Do You See Me?

**warning in advance: i wrote this (and most of my posts) spur of the moment and didn’t spell/grammar check it ha sry!!!! amateur work i know!!*

I had an interesting conversation with my therapist the
other day. Let me explain.

I was telling her about how I usually feel overlooked in
social situations. Let me explain more. I was talking about how, over the
weekend, I went to a birthday party for two of my friends. The whole time I was
there I was both consciously and subconsciously carrying myself with the
assumption that everyone at the party was overlooking me. I wish I could more
accurately and more rationally explain what I mean by this so it makes sense to
other people reading.

Generally (i.e. all the time) I feel like I am less visible
than everyone else around me. Okay, to be fair I guuuuuuuuesss I don’t ALWAYS
feel this way, because of course there are exceptions, but I almost always have
this thought in the back of my mind. I feel it less often in a group of close
friends, but occasionally, even then, this irrational thinking creeps in.

It’s the worst when I’m in any social situation where I could
be meeting new people, especially new ATTRACTIVE people that I could
potentially hook up with/go on a date with/etc. In any situation like that, I assume
I am automatically in last place. I feel immediately friend zoned, I mean like
immediately. I often find myself either: A) in A conversation with someone who’s
visibly only half interested in talking to me, or B) in a conversation with
someone that is planning to ask me to hook them up with my friend.

I should have prefaced this by saying, a large part of all
of this is just my anxiety talking. You may be reading this as a close friend
of mine and you may literally think I sound insane. Part of the problem with my
anxiety is that it causes me to see myself completely differently than the way
anyone else sees me. But that is also why I’m writing this… I want to attempt
to put words to those awful, demeaning, negative thoughts. And then I want to
learn how to change them.

Anyways, it has been this way for as long as I can remember.
I have always felt like the one in last place. The one still good enough to be
included, but not good enough to really matter. You know what I mean? Growing up
(when I finally made friends) I consistently felt like the mildly-awkward
filler of the group. I was never the group leader, never the one people went to
first with a secret or for advice, never the friend that got invited on the
1-on-1 playdates, and never the one picked as a partner for class projects. I
was always just the friend that came along with the group. The one that was
left out of the inside jokes, but was still around to hear everyone else
laughing at them.

As a kid though, in a lot of senses I didn’t try to fight
it. I was so appreciative that people weren’t picking on me anymore that the
last thing I wanted to do was stir the pot or make anyone upset. I would take
being the group’s filler friend over being left out of the group any day of the
week.

Then when boys came into the picture though, that’s when it
got harder for me. I cannot express the amount of times in middle and high
school that I became a boy’s best friend just so they could date one of my
friends. I cannot put into words the amount of times boys would call me crying
or complaining about friends of mine, asking for relationship advice. and I cannot
tell you the amount of times I let it all slide because I was attracted to
these guys who were blatantly overlooking me, and I figured I’d rather at least
have them as friends than as nothing at all.

College was the same thing, but it added a new demon to the
mix: date functions. Four years worth of date functions came and went and I was
never the one invited. By the time I graduated college I was 21 and had only
really ever had one (maaaaaaybe sort of two) mildly legitimate relationships. One
was before my senior year of high school with a boy a year older than me who I lost
my virginity to. In all honesty, he treated me very, very nicely at the time. But
he lost his virginity a week earlier than me to a girl in a bush in Myrtle Beach
right after he had graduated high school. And after our “relationship” ended
and he left for college, he hooked up with anyone that even looked in his
direction and proceeded to booty call me on holiday breaks for 3 solid years. The
other “relationship” was with a boy who asked me on a date in May of my senior
year, then immediately decided to date one of my best friends all summer
instead, and THEN after they broke up, he decided to pursue me again. And of
course, being naïve and 18, I fell for it. Why wouldn’t I? He was the first
person in years to say something nice to me and at least pretend to mean it,
duhhhhhh. That’s romance! Oh yeah and let me add, the relationship was long
distance ANNNND then he dumped me for another one of my best friends. Love is
real and it is adorable!

So okay let’s do the math:

[Friend zoned x(3 years of middle school + 3 years of high
school + 4 years of college)] + (illegitimate relationships x 2) + (a shitty
dad x 24 years of life) + (mild depression + generalized anxiety x average
female self-confidence issues) = 1 invisible feelin’ gurl!!!!

Okay but really, I’m not writing this to pity myself at all.
And I’m not writing it in hopes that someone will read it and reach out to me like
OMG YOU DESERVE MORE GURL YOU DESERVE LOVE!!!! That’s not the point at all.

These thoughts have been floating inside of my head for as
long as I can remember. And I think it’s extremely difficult to actually
articulate them, so until now I really just haven’t. I guess try to express
these feelings to people sometimes, in little ways, but I have a hard time at
explaining the big picture. So here I am, tryin’ to do that now!! I think by
putting it into words like this, it will help me to consciously reverse the way
I think sometimes.

I always say (as does the rest of the world, I think) that
confidence is sooooooo attractive. One of my biggest problems is that I don’t emulate
this kind of noticeable confidence at all. So in a sense, yes, I’m sure some
people are overlooking me for my friends simply because they truly are not (and
will never be) interested in me, but maybe some people are just waiting for me
to show them who I am. Maybe I’m selling myself short sometimes and writing
people off immediately by being passive and insecure. Maybe the reason I blend
in is more my fault than anyone else’s. 

What I’m trying to say is, maybe I need to have a little more faith in myself to show people that they can have faith in me too. 

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