[insert platitudes here]

“You keep disappearing,” he chided me. I said I knew and halfheartedly made up an excuse, shrugging it off as it was coming out of my mouth.

This was from a dream I had this morning, and it doesn’t make it less true. Even if the he in question was Jarvis Cocker, and we were walking down a street in New York, and he ended up skipping out on an intimate little performance by pretending to be sick as I laughed at him. (It was a really nice dream, though.)

The truth is, I do keep disappearing. I keep avoiding doing updates because the long and short of it is, I was depressed for the first 6 months of my marriage and life was pretty shitty. I didn’t care that I’d lost my job, because I sure as fuck don’t miss all the migraines it was causing, and the stress, and further beating down my low self esteem. In fact, that was the one bright spot because I was free of the burden of knowing I did something I absolutely hated for a living, and this was now my chance to try doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. But that doesn’t stop depression.

It didn’t stop the fighting, and while I still think it was right to marry the one guy on the planet that says “You’re an ass. I love it!” because you gotta nail it down when someone loves your asshole-ness, that still didn’t mean there wasn’t second guessing and lots of fights. I hate confrontation, but I can’t just leave when we fight. I go outside to get away from the heat of battle and he follows me. He won’t. Stop. Talking. He’s got to fix something the second he realizes it’s broken, and relationships aren’t that easy sometimes, so this is difficult. I need quiet and lots of time away from humanity. I give up on people easily because I wasted too much of my teens and twenties chasing after people that don’t care whether I live or die, convinced that if I just tried hard enough and was around enough, they’d realize I was worth their love. People don’t work like that.

bro, TELL ME ABOUT IT

Take, for example, this weekend. We were invited to a leadership retreat and met a lot of really great new people. I have more direction in my life now than I did 48 hours ago, which is amazing. People noticed a fire in me and encouraged it. On the other hand, we also spoke to the leader of a group I’ve been trying to assimilate into for over a year, that my spouse has been involved with for a couple of years, and was flat out told to my face that I can’t just expect to be welcomed into old friendships and that I’m unapproachable. The problem the group is facing is that it’s supposed to be outreach for socially awkward people, it’s full of cliques that don’t want to welcome, and they told a new person that it’s my fault I’m not welcome because of my face. Okay, I wasn’t told “your face is unapproachable,” but when I was sitting down at a meeting, which is how I was introduced to the group, how else can I be judged? My spouse wanted to continue the debate on why I’m unacceptable to these people, but I had to go back to our room because the unapproachable comment made me cry and strangers can’t see my tears. Tears give other people power over me.

again, TELL ME ABOUT IT

The hilarious part is that while there is supposedly no problems with this group being cliquish and no communications problems, my husband was told that the group didn’t trust me because he’d stepped away and came back with me, which they assumed was my fault (it wasn’t), and therefore have not spoken to me in a year because they “don’t want to be judgmental.” They play telephone through him to avoid speaking to me. I’ve been his +1 to two of their weddings yet haven’t been spoken to. I’m their friends on Facebook but they’ve not interacted with me at all, in meatspace or online. I’ve tried online, because that’s a lot easier than interrupting a loud conversation, but received nothing in return. I’ve even reached out through private message when someone is hurting to let them know they’re not alone. As the new person to an established group, it is not my job to make everyone say hello to and include new people, especially when that group’s literal actual purpose for existing is to make a safe space for outcasts. I’d been asking for a sign to know where I’m supposed to be going in life, and the clear sign was this door closed in my face.

It sucks. I’m an introvert, I love my quiet, and books > people, but look at why I’m like that. Part of it is ingrained personality. Most of it is dealing with this exact garbage my whole life. Being married changed my life, from where I lived to how I make my living (though that was coincidental), to how I handle situations, to the people I interact with. I was really hoping to have a new group of friends after hearing so much about this group and how they helped him. I volunteered to be heavily involved in their biggest event of the year and though I’m a newbie, I’m teaching them how to sew. But despite those huge commitments, they won’t speak to me directly. They don’t care whether I live or die. And that’s how I’m measuring who I call a friend now, because I’m tired of the superficiality of it all. I’m tired of not having anyone to speak to when I’m hurting because I lose people when I’m anything other than fun and funny and giving. I still don’t have friends, and I know I can’t rely on just my husband because it’s unhealthy. So I’ll keep doing what I’m doing on my own and stupidly keep putting faith in new people, because maybe there’s one nice one out there that hasn’t made all the friends they’ll ever need in life by the time they hit puberty and shuts everyone else out. Or maybe I’ll just keep being dumb and getting hurt and being alone, I don’t know. I just know when to stop trying and move on now, so that’s something.

So there’s that. When I’m not stupidly giving my time to this group – and I won’t drop out because I made a commitment, but once that commitment is fulfilled in July, I’m disappearing – I’ve just been working on making the shop work. It’s energizing to sit on the floor on a dirty towel and restore typewriters, a skill I never even knew I had. I love making old machines work again. I’m nearly done restoring the Electrolux – the spouse’s job is to polish chrome, since he likes to feel involved as I inspire his art pieces and he wants this to be even – and have been getting really good at finding what works and what doesn’t. For example, I’m great at finding typewriters and cameras. I also picked up a Chagall poster from Paris 1972 for $40 that’s worth up to $2500, and I got the nerdiest rush I’ve had in ages. It was like estate sale Indiana Jones right there. But mainly I like the bittersweet feeling of looking over someone’s life in their homes, seeing how complex they were, and showing love to their former prizes. I buy the things I really like and would keep if I have the room, clean and restore them, and sell them to people that will cherish them. I dunno, check it out if you like. I’m no good at connecting with people in any meaningful way, so my promotions fall on deaf ears, but maybe if I just throw it out there enough, people will like the content for what it is and not care that there’s an unapproachable ass behind it:

 

The shop also has an Instagram and Facebook page, whatever. At least Dream Jarvis will come cheer me up when I’ve had a really shitty day. Also, he’s got a new album out, so go buy it! Especially because this is the album that sounds like he’s singing you to sleep, and maybe that’ll help you get your own Dream Jarvis to laugh at you (and sometimes with you) when it’s been tough and you’ve been avoiding humanity for a little too long.



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