I am pretty sure others may do the same methods of fitting in as myself, but they seem quite systematic. It’s like I have a check list in my mind and I check each one-off as I go. It started from grade school on, with every passing year and situation I would get better and faster. I would observe my situation, study people, see which people would be a good fit, watch those I should stay away from, decide who I liked and who I did not, begin to take on the identity I thought I should have. My methods were not always successful since I am not the greatest at reading people. I have observed that other people seem to be able to do this within seconds while I can take months. I usually based my decisions on people’s idiosyncrasies. At school, in some cases I was just a body, trying not to be seen. I just wanted the class to be over because I felt like I was closed in and suffocating, I skipped those classes often.
Other classes I felt fine after a while of observing.
When I started work I transferred to different stores quite a bit, every transfer I took several months to observe and get a groove. After a while, usually after people started asking me questions because I was alone reading, my personality would come out in bits. I still took on an identity, that was usually more of my goofy side so that I had control over what people laughed at. I am quite silly but as much as I am silly, I am serious. Sometimes my silliness is the only thing that saves me from being consumed in my thoughts. I realized from an early age that people do not like to talk about serious things. I found that my questions would get me in a load of trouble.
I especially found this with guys as I got older.
The way around that was to become their friends. I like guys as friends they make more sense a lot of the times to me but I am still a girl and would get confused by them often. I got confused by our relationships and what they meant, so did they. I have had very limited girl friends because I didn’t understand what they were doing half the time. They assumed that I knew and would misunderstand me quite often, they would think that I was being “catty” or even that I was trying to steal their man. The truth is I was able to talk their boyfriends much easier because there was no threat, since there was no relationship and I was usually more interested in what the guy was talking about. I can see now where that would make a person misread my motives.
Part of me trying to fit in involved me gathering information.
I consume information with my special interests and I consume information about people. Sometimes people are my special interests, it can be triggered by fears or confusion. Two of those would be my fixation on serial killers and TV evangelists. I can tell you virtually anything about any serial killer and TV evangelist. Odd? I know. Creepy? Maybe.
Please don’t be afraid, it is my way of trying to understand.
When I let people in my life, I tend to fixate on them. I am much better at not doing this now, though I confess I might do it on occasion.(Especially when I am going through one of my loops.) I can seem very possessive and obsessive, I can see where I was a great deal with relationships. However, it wasn’t because I wanted to control them, I wanted to control me, my thoughts, my life. I studied my friends and I wanted them with me all the time. I needed them to be with me. If they changed in the slightest I was thrown and would get angry or hurt.
It is very hard to explain without sounding like a stalker.
There is no good way to describe what I am talking about because even though I wanted to be with them, I also wanted to be alone. I did the same thing in relationships with boyfriends and husbands. I needed to be around them all the time to study them but at a distance. It’s strange. I became who I thought they wanted. But normally the more I studied them the more I realized I couldn’t stand them because of their true character or that I could never fully be what they wanted. When I would realize this I would get hurt. It seemed that if I were to show any real part of me, I would be rejected. Maybe that was the fear talking. In one relationship I felt exposed completely without even saying anything and I felt rejected. Maybe that was the problem, I couldn’t get my words out.
I often felt that I shouldn’t act too smart.
Or I had to try to do everything to be pretty enough or fun enough to keep them. I would listen and watch how they responded to other girls and if they complemented or said something good about them I automatically thought that if I didn’t have the same things or look the same way that I wasn’t good enough. It is a strange situation because I wasn’t (not) really an insecure person and I was (am) quite independent but I would try so hard to keep them that I became insecure. In any kind of relationship, I found myself doing this.
I took on so many roles trying to be the “everything girl” with friends and male relationships.
It was too hard to keep up and I would have meltdowns/shutdowns. Usually cycling into a depression or a new fixation. I found a way to help my depression by submerging myself in my beliefs, mainly through prayer and listening to this new music to me, worship music. Since I was such a music lover I found ways to focus all of this energy into listening to worship music.
I felt that it made me feel happy and joyful.
But when I became a Christian, I ended up putting all of these rules on myself about what a Christian was supposed to look like and how I should live. I got rid of everything resembling my past life, in some cases that was good. I got confused though, it was hard for me to live the words the Christian environment was preaching, possibly how I interpreted the preachings. I naturally think people are good and I naturally thought that the teachings of Jesus were of acceptance. I was not hearing the same message and I thought that I was wrong. My feelings were founded on all of the past mistakes I had made with trusting the wrong people.
Continued in the next post to come Fitting In Not So Much.