Working at the bar makes me feel like a loser, like I\’m completely socially inept, like I\’m invisible. It makes me feel like I\’m back in non-GT school, trying to make friends but failing miserably. Almost every time I work I get told \”I didn\’t see you there,\” or \”I forgot you were there.\” My boss forgets to invite me to the employee meetings. No one told me that there was a friend of the bar\’s birthday party happening tonight just a few doors down the street. I can stand at the bar trying to get served by my own co-workers for more than ten minutes before someone realizes I\’m there.
Most people who know me consider me to be an outgoing, talkative person. I can be, with people I know and trust, or when drunk or drugged or manic, but my natural state is not outgoing and socially at ease. I\’m shy, don\’t know what to say to people — particularly my co-workers and most of the people who come to the bar — and feel like I just want to climb inside a hole and hide. Sometimes, after a shift, I find myself wanting to self-harm because of how invisible the place has made me feel. It reminds me of the gaping loneliness I felt on Halloween of 2002, when I tried to kill myself. It\’s not as strong as that night, but it\’s still reminiscent of it.
I hate that though Matt says he\’s socially awkward, he has no problem socializing with all the people there. I hate that I got him his job there and then have to play second fiddle to him. I hate that I sometimes have to drag him out of there because his shift ended hours before but I can\’t get him to stop talking to people.
I hate it that he now considers this entire group of people his friends and has given up socializing with anyone not related to the bar. I hate that Matt wants ALL of his groomsmen/women to be staff from the bar; I ended up even asking the girlfriend of one of the guys at the bar to be my flower girl because the guy is going to be the ringbearer.
We don\’t hang out with these people outside of work. I don\’t know any of their phone numbers or e-mail addresses. I don\’t know anything about their lives except alcohol intake and who they\’re currently fucking. It just feels so empty that these are now half the people in the bridal party.
I just don\’t feel comfortable calling them friends. I\’d never call them if I wanted to hang out (nor have they called me), or if I needed someone to talk to. Hell, I\’ve never seen these people outside of work except to run into them at shows at other bars, but even there, we\’re not hanging out together, we just say hello. It\’s lame. And it makes me feel so lonely.
Why do I care that I can\’t make friends with a bunch of people at the bar? Maybe it\’s because I just can\’t seem to make friends anywhere; I\’ll get a person here or there, but I don\’t have a group of friends. I haven\’t really had one in years. It makes me feel awkward that my family and Matt\’s family want to invite 100 relatives to be at the wedding but I can only name five people that I really want to be there and then another ten or so people that I\’d like to be there — but most of them live out of town and probably wouldn\’t come because of finances, never having met in person before, or just haven\’t really kept up with each other in years. It\’s pathetic. I feel pathetic.
The only time I ever feel like I\’m around a group of people I have something in common with, where I feel like I\’d be able to talk to people without feeling uncomfortable or not knowing what to say, is when I\’m at the hospital in the orthopedic clinic. I\’ve seen a lot of people there of varying ages and with various physical issues, and I just feel COMFORTABLE there, and no where else, really. I don\’t feel like I have to try hard to \”maintain\” the appearance of a \”normal\” life with them, nor do I feel like anyone there would judge me because of what I look like (not gimpy, poor, not nice clothing or a good haircut).
At the same time, though, I feel like I\’m limiting myself by saying \”I want my friends to be gimps, because there\’s an understanding.\” I don\’t know how to explain this well to people who haven\’t been in a similar situation. In my mind, it\’s the exact opposite of tokenization, and it\’s marginalizing myself. \”Here, hang out with XXXX minority because the greater public won\’t accept or understand you, and you don\’t feel comfortable around them.\” I never felt good with the idea of \’birds of a feather flocking together,\’ because I feel like it\’s really limiting. And at the same time, I do get upset when I keep up with a lot of gimpy people because often it starts to feel like one big support group. Support should come with friendship, sure, but friendship shouldn\’t constantly be about griping and then soothing another\’s gripes.
Basically, I feel like sticking my head in a toilet and flushing it. Maybe that would flush out the social retardation.
I miss having friends. Having good conversations that last for hours. Hanging out. Stuff. It\’ll have been two years in March since I felt like I had people (more than one at a time) to hang out with, do things with, share. It doesn\’t feel right, being this way.
I want to be socially normal. Lately, that seems like even more to ask of myself than trying to work and make money is. I mean, I\’m actually managing to work around 15 hours a week now. I\’m making about $150 a week, give or take. They\’re not what I want to be doing; they\’re not \”real\” jobs or pulling in any real money, but it\’s still way more than I\’ve thought I would be able to do. Granted, I\’m not able to keep up with school and do this, and school is what I should be focusing on. And the physicality of school is much more difficult than the silly jobs. So it does seem like work is hard but being normal is harder. Well, duh, Einstein. Duh.