Besides my wife, I can truthfully say that I don’t have any close friends. By close friends I mean people who I could hang out with, someone I could tell my deepest and darkest thoughts or someone I could trust with anything.
My problems with friendships started when I was a young child. As a Jehovah’s Witness, we were discouraged from making friends with “Worldly people” (those who were not witnesses), so I never really had friends in school. I couldn’t have kids come over to my house and play, and I was never allowed to go to their houses either. My parents where always trying to get us to make friends with people from our “church”, but I never really clicked with anyone.
I think it was about when I was about 8 years old, my brother and I would sneak around and go over to a guy named Glens’ house, and I thought of him as a friend until he started molesting me. After that, I became very distrustful of people, so I just kept to myself and became a loner.
We moved around a lot growing up, so it was just easier to remain a loner so I didn’t have to continually say goodbye to people who I could call friends.
When I got older, I had people I hung out with and did fun things with, and even one or two that I could really call “best friends”, but as an adult I stayed in the pattern that was set for me as a kid and I moved around a lot, and I never really stayed in touch with any of them. When I moved, I burned my bridges behind me, and now I am paying for it.
Now I’m 45 and I still haven’t made any new friends. The closest thing I have is Facebook friends, but I don’t talk to them and they don’t talk to me. I will once in a while hit “Like” on one of their statuses, but that is the only interaction I have with them at all.
My social anxiety is so bad, that I don’t even make an effort to talk to anyone in person. I think it’s important to have friends, I just haven’t been able to cultivate any. People may think I am aloof, but I am really just scared to talk to them.
But, there may yet be hope for me, because I have been making an effort to connect with other bloggers, and have met a few people that I could potentially call close friends sometime very soon. I know that having “internet” friends is not as good as friends you interact with face-to-face, but it is a good place to start.
Don’t pity me, just be my friend.
Follow me on twitter, @SchizoIncognito