Emotionally Damaging

It’s now a long time since the episode I wrote about in this post. It is with some regret that, unfortunately, the person involved is still praying on my mind. And I really can’t understand why.

I am quite an emotional person underneath everything. I do a very good job of disguising my fragility, but once exposed I am a wreck. And I am struggling to cope with it.

I can’t count any more the number of times people have taken the piss with me. I have only recently accepted in my own mind that I can and should engage in relationships with men. And yet the introduction I feel like I’ve had into the world has been shocking. I wouldn’t mind so much if people were honest and up front – if I’m not your type, then say so.

But it has amazed me how many guys not only don’t do that, but actively spend time to cause you harm. I can’t believe how many people appear to engage in forms of psychological manipulation. Some of it is relatively low level, such as blanking someone, but the fact that I have now, on multiple occasions, engaged in chats with people which have gone positively, sometimes spanning multiple days (in one case two months) only for them suddenly to either a) disappear off the face of the Earth (never login again); or b) block you.

There was one episode last Sunday morning with a guy who I’d previously chatted to a month earlier. He was nice and friendly. He appeared to be interested in building a relationship. We talked for about half an hour, getting to know each other. He seemed friendly and positive. Then suddenly the interaction ended, from his side, and nothing further happened.

A month later, he started talking to me again. And it appeared to be at a Day 0 moment. He had no recollection of our previous conversation (even though I could still see it in the app) and we started from nothing. I didn’t seek to correct him that we’d already spoken; I just wanted to roll with it and see.

Once again we got on well, even more so than last time. And the chat lasted a lot longer, well over an hour and a half. We certainly seemed to get on. He was more forward than last time, and I responded in turn by suggesting maybe it would be good to meet for a date at some point.

Then he disappeared. In front of my eyes. Blocked.

I was mortified. There was absolutely nothing I had said that could possibly have warranted being blocked. And at no point did the conversation appear to go off the rails to the degree that would have suggested to me that I was overstepping the line or was worthy of getting treated like that.

I sat contemplating my existence for well over an hour. I started to mentally replay the whole thing. What had I done wrong? Why would he behave as if everything was going really well and then block me? I was quite content, eventually, that there was either something wrong with him or he’s totally fake. But it bothered me. If that was indeed a real person, how could he be so unbelievably cruel to someone?

The upshot is this: when people tell you they like you, and are interested in you, actively, spontaneously, without prompting, then I cannot believe them. That’s pretty poor. No matter what people say to me now, I am now constantly making the assumption that it is a total lie, or that they are just “being nice”.

That’s difficult for me. I am a trusting person. I like to take people at their word. And I can’t any more. Even when people say they’re looking for friends, or relationships, or dates, they are lying.

Needless to say I am getting pretty despairing of the whole thing. I didn’t think people could be this horrible to one another. I should be less shocked… I usually have a dim view of the world, but in personal encounters I like to think people are motivated by good. But the evidence I’ve had is heavily to the contrary. Out of the hundreds of conversations I’ve had, most of them have either died in ignorance, blocking or maliciousness (as per above). I have met maybe 5 guys who I could count as genuinely nice people. And just that. Actual, normal, friendly people who you could get on with.

I am maybe going to back away from it for a bit. I feel a bit battle scarred right now. I already feel self conscious that I am not good enough looking – apparently not even for someone to be friends with me (hilarious) – and now I feel psychologically bruised by the silly games people play. I have never started a conversation and behaved in the way anyone has ever done to me. I wouldn’t dream of lying in such a bare-faced manner to a fellow human being and then dumping them. If I start something and it goes nowhere I leave it at that. I don’t start manipulating them. Or if there is no physical attraction I tell them they aren’t my type. I don’t block them.

Maybe someone needs to draw up some sort of code of conduct. Cos it seems people just can’t be nice any more.

Isn’t that what your parents told you?

The Seven Signs of Ageing

In the last month or so I have really been scrutinising my appearance so closely. It feels to me like there is something going on in me. It’s like my body knows I am approaching 30. It is shutting down anything that made me young and turning on the rubbish that makes you look mid-aged.

So I am noticing I now have extra lines under my eyes when I smile. And the front of my face has distinctive lines at the side of my mouth. And I have a jowelly appearance, more so than ever. And the formation of a double chin. Which is mad because I couldn’t be much slimmer. Things are just starting to sag generally. It’s depressing.

In line with some of the posts I wrote in the past about my hair, and how I find this aspect of me frustrating I really don’t know how I will ever learn to accept what’s happening to me. I regret how long it has taken me to bother exploring my own feelings and I feel that the ravages of 10 years on my appearance is actually making it more difficult to do so. If I’d explored my feelings even 5 years ago I’d have certainly been a totally different person now, maybe more comfortable with who I am, and not lost the opportunity to interact with a whole range of other guys. Now I am finding my age and lack of youthful appearance is a barrier.

Another hang up. Another problem that I have added to my massive list of issues already. Just what I wanted. Maybe that’s why I didn’t bother for so many years.

In fact, when I reanalyse old thoughts, I am certain that was part of it. The fear of rejection has always been a massively strong presence. I never wanted to ask anyone out on a date, or anything like that, just because I was always worried about what I would feel if it went wrong. That is my life in general. Mr Unrisky.

So the age signs aren’t helping. The age is making me think I am more likely to fail. More likely to be rejected. And so I struggle on.

It’s an interesting distraction from work though. I have to be honest, I am somewhat enjoying the fact that I can often go home from work, or spend a Sunday, just seeing if my social life does actually exist. Cos sometimes it actually does. I speak to more people now than ever. That might be more of a positive note to end on than usual…