Whilst suffering mild anxiety and weariness from my PCOS last night, I had something click for me. I was out at a poly meetup and despite how odd and disconnected I was feeling, I loved being there. The people were wonderful and kind, my partner was thoughtful and caring, and that magical creativity burst forth in conversation. I am an introvert, but I noticed a couple of nuances that make mine just that much stranger. I managed to still make a few friends, found a couple new ideas to add to my stories, and just had generally awesome discussions all night (when I wasn’t fleeing outside to smoke when the sound of all those voices started to feel as if it were moving through me, that is). Yet as those present began sharing stories it suddenly clicked for me. I understood why it was so hard for me to talk about myself with anyone. I knew what made it more difficult for me to forge friendships and why those I did form were more intense than traditional ones.
I could rarely ever have normal friends or friendships. Most of my conversations with people revolve around information, creativity, or philosophy. This is in part due to my addiction to these things. It is also due in part to the fact that I have very few happy or silly stories to share. The majority of my tales are either me helping someone in need or others taking advantage of or hurting me. The memories others so nonchalantly share hold no commonalities for me due to the fact that I literally have no applicable likenesses in mine. I feel like an alien because in a big sense I am. My experiences are heavy, complex, and intertwined. I do not often speak of them because the average person can not handle them, should not be introduced to them so early on, or would want to hear them for the wrong reasons.
I choose my friends carefully. For me, being introverted means choosing my interactions intentionally. The weight of my memories transforms every interaction into a possible investment, and the chance of loss is always greater than the chance for gain. I have long thought that the majority of people simply hate my guts but the real issue is something else entirely. What I have to offer and share is so far removed from most shared narratives. I am often overlooked. Only the rare person can begin to make sense of me. This means I am often more lonely than alone, but with the precious few I’ve found I can build happier memories. Together we’ve found new ways of relating and created our own narratives. I may never be normal. I may never understand all of the things people take for granted every day. I may never be able to make instant friends with others. But understanding how my life and experiences have altered the ways I can interact with others is an opportunity to better know myself, my boundaries, my abilities, and to seek what I truly need. I am the odd man out and that’s ok. I think I’m moving towards accepting that.