Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flying Into Windows

My social awkwardness is really catching up to me again- I should get out among people more, but I'm profoundly backward. I'm not good at intiating conversation, and if I do, I honestly don't know when to shut up. Most people who know me think I'm really outgoing, but the truth is I'm not. I have an extremely well-devloped coping mechanism that allows me to fake it.

Case in point is the band contest last night...after I was left to my own devices in the stands, I could've gone over and sat with my sister's best friend, or moved down with some of the alumni who have children in our band. Instead, I noticed a band grandparent who is a retired teacher from back home. I identify with her as one of the band moms from my era, so I sort of made myself go down to sit by her; I figured she wouldn't mind, and she knows my little "people problem". I kept up a steady stream of chatter except during the performances, and bless her heart, she was supremely patient with me about it. I wonder sometimes if people understand how important that is to me.

I wish I didn't always feel like I'm an afterthought or a burden. It's pricking me now for another reason- a phone message from my sister, who is at our parents' this weekend. Her birthday is Monday. One of the strange ways I express myself toward others is by being very meticulous about gift-giving; I have two presents for her, both carefully chosen, that I don't feel like taking to her now. I will, eventually, but she frequently rebuffs me in favor of her friends, almost never answering my calls, and then leaving messages about how she can't hang out with me because she's going home to spend time with her family.

This time, I called back and left her a voicemail: "Dammit, I'm your family, too!"

Yes, I'm lonely. There's the bottom line. My own sister can't be bothered to spend any time with me because I don't count as family. I really wonder what will happen someday when it's just us, and I remember her telling me on her wedding day that I was responsible for our parents because she had her own family now. Fact is, I bore the living hell out of my parents, and as intelligent as I'm supposed to be, they give me no credit whatsoever for knowing it. I love them, but I hate being around them because I know I'm the fifth wheel.

I hate always being underfoot, so I try (and usually fail) to make myself "useful". I scrub toilets, I do laundry, I go shopping, and attempt to stay out of everybody's hair. It would be a lot easier if I lacked the fundamental human desire to have social contact. Why in the hell couldn't I have had a clearcut case of Asperger's? Then I wouldn't care about any of this...

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