An Incredible Machine said 7 years, 7 months ago:

I’m gonna warn you now, this is about to be a lengthy post. Might as well be a novel. If you make it through, you’re amazing. If not, I put the simplified, albeit confusing version at the bottom.

Basically, all my worries are connected. If you’re a visual person like me, it’s like I’m just trying to get out a pair of headphones, but they keep getting caught on charge cords and that one usb thing that idk what it’s even for and now I can’t focus on anything. And for a minute, after a chat on here or just after a good song, I’ll think I can handle it. Then a little later, no. No I cannot.

The majority of my stress started around October, when I got in to a pretty big fight over an incredibly stupid issue with my best friends. We’re still friends, but it doesn’t feel the same. They said they felt like I was constantly judging them, I thought they were deliberately avoiding me and leaving me out of the loop on everything. At the worst part of it, I stood there and got yelled at for being the one of us with a decent family, for being the pretty one, for having things in my life to look forward to, for having guys interested in me (though at this point in the story, I didn’t know of any. Apparently their friends & random guys would ask them about me) Essentially, that night I found out that they basically resented me for things that were out of my control, and since then it’s like we’ve been avoiding each other & not able to find anything to talk about, or getting irritated at each other for stupid things. And I know that both of them have issues with each other, cause they’ll complain to me separately about it, but if an argument starts between all of us, they’ll take each other’s side and I’ll be left looking like I’m the one causing all the problems. I’ve since found out as well that they’ll be moving soon, which I feel almost relieved about, and that makes me feel like a terrible friend.

Fast forward to December, when I met this guy. From the first minute, I got that stereotypical “butterflies in my stomach” feeling, which I’ve never felt for a person before, only for events like travel or concerts. We went out a couple weeks later as friends, and I ended up sleeping at his place ’til 6am, when I finally went home so my roommates wouldn’t know how late I was gone. We didn’t get too serious, but we did make out, which is uncharacteristic for me since I’ve pretty much never dated anyone, much less kissed anyone, and I was so nervous that entire date, good or bad nerves I don’t know, but I was shaking from more than just the cold weather for sure. After that, I got really nervous, since I didn’t expect to give a crap about dating, much less get this close to someone after knowing them for a couple weeks. (there were some other aspects, like our age gap, that freaked me out, but I’m not as concerned anymore) I wanted to talk to someone about it, so I got on here to talk over chat. I didn’t want to alarm my family, since I wasn’t even sure what exactly was going on anyway, and I couldn’t bring it up to my friends, for fear they’d go on another resentful “of course the pretty one has a boyfriend now, must be nice” type rants. But at the same time, knowing they’ll be leaving soon, I’d feel safer getting in to this relationship with them here, you know? I mean, I’ve barely dated before, and I’ve never been as alone as I’ll be when they leave before. I’ll have nobody near me to turn to if this relationship gets bad. (my deepest fear has always been getting in to an abusive relationship & not realizing what I got myself in to until it’s too late) And now that I’ve calmed down and embraced the idea of actually continuing this relationship, or whatever it is that’s going on, I think my month of nerves and fear may have pushed him away. Maybe not permanently, at least I’m hoping. But at least a little. I plan on talking to him tomorrow, and I’m both dreading & looking forward to it.

I just wish that I could talk to my friends about it though. Especially if tomorrow goes well. As far as they know, he’s a friend that was vaguely interested in me, and I went out and watched a movie with him once 2 months ago and see him in school occasionally. They’ve suggested I invite him over during the one and only conversation that we’ve had that even referenced him since before the date, but I just hate the idea of bringing him over, whether we’re dating or not, for them to complain about me getting all the attention again. There’s people at my job, even that know more than they do. And even they know more than my parents do right now. And the random people I’ve chatted on here with know plenty, though it’s hard to get out this much of a storyline in chat.

Friends mad I have decent life.
I’m mad they shut me out.
Oh look it’s a boy!
He likes me!
Wait, what do I do with that information???
Program “Trust Other Human” failed to load, loading default program “Panic.”
Don’t speak. Too much drama. Only talk to internet people.
Wait, I’m ok now! No more panic!
He likes me.. not? Maybe?
But I like the boy now. Do I tell the boy? No. No no no.
Let’s panic about losing the boy!
Ok, fine. Tell the boy. If you can work up the nerve.
Nobody to talk to, talk to internet people instead.
Aaand we’re back.

Again, if you made it through this solid block of nonsense, you are a wonderful human, and thank you. May you find a long lost $20 in your coat pocket.

countmouse said 7 years, 7 months ago:

An Incredible Machine,

It does sound like you’re having a stressful time in your relationships.

From what you say about your friends, it sounds like they’re going through some jealousy in regards to you. They may have started doing things consciously or subconsciously in terms of “leaving you out of the loop”. This is totally human behavior, but it’s difficult when these are your friends and they are part of your support network.

Self esteem issues are hard, and everyone tends to have them about something. If you can, maybe you should talk to your friends about how you’ve been feeling and why you’ve been suspicious of them. Tell them exactly why and be honest, but still take care with how you express it. No accusations or insinuations, try to say things as directly but as compassionately as possible. Don’t be looking to get into an argument with them or defend yourself. Focus on explaining and coming to an understanding. Try to listen to them if they get upset and hear what they are saying – hopefully they will reciprocate that.

If they still seem to be tough and not accepting of you, then it might be necessary and best to take a step back from engaging with them and trying to meet and befriend other people.

About this guy you like – if you really like him, and you genuinely feel like you will benefit from that relationship, then tell him. You are no less if you are the one to make the approach on that.

Just think about whether or not you are trying to escape into this relationship because of feeling ostracized by other people in your life. What are you hoping to gain from this relationship? Escaping into relationships to get away from negative feelings when by yourself or getting away from other relationships that are breaking apart or are non-existent, may not be the best reasons, but they’re a common and completely understandable thing that people do. Do a lot of introspecting and try to be as fully aware and honest with yourself as you can about why you might want this.

Would it be the end of the world to be alone and be with yourself for a while? To learn how to appreciate being by yourself? or does that seem like right now, that would be a very difficult and overwhelming thing to try to do? You’re the only person who can answer these types of questions for yourself.

An Incredible Machine said 7 years, 7 months ago:

Thank you, Countmouse.

I think our friendship right now is sort of a process. Since October, we have had some smaller fights and have tried to tell each other what we feel, but it always just seems like a cycle. i want us to work it out really badly, since not having them in my life seems like the worst thing possible. They’re practically family. I just don’t know. It’s hard to bring it up when we’re all in a good mood, and if any of us are in a bad mood it’s bound to start a fight.

I don’t think I’m trying to escape in to this relationship with him… at least not consciously, though it would make me feel better to know I have at least one person who’s staying. I feel like I have decent other reasons to want to be with him. I mean back in January, despite my nerves, I felt amazing around him. I simultaneously was nervous to be alone with him and wanted to be around him constantly. And we do have similar interests, especially musically. I just know I can’t stop thinking about what it would be like if we were together. I was gonna talk to him today, but I didn’t even see him like I thought I would. I don’t know if he was busy or what, I’m hoping just busy. I guess right now I’m just trying to let whatever happens happen. I’ve been stressing too long and I guess at least if I try not to think about it, even if nothing ever happens between us, maybe I can go back to how I was before I even cared about dating.

As for the alone thing… I don’t honestly know. Logistically, I’m worried about not having anyone there if I need them, like if I have car troubles, or if I have a panic attack or injure myself in another stupid way like I have a tendency to accidentally do. Emotionally though? Until recently, I thought I absolutely loved being alone. I was, for the most part, alone when I left home at first and I loved it. Sometimes I think I’m still like that, but it’s hard to tell since this time, I don’t know when I’ll really stop being alone. It would be a lot easier certainly if the friends I’ve made at college that I thought could basically take the place of the two that are moving were actually staying, but now I’m back to square one and haven’t really connected with anyone else.

I’m just… drained I guess from thinking about all this. It makes it hard to deal with any individual part.

countmouse said 7 years, 7 months ago:

I’m sorry to hear about your friendships, it’s hard when people start to drift and change, especially close friends you’ve had for a while. It does sound like you are going through a very transitional and stressful time. I can definitely relate with some of my friendships that have been similar – In the end I realized it was a total clash of values or change in values, and that we couldn’t spend as much time together nor be as close as we had been. I’m not sure if that is what is happening with you and your friends, or if they’re in the midst of working out some of their issues at the same time, but if it is then that’s a completely normal (albeit painful) thing to go through with long-time friends. Change tends to be inevitable, especially when we’re young and still trying to understand ourselves, others, the world and what we want from life.

As for the guy, there’s really nothing wrong at all with desiring company because you would prefer spending time with someone rather than being alone because you really enjoy it. It does sound like you’re an emotionally secure person just from how you reflect on it, to me. I think most humans can only be alone up until a point, in the end, most people want to be sharing a meaningful connection with someone. We are for the most part, social beings, so connecting is part of how most of us are.

It sounds like you have a pretty good solution to all of these scenarios – Letting whatever happens, happen and trying not to worry too much about any of your relationships at the moment. Just take them as they come.

Perhaps if you aren’t already or maybe don’t do it enough, make sure you’re engaging in activities that help release stress. More meditation/mindfulness or watching shows/listening to/making music, whatever helps you to disengage from these anxious thoughts for a while if you find yourself too worked up about things mentally.

Maybe writing your thoughts out in a journal or on here just to release them is also a good idea, though you may be doing these things already. If you’d like a listening buddy, feel free to PM me :)

An Incredible Machine said 7 years, 7 months ago:

Thank you again, Countmouse :)

Weirdly enough, my friends and I did have another fight, but somehow I think it helped, like we needed to be pushed a little further to see each other’s sides. They’re still moving, of course, since the reasoning was always family related. But now I feel less tense around them, at least for the time being.

As for the guy… I mean fate still needs to pull its self together so we can actually see eachother again and not have wildly different schedules, but I talked to a work friend today who had a similar experience with her current boyfriend & it kinda gave me hope. :) I just hope I can see him this week cause I honestly feel like if I can explain that I was only backing away basically from fear of the unknown, we could be back on track. :)

Talking on here definitely does help a lot. Like, the chat helped a bit, but this seems to be a better organized way of getting my thoughts together. Would you mind if I added you as a friend in case I would like to PM you later? My memory for names is awful. I could recite the lyrics and track order to an entire album to you right now, but it took me halfway through classes to remember all the people in a class of 18 people last quarter haha

Valeska said 7 years, 7 months ago:

Hey Incredible Machine, I read through your post and decided to express some of my thoughts. You got some nice advice above!

Firstly, I can relate to some of what you’re going through. I think the main thing, first and foremost is for you to not feel bad about having a good life. People often see what we have, and assume our life is perfect without seeing much else. It is a bit of envy on their part. I am sort of the pretty one, well I keep being told that, but I don’t know, I guess I am just more suited to the stereotype. Regardless, I never had the perfect family or whatever, and my best friend, she HAS the perfect family. Am I envious of that? Yes, I’ve always been, but I should not criticize her about it, and likewise, she should not feel bad about having that.

As for your friends, do you have any idea why they may feel judged? I am not saying you do it, but could you think of anything you do that they could misinterpret? However, they seem incredibly judgmental. Perhaps you can mention that to them sometime?

As for the guy, yes, communication is key. I think if he finds out why you were backing away it would be better than him thinking you were avoiding him. I think you have the right ideas, and yes, posting them here helps keep them together.

The fear of the unknown is really difficult to overcome. I sometimes try to live life on the edge just to overcome it, but unfortunately, each time it’s the same fear you have. All you can do is just believe in your decisions. The fact that you are afraid of being in an abusive relationship is enough to bring your awareness to it. That should help you keep an eye out for the signs.

Now, I am going to suggest something I just thought about. If you are worried about being alone, whether your have a boyfriend or not, I still think you need to have a social connection somewhere out there. Perhaps engage in some activities on your own? Perhaps tennis, or maybe poetry club, whatever interests you. That way, you can meet people with the same interests and rebuild a new circle of friends.

My best friend often felt like she was inferior to me. I was a bit more social than her, and people would often overlook her to speak to me. I noticed it became that way, especially when she vented to me saying that the only time she gets text messages are when I text her, and since we live together now, her inbox has cobwebs lol. I felt pretty bad and made an effort to. Anyway, I started staying away from things that interested her. I always went with her, but I figured she needed to be alone to meet people who didn’t know me. It worked, she made a number of friends. She feels happier now having a circle that I am not a part of. So, consider that. I think you probably need some new friends anyway. :)

Hope I was of some help?

An Incredible Machine said 7 years, 7 months ago:

Thanks for adding your advice! It’s awesome I’m getting so many viewpoints on all this, both here and now from people I know. It’s really helping me, especially with the potential boyfriend situation. :)

They did explain it to me, and without bringing their exact issues up since they’re not mine to talk about, they basically have certain interests and certain qualities that they had assumed I was against and would reject them as friends for. And the specific interest, yes, I’ll admit, I was a little bitchy about. but the other stuff, I never said I had a problem with anything regarding the topic. Do I understand it? No, not fully. But I’ve never rejected anyone for it. They just kinda assumed.

I’m starting to get really confident about talking to him again. Like, I can picture it going well more often than not, and I can see us together and idk, but every time I think that that’s one way that this conversation could work out I can’t stop smiling. I finally told a friend I have at work about him and she said that she could tell how much I wanted this to work just by how I was acting & talking about him & from what I said about him, she said he sounds like he would want this to work too. :)

Fortunately also I found out today I have more friends at school than I thought I did. In class today someone else mentioned they were moving, and I said something along the lines of “dude that’s like 5 people in my world that are leaving by July. What the hell.” and like 3 people were like “I’ll still be here! I’m not leaving you!” Plus a couple work friends said that if anything does go wrong (boyfriend/car/moving) that I can ask them for help. I didn’t realize how many people here cared about me until like this week. And the friends I was talking about with the jealousy issues have stuff that’s their own too. Like they’re both in to hunting and I’m just not (I mean by all means I’ll eat whatever they kill, but as for actually sitting in a tree in the cold at 3 am to kill a deer, I think I’ll pass.) so I’m not constantly taking attention from them at least. And I’ve got the whole school thing & if I can find a place that’s not too expensive I want to start rock climbing & taking yoga classes again.

Thanks so much again for responding, Valeska. :)