It was a very long, busy day here at the IM house. Right after dinner CJ reminded me that there was an art walk about a block from where we live about to begin. I had forgotten about it, though I did really want to go. I love seeing art, and tasting wine. As exhausted as I was, I decided to gather up my remaining scraps of energy, and head down there to get me some wine, and culture, or somesuch.
These are the phases of social awkward denial that I go through each, and every time I set out to a social event.
Phase One: I am excited to go. I think it's gonna be fun. It's as if my brain creates bouts of temporary amnesia about all the past times I have gone to social events that didn't end well, which is about 98% of them. I don't remember how much I said I was not going to people again, or how much I feel like a freak when I am around groups of people.
Phase Two: Enter the crowd. It's busy, and everyone seems to be everywhere. It seems that I am either in other people's way, or they're in mine. The body language of who moves where is eluding me. I'm overwhelmed, but hanging in there.
Phase Three: The fun I thought I was going to have is slinking back into my imagination where it belongs, and reality is setting in. I realize that most people know others, and are all standing in groups chatting. I am not. I am off awkwardly standing on my own, or with my family. I know some people, but don't know how to jump into the chatting circles. The rules to how this occurs are a mystery to me. I try to smile, and look friendly, but I don't know if I should make eye contact, or how to begin a conversation. What to say, or how to say it is confusing. I can't work anything out quick enough. I hope others will initiate conversation with me, but they don't.
Phase Four: Now I am taking it personally. I feel left out, and
ignored. I don't understand what other people are talking about. It all seems to be like a foreign language to me. Their interests aren't even close to mine. I may as well be a world away from other ladies my age. Some of what I do hear sounds either quite fake to me, or is gossip. Not all of it, mind you, but quite a bit of it.
Phase Five: I am now in a mood. I don't like people very much, and am quite convinced the feeling is mutual. I don't know why I came. I feel like an alien. I just want to go home. I tell myself that I won't do this again. I feel a mixture of emotions from anger, angst, sadness, loneliness, confusion, and familiarity.It's a feeling of not fitting in, and being rejected by default. It's not really an action oriented type of rejection where there was an interaction that occurred to where the other party told me (verbally or nonverbally) that I am not welcome. It was just a passive falling into it by default, because it is the way it's always been, and I have no idea why, or how to fix it, or if I even want to. It seems I am content in my regular routine where I pursue my interests, and take care of my family.
Phase Six: I go home, and think about the thoughts, and feelings listed in the last phase. The sting feels a little less painful every day that goes by until I work myself up to phase one again.