Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

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Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by DazedAndConfused on Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:56 pm

Issues, issues, problems, issues. I probably sound like a broken record. I swear I'm not trying to be a whiner. I want to understand what's going on, because just as I deal with an issue in my life, another problem pops up.

What happened:

-I asked a friend to meet for a beer. I met him the night before, we had a long, meaningful chat over a pizza. Things seemed fine.

-He answered that we could meet if he could make it. I said that it was OK. I went out on my own and waited at the bar for him to come. He didn't come, but that wasn't a big deal. I just thought he was busy.

-I left the bar after a while, heading home. While I was walking home I saw him chatting with some other friends of ours and a guy I don't really know well. I walked to them, said hi to everybody and started chatting. Things seemed fine.

-After a couple of minutes the guy I don't really know tapped on my shoulder and said "You're bringing negativity to the group. You should leave" I was shocked and surprised. I asked him if he was joking. He said that I was "staring at him in a weird way" and "acting aggressively". I was even more shocked. I ask him what was his problem with me. He said "You are bringing your problems to the group. You weren't invited, we want to have fun. Leave".

-At THIS point, yes, I was starting to feel angry. I said "I'm sorry, what's this "we" you're talking about? Who elected you to speak for the others?" and I looked at my friend, waiting for him to say something. He stared away, looking embarrassed. The guy I don't really know said "Don't you understand? He's not come for you, he came for us." I told him that I had asked him out and he said yes. "If he didn't want to meet me, he would have told me". My friend still didn't want to look at me.

-The guy I don't know said: "He's being dropping hints that he doesn't want you around for a while. Have you noticed that he's not exactly enthusiastic about hanging out with you? You're forcing people to be your friends and to go out with you. Who do you think you are?" I was even more shocked. I stared at my friend, who didn't even try to look back.

-At this point I felt terrible. Being excluded from my group of friends is one of my worst nightmares, and it was taking place before me. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to pinch myself and wake up from a bad dream. But it was all too real. My fear quickly turned to anger. Extreme anger towards the guy who was telling me I was being excluded. I looked around. Nobody was challenging what he was saying. They were all looking embarrassed, but no one else was speaking.

-The guy who started talking said "Did I make myself clear? We don't want you around anymore. Go away." I managed to control myself enough to hold myself back from punching him in the face. I forced out a smile and I said "Then have a great night, everyone. I hope you'll have lots of fun". The guy rolled his eyes and said "Just leave already".

-I left. I was angry. Furious, even. Angry with the guy who told me to leave, angry with the rest of the group of my so-called "friends" for not saying anything. Most of all, I was angry at myself for not having noticed the "hints" that I wasn't welcome. Although I'm still not sure that there weren't any.

-I went home. Luckily, Frank left a message telling me that he was going out, and probably he wouldn't be coming back. I was glad he wasn't there to see me. I was seething with rage, and hurting inside. I felt like dying. I couldn't manage to sleep for the entire night. I stayed awake, trying to come up with a way to tell myself I was going to be fine. I couldn't find any.

-In the morning I messaged all my friends. I asked them to tell me what I did wrong, why they were ostracizing me. None of them answered. Frank was back, so I put on a friendly smile and told him I was going out for a while. I really didn't want him to understand how bad I was feeling. Luckily he didn't seem to care.

-I went out for a walk in the town, alone. I felt like the most lonely person in the world. I called my best friend (let's call her Gemma) and told her what happened. She told me that my "friends" were cowards for having waited so long to tell me that I wasn't wanted, but that according to her there was nothing that I could do to get back in their group.

-She explained me that she had an idea that this was going to happen. "You have been oversharing. You have told them about your issues, and they didn't want to hear about those. Sure, you want to have fun, too, and you can crack jokes or be energized, but in the last few weeks you have been too depressed and angry to hang out with them. They're not the right kind of group where people are encouraged to talk about their feelings. They just want to party, and you have forced yourself to be in a party mood when you really weren't. People could tell and it embarrassed them. They definitely shouldn't have waited so long to tell you, though. That was a dick move on their part, because they were just delaying the inevitable".

-She's probably right. However I'm even more depressed and angry than before. I have avoided them today, I've buried myself into my studies and chores. It's not helping much, but at least I'm getting something done.

-I feel like an idiot. I have ruined my friendship with many people by being so negative and depressed, and I haven't been smart enough to figure out that they were being annoyed by me. They could have been a little more explicit, but still, this is on me. I feel like a failure. I've been letting myself go into a spiral of anger and depression, and now I'm pretty lonely, friendless, angry and depressed.

-I now wonder how many things people don't tell me about me. Are other people I consider to be my friends secretly being annoyed by me? I feel like I can only trust my best friend and my sister. I'm afraid of annoying other people if I call them. I want to be fun to be with and liked, to share happiness with people, not to be a burden. I also don't want to be ostracized, though. It hurts a lot. It's worse than romantic rejection, at least for me.

-What should I do? I almost want to skip town, start somewhere else where people don't know me and rebuild a new life where I force myself to appear positive all the time. I feel terrible right now, and I'm afraid that this isn't going to get any better if I see some of people I considered my friends again.

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Re: Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by Enail on Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:59 pm

Oh, man, D&C, that sounds so upsetting, and what a hurtful way to find out! Sorry that happened to you. I hope you're giving yourself some time to grieve about it and being nice to yourself.

I can definitely understand why you'd want to skip town and rebuild elsewhere where you don't have to see those people again, but that's probably not really feasible. Do you live somewhere big enough that you could get some distance from them by changing up your routine, spending some time in a different part of town or taking up some different activities, give yourself a bit of a change for a little while?

Are you seeing a therapist or counselor? If not, it might be a good idea to look for one, both to help you process the friend situation and to help you bring yourself out of this depression/anger spiral. And having a professional specifically to talk about your issues with might make it easier for you to not overshare in social situations in the future, so that might be a good thing for when you're ready to try and build some new friendships, too.

Since it seems like anger's been having a big effect on your life lately, I'm wondering if maybe you need some kind of outlet to let off steam, both about this friend blowup and in general to make it easier for you to maintain relationships. Could you fit something active into your schedule, regularly go hit a punching bag or go for a run or something?
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Re: Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by Werel on Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:19 pm

I'm sorry that happened, DazedAndConfused, that sounds really really painful.

I think your friend Gemma is probably spot-on that trying to reintegrate yourself into this particular social circle is not the best idea. Being around people who you know aren't kind or trustworthy to you is not a thing to strive for. In the future, you might also think about not asking people why you've been ostracized-- it's kind of like asking why someone dumped you. You're rarely going to get an answer that does anything but hurt, and asking for further engagement (of a fairly intimate sort, too--"what's wrong with me" is not a loose-acquaintance question!) from people who've said "I don't want to engage with you anymore" is never that productive.

But it sounds like they, and Gemma, did at least help you identify a thing that might trip you up in future friend groups-- and that can be useful, once you're done licking your wounds from this (and do give yourself some time to do that): oversharing your worries or troubles, or otherwise dripping your psychic sludge on other people. I sympathize; I still have the occasional moment where some way, way too dark shit comes out of my mouth at a party and the room's temperature drops by like 10 degrees. This doesn't mean "force yourself to appear positive all the time," though. It can mean anything from "try to manage more badfeels internally, so they don't leak out" to "find friends who are okay with hearing badfeels." I think one of the things she mentioned, "they just want to party," is an important thing to try and gauge next time you're getting integrated into a social circle: what's their stance on earnestness? Do other people answer "how you doing" honestly while hanging out with the group, or do they all go with some variant of "fine"? I have had social circles where it is All Party All the Time Shut Up About Your Feelings, and others where talking about worries and feelings is very much okay (often at the same time, because they're good for different things); it sounds like you might want to diversify your social circles, so that you have at least one friend group where you don't have to be in Fun Mode all the time.

And don't beat yourself up for having depression impinge on your friendships. It happens to nearly everyone who struggles with depression, and it sucks, and it's insanely difficult to deal with--but it's not a unique failing on your part. It's just part of the depression package.

Enail's suggestions are also very good, especially maybe seeing a therapist to work through this fear that everyone is untrustworthy.
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Re: Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by BasedBuzzed on Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:01 pm

The speaker in that anecdote is a whacko. Implying you should've seen the subtle hints, analyzing your behaviour as aggressive and weird when you're normal you (otherwise Frank would have already used that trick), forcing you to leave without even allowing your former pal to react: this is someone who gets his jollies off on power plays. Part of the impact this episode had comes through the manner in which he let it unfold. Much as the outcome is the same, do not listen to the manner in which he characterized your behaviour, only to your trusted friend.

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Re: Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by Prajnaparamita on Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:45 pm

Oh god Dazed, that sounds so so so horrible, as someone with depression and social anxiety, that sounds like my worst nightmare come true. Feeling pretty torn up right now is completely understandable, and I hope that you're able to validate that those feelings come from a real place, as you just went through something really shitty.

I am someone who is generally totally comfortable talking about depression/mental health/feelings shit (because I both deal with them myself and I want to be a therapist/social worker someday) but yeah, there've been times when people have brought that stuff up and I've not been comfortable, usually because they're treating me as their personal therapist and I'm not qualified or capable of being that, and there's no reciprocity--it's all about them and they never ask about me. But you know what I do in that case? I tell them, usually through a non confrontational text or email that the relationship dynamic really isn't working for me and I would appreciate if I wasn't treated as a therapist/that I'd like them to ask me about my life from time to time, or whatever it is that I feel like I'd need to feel better about the friendship. And then I wait and see if things change, after trying to see whether or not I can make a relationship work with this person. And then, if after trying to communicate my needs gets me ignored or my requests are not heeded multiple times, only then will I consider ending it.

I sure as fuck don't lie to people about seeing them and then stand them up, or engage in public humiliation where I mock them in front of people they know. Regardless of the situation, those two things are just wrong, shitty things to do to a person. There were all sorts of ways that your so-called "friends" could have dealt with this like kindly texting you something about their concerns or pulling you aside subtly and letting you know they were feeling uncomfortable, but no, they (or at least one of them, and the rest went along) decided to publicly humiliate you instead. That's fucking middle school behavior right there, and that's on them, not you.

That all being said, I'm going to second or third or fourth everyone else who is suggesting that you seek out therapy for yourself, if you haven't already. When I became depressed, I had a whole bunch of friends ghost on me because I was no longer the happy go lucky, fun, wild Prajna they had known, but it wasn't until I was really engaged in therapy that I was able to get through the fog of the depression enough to start creating strong, wonderful relationships with the people in my life who truly did care.

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Re: Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by reboot on Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:45 pm

BasedBuzzed wrote:The speaker in that anecdote is a whacko. Implying you should've seen the subtle hints, analyzing your behaviour as aggressive and weird when you're normal you (otherwise Frank would have already used that trick), forcing you to leave without even allowing your former pal to react: this is someone who gets his jollies off on power plays. Part of the impact this episode had comes through the manner in which he let it unfold. Much as the outcome is the same, do not listen to the manner in which he characterized your behaviour, only to your trusted friend.

But it is not just the douche. His friend had some points that may be valid. The easy option is to dismiss the guy, butvhis friend Gemma brought up some concerns
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Re: Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by DazedAndConfused on Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:32 am

Prajnaparamita wrote:I am someone who is generally totally comfortable talking about depression/mental health/feelings shit (because I both deal with them myself and I want to be a therapist/social worker someday) but yeah, there've been times when people have brought that stuff up and I've not been comfortable, usually because they're treating me as their personal therapist and I'm not qualified or capable of being that, and there's no reciprocity--it's all about them and they never ask about me. But you know what I do in that case? I tell them, usually through a non confrontational text or email that the relationship dynamic really isn't working for me and I would appreciate if I wasn't treated as a therapist/that I'd like them to ask me about my life from time to time, or whatever it is that I feel like I'd need to feel better about the friendship. And then I wait and see if things change, after trying to see whether or not I can make a relationship work with this person. And then, if after trying to communicate my needs gets me ignored or my requests are not heeded multiple times, only then will I consider ending it.

The thing is that not everyone is the same. I would have loved for them to tell me their problems, but evidently I wasn't this close, or they plainly don't like to share. Some people prefer to keep things always fun and lighthearted, especially when they go out. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just a matter of understanding differences and setting boundaries.

Most of the oversharing also happened when I was drunk. I don't like drinking too much, exactly for this reason. After a brief phase of being excited and fun I always turn melancholic and start complaining and sharing too much. I usually try to stop drinking or slow down, but this is hard to do in a group where people buy lots of drinks and get offended if you don't take part in the fun.

In hindsight there were a few signs that they were getting bored with me, I just didn't understand them. One of them once said "Some things in life are best kept to yourself" and I had the feeling he was talking about me, but I wasn't 100% sure, because he was also talking about some issues he had with his girlfriend. Another time one of them snatched a drink from my hands and said "That's enough, before you start crying" (I never actually cried, but I was already feeling pretty gloomy). I made a joke about the fact that the drink was already filled with tears, he laughed, and I didn't think of it again. But yeah, there were a few warning signs. They just weren't explicit enough for me to be sure.

All the guys in the group were members of a fraternity. I wasn't, but they seemed to be OK with me hanging around with them, at least until this happened. The more I think about it the more I realize that frat-boy culture just isn't right for me. I have to pretend to be someone I'm not (a hard drinker, a party animal) to fit in, and that's just not me. At least not right now.

That all being said, I'm going to second or third or fourth everyone else who is suggesting that you seek out therapy for yourself, if you haven't already. When I became depressed, I had a whole bunch of friends ghost on me because I was no longer the happy go lucky, fun, wild Prajna they had known, but it wasn't until I was really engaged in therapy that I was able to get through the fog of the depression enough to start creating strong, wonderful relationships with the people in my life who truly did care.

I'm already seeing a therapist. I've also called him multiple times during the week, to the point that he's suggested that maybe we should see each other twice, not once a week. I'm worried about whether my mother will be able to afford it, though. Medical expenses are already high in my family, and the only source of steady income is her job. I'm working as a waiter or giving lessons from time to time, and I have a scholarship which covers school expenses, but medical bills are already high, since I and my sister both need therapy.

Incidentally this is another reason why I don't like drinking too much. It's expensive and I'm on a budget. Which is something that some people don't seem to understand, especially those who even ask me to lend them some money. I hate saying "No, I won't lend you anything" but if I do lend you my money I'm going to (kindly) ask them whenever I need them. Apparently this is very rude according to some people, since it's "common courtesy to wait at least three days before asking for your money back".

There are sources of anxiety and conflict all around. Sad

reboot wrote:But it is not just the douche. His friend had some points that may be valid. The easy option is to dismiss the guy, but his friend Gemma brought up some concerns

I think that her points are valid. Incidentally she has told me that while I have an oversharing problem my "friends" have been dicks, and that when I'll feel better I'll see that it's better to lose an insincere friendship than to carry on living a lie.

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Re: Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by Hirundo Bos on Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:45 am

Your friend Gemma sounds like a smart person. It's good to get an outside perspective from someone who also wishes you well.

Now, I've seen this post, and some of your earlier ones, and wonder what thoughts you have about your own abilities with boundaries? Because you say a lot of things that has to do with that – you have a hard time saying no when someone want to borrow money, or want you to have another drink, or as in your previous post, when someone asks you to call your roommate on your behalf... in my view, making that request was pretty inapropriate, and I wonder how you felt about it when it happened? I mean, about being asked, not about what happened afterwards?

And on the other side of boundaries, you seem to give other people's boundaries a lot of thought. But on the other hand, you talk of missed signs, of oversharing, of being taken by surprise when someone pushes you away... and this all sounds very familiar to me, it makes me think of my own problems in this area.

For me, the two sides of boundaries have been very closely related. The more I've worked to become conscious about my own, the more aware I've become about those of others. The more secure I've become in saying no, the less stressful it has become when someone else says no to me.

Does this sound like something that could be worth working on? In that case, I know there are people on these forums that are pretty good at giving advice about boundaries... like, working out the difference between a preference and a boundary, suggesting scripts for effective ways to say no. And reassuring you that you do indeed have the right to say no. Which, I suspect, is the key to unlocking all the other boundary-skills.
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Re: Ostracized. Angry. Destroyed.

Post by BasedBuzzed on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:31 am

reboot wrote:
BasedBuzzed wrote:The speaker in that anecdote is a whacko. Implying you should've seen the subtle hints, analyzing your behaviour as aggressive and weird when you're normal you (otherwise Frank would have already used that trick), forcing you to leave without even allowing your former pal to react: this is someone who gets his jollies off on power plays. Part of the impact this episode had comes through the manner in which he let it unfold. Much as the outcome is the same, do not listen to the manner in which he characterized your behaviour, only to your trusted friend.

But it is not just the douche. His friend had some points that may be valid. The easy option is to dismiss the guy, butvhis friend Gemma brought up some concerns

I don't think we disagree, I already pointed out he should listen to her in the bolded part.

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