just about everyone it seems

sorabji.com: What are you afraid of?: just about everyone it seems

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 01:17 pm:

    I never used to have this problem. I was an extremely outgoing child. Even when I was all screwed up and in secure in high school and college I still managed to make friends. And I was pretty good at it. Then something changed. I don't know what exactly.

    When I started gradschool two years ago I thought I would be fine being a kind of solitary academic type, needing no social outlets whatsoever. I got a good swift kick in the bottom for that one, and in the process of recovering did a complete turn around in terms of my self-esteem. I'm still really proud of that although I'm quite aware that I am not the most emotionally stable person around, so it's not something I take for granted and try to keep on top of things in terms of handling new situations.

    It was stressful getting settled in, starting classes, trying to figure out how to pay for things without any money, missing Sem and Shannon, etc. and for the most part I am feeling pretty good. But when it comes to connecting with people on a social level I'm at a loss. Our grad student organization throws these gatherings at bars (free beer) and I went to one last night. Not to try to meet new people but to hang out with some people in my department outside of class. I did not have a good time, but it wasn't just that I was bored it's that I felt completely out of place. I had nothing to say to anyone that I was hanging around with. It seems that everyone was just kind of chatting, which is just not fun. It's not that I think that every conversation has to be deep, philosophical and/or political, but I want to hear stories and jokes and rants...and I can't seem to get that far.

    Tonight there is a potluck for us new kids in the program and I don't want to go. I'd much rather stay home and read or go to a show or a movie by myself.

    Okay, I have to stop typing now.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

By Spider on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 01:47 pm:

    You sound like me!

    I've never been able to determine if it's because I'm afraid of people, I don't like people, I don't think people will like me, or what.

    I do know that I was fine until I got to college -- then I just couldn't relate to anyone enough to make friends. Since then, I've had a very hard time striking up conversations with people or getting close enough to acquaintances to make new friendships.

    I also know that I have never felt like I belonged, anywhere. And I know that's *my* problem and it has nothing to do with whatever environment I'm in. I carry the left-out feeling with me. The thing is, though, that in high school I found other people who felt like that, and we all became friends. But now that I'm older, I don't really know where to look.

By Spider on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 01:54 pm:

    PS. I think that, looking at what you read objectively, the answer is that you have to hang around the same people long enough that you all become comfortable enough to tell stories, rant, etc. So you should probably go to the potluck.

    But I know that if I were in your position, I wouldn't even consider going to the potluck.

    But wait. I have a company picnic to go to next Friday that I'm not looking forward to. But I've worked here for two years. I'm sure I could think of things to say to my coworkers. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't feel awkward. We all went out to a movie a couple of months ago, and that was fine. Maybe I'll go. I just won't stay the whole time.

By patrick on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 01:58 pm:

    As logical as it seems that you would be able to easily meet people in your school, church or work with common interests, it never seems to work out that way.

    I shudder at workplace gatherings. I barely speak to anyone here.

    Almost all of my solid friends have been met in some other way. I know everyone i know in LA because we went to a Yo La Tango show. We had been here for 2 weeks and were going batty not knowing anyone (and subsequently no pot). We got upstairs to the VIP lounge and proceeded to chat with this lone jewish kid, sitting by himself. We hit it off right away. Because of him we subsequently met everyone we now know. Nico is better at striking up conversations with strangers than I am. I always feel like im invading their privacy (privacy said with an english accent please)

    So, I wouldnt worry about it too much kazoo. Atlanta is a big place and hard to meet peeps. I can introduce you, if you like...perhaps meet up at a show or something. Thats how i met two of our best friends, who live in Athens. We met up at a show and became the best of friends because we all had common music interests. If you are interested, email me.

    Spider, when was the last time you met someone outside of work or church?

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:00 pm:


    Thanks. I've read some of your posts from the past and I had a feeling you'd understand. (isn't that so wierd how I can just do that and come in here knowing all kinds of stuff..?)

    Anyway, I know it has a lot to do with the fact that I don't really like people much. But I also know that there are likeable people out there...that's when old feelings of self-doubt sort of cloud my inability to see that they might also like me. I usually end up making connections, but it takes me a long time.

    I was thinking about you the other day. We have one of those do-it-yourself libral arts programs here that you might want to check out. I don't know if it Atlanta is your kind of place but the program is interesting and we also have a religion grad school program here and so you might be able to apply your interest in religious (you say Catholicism, right?) history as well.

    emory ila

By patrick on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:01 pm:

    i was scanning the Creative Loafing....

    go to the Echo tonight...see the Forty Fives.

    tell them patrick and nico (quote "the hottie red head") in la said hello...

    baddabing baddabooom you've meet some very cool cats

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:09 pm:

    Thanks Patrick, that's sweet. For all of my social phobias, I think that kind of arrangement would work for me. When I get some money and start actually going to said shows, I'll let you know. Part of my thing is that I also need to create a social space that is outside of school.

    Grad school isn't like the experience that a lot (but by no means all) of people have in undergrad where you are kind of thrust into a group that you eat meals in the dining hall with or go to parties with every weekend and which then kind of narrows itself down as people decide who they really want to be with. At least that's how it happened for me.

    Spider, you are right about having to hang around people long enough. I'll do just that.

    Workplace gatherings suck. I met my other other half (Shannon) at work and part of the reason why we got along so well was because of how much we hated those kind of workplace social events.

By dave. on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:22 pm:

    i never feel more alone than when i'm surrounded by a group of people. poor agatha, the extrovert, always asking me if i wanna go to so-and-so's for dinner or go see some band or go do anything really and i always say no. i'm fine when i go places alone because i can leave when i've had enough but when i'm going with agatha, i have to stay until she's done and she's always the last person to leave. even going out to eat, if i can get it to go, i'll go out and eat it in the car. we have some really cool friends but i still dread gatherings with them. agatha says some of them feel like i don't like them which really couldn't be farther from the truth. it's all me.

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:37 pm:

    thanks for sharing dave. really :)

    part of my problem is that I am usually very outgoing and tell all these outrageous stories and make all kinds of crazy pop-culture references. It's just often, especially in big groups, I'm slow to warm up.

    When I tell people who know me or have met me in circumstances where I'm Super Kazoo, that I have these social phobias, they don't believe me.

By J on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:37 pm:

    I'll go anywhere that serves free beer,the more I drink the more I talk,till I start getting seriously tanked,then I'm real quiet and probably thinking of oblivia

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:39 pm:

    J, I hear that. That makes things a lot easier. The problem is that I can't drink that much anymore.

By J on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:48 pm:

    I have that same problem,I use to drink staggering amounts of beer,pitcher after pitcher,now I'm lucky if I can drink two beers I get so bloated,so I swiched to the hard stuff.

By dave. on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:58 pm:

    "thanks for sharing dave. really :)"

    hey, now. don't be dismissive with me, young lady.

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 02:58 pm:

    Nice. Before I went to school for the first time, I stopped drinking beer in favor vodka-tonics for that exact same reason. On the night of my going away party, I drank myself stupid, something like 9 razberi-stoli vodka tonics.

    I can't drink much of anything now what because of the pills and all. Every now and then I get a little toasty, but nothing like before.

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:00 pm:

    "hey, now. don't be dismissive with me, young lady."

    I wasn't. Not at all. I thought that was swell.

    Will you ever forgive me? Please?

By Spider on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:03 pm:

    Heh. Kazoo, girl, I did my final psych project on social phobia, because I already knew all about it. I told my class that I was the visual aid, because I was a wreck up there on stage during my presentation.

    My social anxiety acts up when I'm in groups of people, whether they're new or not. I'm fine when I'm one-on-one with someone new, but there is a direct proportion between the number of people at a gathering and my level of anxiety.

    Patrick, the answer to your question is....what do you mean by met? A few weeks ago, my brother brought one of his friends down when he visited me...does that count? If you mean new friends....uhhhhhh.... I still keep in touch with some of my friends from high school (like Rainey, my former roommate -- we've known each other since we were fourteen), but I haven't made any new friends since my senior year in college, and I'm no longer in touch with them. I'm friendly with my co-workers, but I don't do things after hours with them. (There's that "not relating" problem again.)

    The horrible thing about my workplace gatherings is that one of my co-workers is aware that I don't like to socialize, and she goes out of her way to encourage me to participate in things and go places, etc. Which makes me feel good, on one hand, because it's nice of her to take an interest in me. But, on the other hand, oh, how I'd much rather stay here and work. Really.

    I remember posting here while everyone else except for my boss was at the company Christmas party, held in some sports restaurant place you couldn't have paid me to go to When my boss asked why I wasn't there, I told him straight, "I'm shy," and I think he thought I was being sarcastic. No.

    Dave, if I may make a suggestion, you should do what my father does. When my father wants to leave a party, he just gets up, announces that he's had a good time, thanks, but it's time for him to go, and then he leaves. He and my mother always took separate cars to parties for that reason. Some people think he's rude, but those who know him know he's not -- it's just time for him to go. Being a man works in your favor...if you're a girl and you do this, people get mad. I've tried it.
    Also, if there's anyone in your party who is secretly dying to leave, they'll be very grateful because now you've opened up the chance for them to go, and you may find yourself more popular with those people.

By dave. on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:03 pm:

    probably. we'll see. . .

By dave. on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:09 pm:

    "The horrible thing about my workplace gatherings is that one of my co-workers is aware that I don't like to socialize, and she goes out of her way to encourage me to participate in things and go places, etc."


    agatha will have other people call and invite me because sometimes i have a harder time saying no to them than i do saying no to her. pure evil.

By patrick on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:20 pm:

    well yes spider that answers my question, and sorta surmizes what i suspected.

    a key difference between you and kazoo is she's willing to try. you arent.

    "If you mean new friends....uhhhhhh.... I still keep in touch with some of my friends from high school (like Rainey, my former roommate -- we've known each other since we were fourteen), but I haven't made any new friends since my senior year in college, and I'm no longer in touch with them. I'm friendly with my co-workers, but I don't do things after hours with them."

    This really strikes me spider...i wish there was something i could do.

    im fortunate dave....nico is has always been ready to leave when i am.

    we usually duck out together...in fact we have an eye-communication system that works in this situation.

    we meet in the bathroom, make our get away plan and steal away without having to go and say drawn out good byes to everyeone we'll see next weekend.

By Spider on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:35 pm:

    Oh, please don't feel sorry for me. That makes me feel gross. I'm really not unhappy, trust me. I'm unhappy with my job, but I'm going to go back to school soon, and that will take care of that.

    Now I'd better get back to my job.

By patrick on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:40 pm:

    you're fucking weird spider.

    are you going to be one of those old kooky ladies who lives alone with 170 cats?

By Spider on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:44 pm:

    I don't like cats. Maybe I'll breed dogs...

By patrick on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:46 pm:

    Guinea pigs?

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:47 pm:

    School is the best place if you don't like people. You just can't get to stuck on the idea of being the stoic intellectual. As long as I can find one or two people that I can connect with and can count on for a venting session over some beer, I'm good.

    Spider, can you make me a dog? Did you look at the ILA?

By Spider on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 03:58 pm:

    I think I'd like something more focused, but this caught my eye:

    ILA 790 001: Vernacular Modernities I - Knauft

    That sings my name.

By Spider on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 04:01 pm:

    PS. What kind of dog would you like? I like big fat happy dogs, myself. I would design something like a lab, but bigger.

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 04:01 pm:

    I'm reading a book by him for my Anthro class. He's supposed to be terrific

By kazoo on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 04:04 pm:

    I like big dogs. I want a great dane.

By patrick on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 04:08 pm:

    can you imagine curbing those fuckers.

    you need a Bobcat to walk those dogs.

By dave. on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 04:40 pm:

By Dani on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 06:13 pm:

    It has always put a huge smile on my face when I see all you guys being all helpful and supportive.
    Kazoo had a problem being around people and all of you were right there to offer help and suggestions.
    It's times like this when I realize why I continue to come here.
    You all can be so awesome sometimes and I consider myself lucky to be able to see the good in all of you.

By agatha on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 06:40 pm:

    i want that big slobbery mastiff, in particular.

    dani, you're gushing! that's so sweet.

By Dougie on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 07:01 pm:

    Nah agatha, get a GSP.

    Dani, I was going to be supportive too, and I had written out a bigass post at work, but alas, I had to hit the bosskey when the bossman came in. Really. True story. Supportive post, then poof. Gone. Basically along the lines that I feel the same way as kaz and spidey, and was wondering the other day about why people keep coming back here, that it must fulfill a need which probably most of us don't get through other human contact, yada yada yada, a really boring post so don't lose sleep over missing out on it, but it was supportive.

By Dani on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 07:14 pm:

    Me? Sweet?
    Yeah maybe. Sometimes it just warms me inside to see some of the hardest being so kind and sensitive.
    By the way Agatha, I read Dave's post about him being all loner like and you being the out going one. I used to be so outgoing and always surrounded by friends but for the last year or so, I've just become such a loner.
    I used to have to force my husband to go to social events and now I just have no interest in going anywhere.
    It's weird and I have no idea what the hell happened to me. I just became a hermit.
    But, I know one thing...I get in alot less trouble by just staying home or close to home.
    Funny how life just changes so much and people just change so much.

By Gee on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 09:55 pm:

    I love being around people. I really come alive when I'm surrounded by others, and I hate being alone for long periods of time.

    even still, I NEVER make friends in class. Never Ever Ever. I'm great at making friends at work, but even there I had to work there for a year before I felt comfortable enough to really talk to people. I feel like I belong at the library, so it's easy for me to talk to others.

    in class, though, I always feel like I shouldn't be there. I think I give off vibes of "Leave Me Alone", because I actually dread the idea of someone trying to talk to me. I always get so puppy-like excited when someone in class talks to me. My instinct is "Oh! A chance! I must impress!" and I hate myself like that. I can't just be Me.

    I'm going to miss the library so much when I don't work there anymore, in a year or so.

By moonit on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 01:47 am:

    I have issues with people I think.

    I don't do well in big groups unless I know a majority of the people around. No-one believes me when I say I am shy. But I seriously am.

    One on one is easy, I can yammer on for ages.... When I first started my new job in January I didn't like the people. At my old job we went for ciggie breaks, lunch breaks, dinner breaks, and goss, went to the pub in the middle of production nights because we were waiting for stuff. Now though, things are better. I'm slowly bonding with most of the people. But I don't think I'd like to hang out with them outside of work.

By wisper on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 03:05 pm:

    i stopped meeting people when i started to quit smoking. I always carry a lighter thought, just in case. Really, it was my only social chance to meet people, and it's so easy too.
    Honestly, i'm trying to think of any friends i met *without* the aid of cigs, and it's very difficult.
    Pathetic, even.

    i haven't met anyone in ages.

By Ophelia on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 05:29 pm:

    I'm doing okay with meeting people here, mostly cause everyone else is trying to make friends also. It just feels strange that everyone I hang out with here i have known for less than 2 weeks. That makes me feel lonely, even when I'm surrounded by friendly people.

    Gee, I have the same problem with meeting people in class. This is a bad thing, because I have no one to go to if I need help on homework, and in some classes I know nobody. Also, I am terrible with names, and bad with faces too, so even if talked with someone once i dont know who they are and I cant locate them again. but i'll figure out who they are eventually. i especially want to know who the nice guy who i talked to coming out of my scenic design class is, because he seems like a person who i want to know and i dont know anyone from that class.

By kazoo on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 03:06 pm:

    Okay, Dougie here's the story about when "I've Just Seen a Face," one of the most upbeat love songs, made me cry. It's longer than I anticipated.

    I used to be very insecure. Extremely insecure. Painfully insecure.

    Anyway, eventually I felt a little better but no matter how much my self-esteem improved I still couldn't shake this idea that there was something fundamentally wrong with me; something that prevented people from wanting to date me.

    I had this teacher in high school who told our class that every group of girl-friends has an "ugly one." And he had proof of this. He asked his sister why she and her friends hung out with this particular girl if they thought she was so ugly. And she said, "because you have to have an ugly one." So I kind of carried this around with me for about ten years. I could only imagine that the reason that so many people "liked" me was because I was intelligent and funny, but still the "ugly one."

    (Can I tell you that as I am typing this I feel terrible, not just because it's a painful memory, but because of how many still feel this way.)

    So anyway, a few years ago, around Christmas time I was driving home from hanging out with my "cuter" friends and listening to Beatles CDs. That song came on and I just lost it, thinking that no one was EVER going to feel that way about me.

    A few months later (Feb 2001), I don't know what happened but I looked in the mirror and just snapped out of it. I'll never forget that moment. I still have issues when it comes to relating to people, and sometimes I think that everyone hates me. But I have NEVER gone back to that level of self-loathing.

    I can't believe I just told you guys that. (The crying over the song part, not the stupid teacher part. I tell that story a lot.)

By Dougie on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 03:38 pm:

    Thanks Kazoo. Curiousity satisfied. Glad you overcame it. It's pretty fucked up what one's own mind can do to one's self.

    I'm now singing, "Yes, yes you're going to lose that girl, you're going to loooooose that girl, you're going to lo-oo-oo-oose, that, gi-rl." in my head. I hope that has happy memories for you.

By Gee on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 03:55 pm:

    Kazoo, if you lived in Toronto I would fall in love with you.

By eri on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 06:13 pm:

    If I didn't know you better I would think that you were my twin. I went through the same thing, until I finally looked in the mirror and saw some potential. I did things a little differently. I went down a path of selfishness and fickleness and ridiculous spending to try to be one of the "beautiful people" and I did it, but became what I once hated. Not that I was mean to others who I didn't feel at that point fit in to my clique, but that I just didn't have anything to do with them. I just remember going to the movies on a date with this hot looking guy (who I couldn't figure out why he was interested in me) trying so hard to be beautiful by his side, and he looked at me in the strangest way, and said "You carry yourself like you are just like everyone else but you aren't. Don't you know that? Don't you see that? You aren't like everyone else, because you are exceptional." I will never forget that. It was then I took a look at who I was and who I could be and started becoming, just me and happy with that. Of course, I caught this guy cheating on me about 5 months later, but it was a LDR, and I was only 18 so I didn't worry about it. I just moved on but will never forget when he said that, and that he was actually sincere.

By agatha on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 06:45 pm:

    everyone goes through phases when they feel ugly. i've never been particularly vain or consumed with thinking about my personal appearance, and i've still felt that way many times in my life. as a matter of fact, i am going through a phase like that right now, due to my unsatisfying sedentary job that has caused me to gain 20 pounds in less than a year.

    i'm not saying this to belittle your experience, but as an assurance to your lack of freakiness for feeling this way.

    after i had cleo, i looked horrible and puffy and bruised, and one of my friends told me that i looked like natalie on "the facts of life." i cried. i cried about everything at that point in life, though, come to think about it.

By kazoo on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 07:16 pm:

    Gee, I guess this means I'm not one of your annoying 5? Aren't you sweet!

By kazoo on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 07:17 pm:

    Eri, this is so funny. It's not exactly the same, but there are some interesting parallels to my story. The guy that I was involved with at the time I had that huge change in perspective was also someone who consistently tried to convince me that I was beautiful. And it was a long distance thing. And then one weekend he called me up and it was all tears and "Iloveyou" and the next weekend it was, I fucked someone else.

    Anyway, I don't credit him with any of that because now I think he's an asshole and he wasn't saying anything I hadn't heard already, from many friends over the years. It was just time for me to actually see it for myself.

    And I still have my moments, and lots of them. I couldn't recreate that flash of unbridled narcissism I had in the bathroom that morning (February 10, 2001) if I tried. (That's probably a good thing.)

By kazoo on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 07:26 pm:

    Agatha, I assure you, I make up for my "lack of freakiness" elsewhere ; )

    I'm turning into a crying person. I kind of like it, not being upset, but the release. I was never like this before. I only wish it wouldn't happen in random public places over silly things.

By JusMiceElf on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 07:30 pm:

    ya know, ever since my dad died, I start to get misty if something hits me just right. I never used to cry at movies, or stories people told, or books or any of that. Now, it's probably a couple of times a month or so...

By eri on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 08:27 pm:

    I am the same way. I never cried at movies and if it was some sappy movie that made you cry I would just hate it. I never cried unless it was like nervous breakdown need of therapy bad (like when Christopher was hurt) but lately, I cry at movies or during a certain song (music does it) or when I get that feeling that reminds me of Grandma (its been almost a year) and that happens more frequently, but I just go with it.

By agatha on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 08:37 pm:

    i cry at stupid things all the time. the last thing that made me cry was this video that dave had downloaded by sigur ros that showed these two young soccer playing lads that were gay, and it was so sad. dave made fun of me.

By eri on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 08:59 pm:

    Last time was listening to Kelly Clarkson from American Idol sing I surrender. For some reason it just hit me. Spunky asked if I was getting depressed.

By kazoo on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 09:08 pm:

    I've had a couple of good cries in the last few weeks. The last time I let the tears flow in public was when Sem and I went to the MLKJr. Historical center. Even then I held in what I could. The other night at the co-op they were playing a really cheezy love song from the 70s and I had to read all the tea boxes until it was over.

By Antigone on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 09:11 pm:

    It's great hearing stories of people changing the way they see their appearance. I've gone through a similar change in the past year, and under similar circumstances.

    Last night I was telling my girlfriend about an experience I had in high school. When I was a freshman and just starting marching band, one of the drum majors, Misty, kept pinching my ass. It really pissed me off! I was angry because I assumed she was just fucking with me. I didn't consider, even for a moment, that she might have been attracted to me.

    See, I grew up always being overweight. People's comments about my appearance were almost universally negative. I remember once, ONCE, an old lady down the block saying, "You'll grow up to be a hansome man."

    I realized last night that my bad self image has been a constant thing since childhood.

    But in the last two years I've changed my outlook. Some of it was my doing: I just got sick of feeling ugly. Some of it was getting back in shape. But a key part was that I got encouragement and compliments from someone special to me. (Coincidentally, like kazoo, it was from soneone I was in a long distance relationship with.) She was very physically attractive and so having her tell me I was attractive meant a whole lot. She also told the the ways I was attractive, and was very descriptive. That gave me ample evidence, ideas I could repeat to myself, that helped me set aside my old self image.

    Sadly I also used that new confidence and dallied with someone else.

    I've decided, though, that some good can come of it, and not just for me. I want to help anyone, especially those I love, to feel better about the way they look. My girlfriend as problems with her self image, and I'm determined to help her the way I was helped. And I know that when I have kids they'll probably have the same problems I had. I want to know how to encourage them, how to help them feel good about themselves. I've held myself back for so long, and I never want to see someone I care about do the same.

By Ophelia on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 11:03 pm:

    i'm only 18 and have these issues still. one of the reasons i first came here was because you all cant see me. growing up i was always bigger than girls my age, and now i am still larger than average. why i am telling you this now, i guess, is that reading this thread i feel like you will understand, and also that now you sort of know who i am without seeing me. the internet's crazy like that. but there you go.

    i still feel like "the ugly one" a lot of the time. but more and more i've been feeling better about myself. my body hasn't changed recently, i've just become more comfortable with it. so what if my jeans are size 14, i still think i'm a beautiful person, and my size is right for me. i still have to convince myself of this pretty much every day, but i really do believe it most of the time.

    i have a lot of insecurities. i dont know how i'm typing this without being emotional. i feel like a lot of my insecurities come from my negative self image. (the rest come from my inability to stand up to my mother.) there are days when i feel so fucking ugly and like no one will ever love me. i'm not gonna get into that feeling, cause i might just convince myself its true. besides, i'm pretty sure the feeling is universal. other days i feel like my positive feelings about myself are just lies, a defense mechanism against depression. thats almost worse than the other. well, maybe they are, but that doesn't mean i shouldn't believe them, eh? i'm being logical. logical doesn't always work so well when trying to believe what might be lies. oh well.

    at the moment, anyhow, i feel proud of myself for giving up the invisibility crutch just a little.

By Ophelia on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 11:06 pm:

    i'm smiling, cause i almost didn't post that, but i did......

By kazoo on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 - 11:20 pm:

    I was just going to say that I am happy you posted...that was brave.

    I'd say more, but I am completely exhausted and have to go to bed....

    It was nice to hear from you too Antigone

By J on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 03:34 am:

    I'm only happy when it rains.

By Spider on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 08:40 am:

    I feel like I've found my family! I have fucked up insecurities about my appearance and self-worth, too!

    I remember my mom telling me I was pretty once, and my dad said, "let's not exaggerate." My eyes are welling up thinking about that now. The bastard.

    I've started aerobics classes (just this Monday), so I'm hoping that getting stronger and fitter will help me feel better about myself.

By Dougie on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 09:22 am:

    Damn Spider, you should've kicked him in the nuts. Although wait, does he have a "joking around with you" relationship -- me and my sister say crap like that all the time to each other, like "Wow, you look pretty today -- pretty ugly that is" etc.

By Spider on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 11:04 am:

    No, he was serious. Then again, he likes me much better than my (much more attractive) brother, because I'm responsible, I use my brain, and I'm good to him and my mom....and my brother's not. So maybe this was his way of teaching me to be a good person.

    I like to think of the line from Yeats' poem called "A Prayer for my Daughter" -- "Hearts are not had as gifts but hearts are earned by those who are not entirely beautiful."

By Ophelia on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 11:18 am:

    thanks kazoo. it means a lot.

    and thanks everyone here for accepting me and making me feel less alone.

By patrick on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 11:57 am:

    this thread is makin me uncomfortable and insecure

By kazoo on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 12:14 pm:

    I like to think of a passage from my favorite Yeats poem, "Among School Children":

    Labour is blossoming or dancing where
    The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
    Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
    Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
    O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
    Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
    O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
    How can we know the dancer from the dance?

    ...yeah, geeky, but what can you do?

By kazoo on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 01:03 pm:



By patrick on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 01:14 pm:

    it seems like one big therapy session in which everyone spills their insecurities on the table for all to sort through.

    Its sorta like seeing naked pictures of people you don't want to see naked or when spunk talks about his sex life.

    Its just odd. Almost too personal like walking into someone's house very early in the morning...someone you don't really know that well, but the smells you detect are heavy and personal and private. You feel like you shouldnt be there. You know?

By kazoo on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 01:25 pm:


    It's just the opposite of those who find it more comforting knowing that other people feel this way, and also makes the idea of self-loathing less taboo.

By Antigone on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 06:07 pm:

    "I'm only happy when it rains."

    Well, shit, J! Move out of Arizona! :)

By Antigone on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 06:11 pm:

    "Its sorta like seeing naked pictures of people you don't want to see naked or when spunk talks about his sex life. "

    Fuck all, patrick! I find that ironic coming from someone who HAS posted naked pictures of himself...

    And, why are you so squeamish now? I've been reading this site for over four years and have read, and posted, much more sensitive stuff. What makes this info so unsettling?

By patrick on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 06:26 pm:

    yeah i did have nakey shots. i remember gee being made uncomfortable from seeing them. that was 2 + years ago mind you.

    eh. so what. im comfortable in my few inconsistancies.

    eh...i've been trying to overcome self pity issues as of late and i find entertaining others is a bit tiresome. im just waiting for Stuart Smalley to pop out with the daily affirmation.

    In the grand scheme of things as of late, this shit seems so unimportant (war, being a father, economy etc.)

    nevermind me

By Antigone on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 07:04 pm:

    "im comfortable in my few inconsistancies."

    You also seem comfortable with being an asshole.

    ".i've been trying to overcome self pity issues as of late and i find entertaining others is a bit tiresome"

    Then don't read it, bitch!

    "In the grand scheme of things as of late, this shit seems so unimportant (war, being a father, economy etc.)"

    Dismissing other's problems because children are starving in China, are we? That's nice. But at the same time you've lumped being a new father in with war and the economy. Just another of your "inconsistancies," eh? Hmmmm...can we say "narcissist"?

    Don't worry patrick. I don't mind you at all.

By patrick on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 07:26 pm:


    i didnt read 90%. i made a small smart allecky statement that kazoo asked about and you have asked for further elaboration on.

    So you kinda trapped me fuckwit. I wasnt making any big deal. You asked.

    "But at the same time you've lumped being a new father in with war and the economy. Just another of your "inconsistancies," eh? Hmmmm...can we say "narcissist"?"

    What? Im was saying whats been on my mind man. What is so narcissistic about that?

By Antigone on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 07:57 pm:

    Ferget it. Go away.

By heather on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 02:00 am:

    last week my mom called and during the conversation said this:
    "...i'm not pretty, i've never been pretty..." about herself. i don't really remember the context.

    it made me livid. i asked her if she was fucking crazy.
    then i almost started crying and thinking about how my dad must be such an ass if she thinks that about herself.


    it's making me tired.

By Spider on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 08:33 am:

    My mom is like that, too, Heather. She's beautiful -- I have a picture of her on my desk at age 31, and she has a gorgeous smile, and I'd think that even if she weren't my mother. But her own mother wrecked her self-esteem when she was a girl, and she honestly believes she's ugly.

By kazoo on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 12:09 pm:

    My mother is extremely insecure. Not just
    about how she looks but about everything. It
    makes me really sad, especially since she
    now has my step-father who is happy to
    reassure her about anything and not just
    because he thinks she needs to hear it, but
    because he wants to tell her nice things

    I'm just like her, but I'm getting better. And
    that's something else she blames herself for,
    despite the fact that I do not.

    My father is even worse. But his situation is
    complicated by his mental illness which has
    left him completely broken. He had a manic
    relapse last year and while he was recovering
    used to call me and talk about everything (and
    I mean, everything) that was on his mind,
    especially about how insecure he was and
    how growing up he didn't think he'd ever
    amount to anything, and that he was ugly. It
    was horrible.

    Yeah, life...completely exhausting

By patrick on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 12:17 pm:

    "it made me livid. i asked her if she was fucking crazy."

    thats how i feel heather when i hear similar statements from people.

    how responsible are others for your self esteem though? I ask this not because of what I think but more for where you think the line is.

    On one hand you have extreme verbal abuse since early childhood continuing on into adolescence and on the other you have a some random passewr-by calling you ugly.

    Where's the line? Is it individual? Where's the point in which you demand one's intelligence over come the obvious irrationality of said source of verbal abuse?

By kazoo on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 12:40 pm:

    i think it's really complicated. and I think
    notions of blame and responsibility don't get
    at the problem. On the one hand you have
    family dynamics, on the other you have a
    society that puts unattainable standards on
    people (not just women) and then you have
    individual personalties that are more or less
    sensitive to all of these things (despite their
    actual expereinces)...all these things interact.
    And in the end you get a lot of insecure people
    who are insecure about a lot of things...but you
    notice patterns, and in keeping with this
    conversation...a lot of women who feel ugly
    and worthless because of that, despite any
    and all evidence to the contrary.

    So what do you do? Personally, I think in the
    end, individuals are responsible for their own
    security and contentment, but we don't live in a
    vacuum. I don't feel responsible for anyone's
    self-esteem but I also feel that I can and
    should do things for people that I wish people
    had done for me...like telling my friends that
    they are beautiful and having these
    conversations so that no one feels that they
    are the only one who feels this way and on
    and on and on...

    It's so frustrating when you hear people being
    hard on themselves, but it's not that easy to
    just wake up and change your mind because
    you "know" all the bad shit isn't true.
    Something else has to happen so that you
    stop "knowing" that you are attractive and
    wonderful, and start "feeling" that way.

By patrick on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 01:30 pm:

    you so smart.

    me need me some ehjucashun

By semillama on Sunday, October 6, 2002 - 06:33 pm:

    For the life of me, i can't figure out why either
    spunky or antigone haven't jumped all over

By patrick on Monday, October 7, 2002 - 11:39 am:


By kazoo on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 12:38 pm:

    This is how absurd my fear of people is. It's cold here and we've had frost/freeze warnings for this morning and tomorrow.

    I don't have heat in my apartment. Why? Because I haven't called the office to ask them how or to send someone to light the pilots in the heaters. Why? I don't know. I don't think it's people I fear as much as "asking" for things. Yes, I know how STUPID this sounds...and I am really not as helpless and needy as it sounds...it's just that I run into these moments of ineptitude and I don't know why.

    Anyway, the reason that I am telling you all this is that I am banking on the fact that you WILL think I am a total moron and embarass myself into calling. I'm not coming back until I can say that I've taken care of this.

    Thank you for your time.

By Spider on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 12:46 pm:

    Hey, I still haven't gotten my pilot light on my oven lit, and it went out a couple of months ago.

    (To be fair to myself, I called my building manager twice to get it lit and he never did anything. I couldn't think of an unaggressive way to make the third call, so...I've just been cooking on the stove. I'm getting a new manager soon, and I'll try him then. Hooray, I'm saved!)

By Czarina on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 01:10 pm:

    [1] Kazoo, you have the God-given inalianable right to be warm. Its in the constitution,or 10 commandments,or somewhere. Make that call and warm your keester.Now.

    [2] Spider, its not that hard to light a pilot light on an oven. You can do it. I know you can.If you are in doubt,call an appliace store,and they will give you instructions. You have the God-given inalianable right to broil and bake.

    Now go do it. Both of you :)

By kazoo on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 03:04 pm:

    Cz, it's in my lease...and that's what is important.

    thanks ladies. I called. Someone will be over soon.

    I discovered that it is warmer outside than it is in my apartment.

    I also made an appointment with a new therapist.

By agatha on Monday, November 18, 2002 - 03:45 pm:

    Good girl. Now, on to Spider...

    Call that man and chew his ass out if he doesn't come to light your stove. You seem even more frightened than me to offend people or have them think you are a bitch. Sometimes it can be empowering to stand up for yourself, and besides you won't have to deal with him for very much longer, so give him hell. Tell him you're going to call his boss if he doesn't get his ass up the stairs and into your apartment within the next 3 days.

By Czarina on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 04:52 am:

    And stomp your foot for emphasis! It is empowering.

By Spider on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 08:35 am:

    Ah, I bailed. My apartment was an unholy mess, and I felt that I had to clean it before I let anyone in to light my fire (hee!).

    Anyway, now it's sorta clean, so I'll fill out a service request tonight. The new building manager's first day was yesterday.

By agatha on Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 11:44 am:

    wimp! at least you're taking care of it.


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