recursive cycle, and it ends with me sobbing about being fat and ugly and worthless and lonely. And I know it’s stupid, which makes it worse, because then I hate myself more for being stupid. Brilliant!
I never learned how to make friends. I wasn’t allowed to socialise with my schoolmates, and I knew everyone in Mum’s congregation on account of having known them since birth. Well, not everyone, but certainly everyone my age. Plus, if your parents go “look this is Bob, Bob this is Mahal, great you are the same age and can be friends!!!” … well, the introduction bit is easy, and you make conversation with great amounts of eyerolling about your parents, but it is not actually an act of making-friends. It’s appeasing the parents.
I am not trying to go “wah wah it’s not my faaault”, or anything. Merely noting the circumstances that led to me being twenty seven years old and apparently incapable of convincing myself to stop being a fuckwit. Tobermory has a much better success rate of befriending people (although where I don’t know where to start talking, he has trouble knowing when to stop, which can be a problem in it’s own right).
I am shy. I have great difficulty convincing myself that I am likable, and even more difficulty convincing myself anyone would be willing to ask me to dance, despite empirical evidence (the Xmas party) to the contrary. (Whether they’d ask twice is an entirely different pool of stupid.) Not to mention that there are some things I’m struggling to learn right now, mostly because my fat gets in the way. And I’m not, you know, spherical in shape or anything. Last time I was weighed I was well under 90kg (200 pounds for those of you who speak American). I’m fat, but not obscenely so. Just enough to impinge on my confidence.
I picked up dance in the first place because I thought I would enjoy it, and because it’s a social activity. And I have been enjoying it. I’m learning something new, I’m not completely shit, it’s exercise. I know it’s me that has to put in the effort to try – no-one is going to try and befriend the woman who turns up for an hour a week and quietly slips out after class, and never turns up on the social occasions. They’ve no way of knowing that shy is the answer rather than uninterested. Presumably if I made an attempt, they would reciprocate with at least basic politeness, because they’re decent people. (Convincing myself of that likelihood is proving … difficult.)
I came home last night utterly miserable, and spent ten minutes sobbing on Tobermory’s shoulder about how I’m fat and ugly and unlikeable and how I hate myself. Something has to change.