Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Odd Man Out

As a white man, you can live your whole life never not fitting in. You never walk into a bar that sees only your boobs. To be Whitie is to be wallpaper. You don't draw attention, good or bad. Still, what would it be like, to live with attention? To just let people stare. To let them fill in the blank, and assume what they will. To let people project some aspect of themselves on you for a whole day.

Well, I'm white, but I've never been "white." I've never fit in, I've never been simply wallpaper. I've always stood out. I've always been an outsider and the odd man out. People ask me why I am the way I am. I don't have a good answer. I suppose it comes naturally to me to be different. I was an outsider in my own family, growing up. I adapted to the role of outsider and I seem to seek out that role as an adult. It's close to instinctual for me.

I tend to be passive and unassertive. But I don't just fall into a group dynamic. I'm an aggressive non-joiner, I suppose. I have difficulty acknowledging or expressing anger. But I express that anger in a passive-aggressive way, by standing apart -- by intentionally turning my back on those who anger me.

I'm inhibited and constricted in my emotional life. I have difficulty allowing myself to acknowledge or express wishes and impulses. I'm not a secure outsider, but an insecure one. I tend to feel helpless, powerless, or at the mercy of forces outside my control.

My emotional states are dominated by feelings of futility and meaninglessness. I tend to feel empty or bored. I don't think I've ever been happy -- ever. Not truly happy for an extended period of time. Depression and despondency have been my companions since early childhood, for as long as I can remember.

I don't relate to people emotionally. I have such a limited and constricted range of emotions. I feel inadequate, inferior or a failure. People seem to sense that about me. I also feel listless, fatigued and lacking in energy.

I often wonder where people get their energy. Energy for living, for activities, for pleasure. I always feel so drained. I find little or no pleasure, satisfaction or enjoyment in life's activities.

For as long as I can remember I've felt anxious. Not simply anxious around other people, but anxious all the time, even when I'm alone. Though, yes, I tend to be shy and reserved in social situations.

But above all I feel like an outcast or an outsider, I have never felt that I truly belonged. It's as if in every situation I'm told that this is the wrong place for me, the wrong environment. I am forever being told to go elsewhere. "You're not wanted here, there's some other place where you'd fit in." But I never find that other place. I've been searching for that other place my entire life. And now, in middle-age, I've given up trying. I live the life of a hermit, a recluse.

2 comments:

Evydense said...

As you know, I can really relate to this. It seems there are far more folks out there who share variations of this story too.

If only it were as simple as taking the blue pill instead of the red one! I always wonder if those folks who we so readily admire and envy are really all that different after all. Different problems, sure, but problems nonetheless.

How are things going? haven't heard from you in awhile.

Cheers!

Gary Freedman said...

I've been busy with Myspace.