On being nobody...
I am, as other posts on this blog may have stated, a happily married man with a wonderful family. I love my wife and children, and they are wonderfully fulfilling. However (and I feel childish and immature about this), I can still be deeply hurt and depressed by the indifference of those whom I would want to consider friends.
I have been at my latest job for less than a year now, and I have settled in well. The company suits me, and I suit it.
I have become friends with the woman who is my cubicle neighbor. There is nothing remotely sexual in this friendship. We discuss personal aspects of our lives, and have told one another things that we wouldn't tell other coworkers. The aspect that begins to depress me is the fact that she is obviously much more friendly with another coworker, with whom she has worked here for several years. I suppose it is simple jealousy, the fact that she will seek him out at times, and I don't merit such attention. If it were someone else, with whom I had not established a friendship, then it wouldn't depress me so. But she is one of those who has many many friends (yet the overall mood of her life is one of sadness, according to our discussions), while I have few people I would call friends, and the fact that I would have her as a friend makes it hurt all the more that this is (apparently) unrequited.
Looking at it coldly and rationally, I can see that this is the result of my not having a close friend (other than my wife) for many years, and probably not since college have I been the one to whom anyone else turned to as their friend of choice, the one whose friend calls him for no particular reason, the one whose friend calls him to find out if he wants to hang out, the one whose friend calls him to wish him happy birthday or to invite him over to play cards.
Am I psychologically scarred by having always been the quiet one, the one no one ever paid attention to, the "nobody" (as a wonderful woman in my social group at the time once referred to me, when introducing someone new to the group)? Of course. Am I as psychologically scarred as someone who's been raped or mistreated by a parent? No, of course not. My scars are ones of being ignored. They are the result of the lack of the attention I crave, rather than the wrong sort of attention.
I know I shouldn't feel this way; the love of my wife and children should be sufficient. And, in a sense, it is sufficient; it is always my refuge, the place I can return in my mind when I feel this sense of loneliness. But it doesn't remove the hurt or the pain or the black moods which come upon me at such times. It doesn't stop me from wanting to scream, "Me! Pay attention to me! Why am I not good enough to be the one you want to come to?" Sometimes, I have to try and convince myself that this attention is not worth the pain which its lack causes me. I'm not happy or satisfied with this mode of self-delusion, but it is all I know how to do. I have to force an apathy on myself, a "why do you care?" attitude.
I don't expect this post to do much of anything for me, but I needed to express these feelings. My wife is not going to understand why this lack of attention brings this mood on me, especially since it concerns a woman (naturally, my lack of success with women in the past contributes to this as well, even though I have no intention or desire to become involved with another woman). And since I have no other close friends, I have no one else with whom to express these feelings.
And now, I must do my best to bring myself out of this funk, back to where my family deserves me to be.
In short, life just sucks sometimes.
UPDATE -- Lessons learned / Notes to self:
- No one at work is your friend, regardless of how "friendly" you are with one another.
- No matter how much you think you "get" someone or he or she "gets" you, you don't and he or she doesn't.