I have never really liked any festive seasons or holidays, especially the well-celebrated ones. I am beginning to enjoy my birthday because it is a private celebration, and I choose to celebrate with just one person, or a few people (separately).
I used to hate my birthday, because mum invited many guests to celebrate joint birthday of my sister’s and mine – which is 4 days apart. I hate games, and children were mean to compare my happy sister to me, and I paled in comparison. I was uncooperative – I cannot emphasize enough that I hate games and role-play – and they called me party pooper. I failed to understand why I was unable to choose to do exactly what I wanted to do for my birthday.
My 21st birthday was another disaster that made me decide that I will not have another birthday party.
As a child, I was ‘forced’ to participate in most of the family gatherings. Over the many years, I blamed the angry man at home who spoilt the festive moods when his impatience almost always resulted in angry and hurtful outbursts in kick-starting the day.
Well, I can’t rule that out as a factor completely, it has always been a damper to start any day with a temper.
2011 has been a ‘mind-opener’ for me. It provides me with more accurate answers to all my misfits, possibly since birth.
As much as it answers many questions, it brings on a melancholic mood to the year-end holidays.
I rarely feel lonely. I am superbly good in keeping myself occupied and entertained, even when alone. I have always knew that I enjoy a certain amount of aloneness, but I hardly feel lonely.
It is different this time.
The failure of the first pseudo short-lived marriage provided a legitimate excuse not to attend family get-together. It was the best thing that happened out of the emotional wreck. I was alone, but I never felt lonely. It was sheer liberation.
Group gatherings are stressful for me, I could lose sleep for weeks and months. The intense fear of being the party pooper is overwhelming; I spent years developing skills to prevent a social disaster which I experienced as a child. It is extremely difficult to be disliked for no apparent reason – at least not known to me; children can be very mean in crushing the spirit of another child who is seemingly different from them.
I would come home and sob into the pillow. When confided in the family member, I was often dismissed as overly sensitive and usually asked to be ‘normal’. It almost always resulted in more frustration.
The Christmas and New Year that just passed, left me with a deep sense of sadness.
For the first time, I feel ‘lonely’. Looking at the happy photos of friends and family, I am daunted by the realization that I Don’t Belong.
Don’t get me wrong, although I am pretty much isolated from the real people, friends and family are extraordinarily understanding that I will not be participating most of the events – from weddings, to baby showers, to big and small gatherings – I do get invited to parties.
I feel lonely not because I am left out of the events; I feel lonely because I have come to realized that I can never enjoy that kind of joy that everyone else seems to take great pleasure in.
I was and am never able to soak into the joy manifested by crowd.
I know there is no better way for me to describe to you, it’s beyond words, but try to imagine yourself in a room filled with happy people. Everyone is laughing heartily at jokes made by someone, joke after joke. You are the only one not laughing, they told the jokes in a different language, foreign to you. Standing there, you feel you don’t belong. No one speaks your language; they wonder why you are not laughing when everyone is.
I feel that way, all the time. I don’t enjoy parties. I feel extremely stressed in using my limited social language to interact with too many active interactions going around.
It is true. I am incapable of taking ‘normal’ pleasures like everyone else. As a child, I enjoyed playing alone, I still do (that explains why I prefer playing majong with computer to playing with real people, it is stressful to play any games that involve other players). The toys don’t judge me, the toys are patient, the toys never abandon me. It is just very comfortable, because I am not expected to do and say the ‘right’ thing.
I am sure that I will come to make peace with myself, some day. There is nothing anyone can do to make this better, the sadness is derived from a realization of truth about my inabilities. In crochet craft, I find absolute solace.