Posted by DespoticDave (114 posts) -

1998

It's the last year I could truly say I had any friends that cared as much about me, as Giantbomb has cared about Ryan. I've moved so many times, trapped in a suffocating, toxic home life. I buried my mind as deep into myself as I could. I couldn't connect with anyone anymore and the thought of putting forth the effort to embrace another human being was, in a way, exhausting. Throughout the years I have come close to making real connections (friendship), but they always left just like I did. Years of trudging through mud tires you. Now, I always considered myself introverted, but not to the point of being completely shut off to the outside world. I've never shared any of this before. Not even to family members. I've always been known to my family as the "independent one," the one that was almost impossible to get a hold of, and when you did, you got nothing out of me. I just wanted to get away and "relax" from the drama that unfolded around me. I kept a distance from everyone I could, because if I didn't, they would know the truth. The truth being, there was nothing to me, no joy, memories, life.

I had my gaming. I had my music. I could read. It occupied many lonely weekends. Watching other people together and enjoying themselves in the process was perplexing. How does it seem so easy to for them? And yet, distant to me? I figured it was my surroundings. I quit jobs because I just couldn't find those people. The ones who got you. The ones that would instantly shine a light in this fucking mud hole.

Where are these people I wish to care about located in this world?

Exhausted yet again.

And yet again that stray cat comes along and you feed it...

So here now it stays, and just like the nodding donkeys purging crude in oil fields, you seesaw between thinking it's all your fault, you have control; then thinking it's not entirely you, and maybe you were never in control. I'm twenty-seven years old and I'm getting real tired of this shit. I'm writing this now because I've normalized over the past day or so. These lows are getting more erratic and slogging through this over the years has chipped away too much. I enjoy my alone time, but not to the point of permanence. I know I'm personable, but I keep too much to myself. My hope is not to assert myself more, but assert myself into the right situation. Sorry if this seems jumbled, I feel like I have more to say, but I get lost inside quickly. Organization of thoughts is a tedious process. I've always loved Giantbomb and its community. Maybe its time for me to embrace that.

Peace, Ryan.

#1 Posted by Lord_Xp (606 posts) -

I've always preferred being by myself. Until I got a girlfriend. Dont get me wrong that I love her, but I always still want my alone time. I feel happy by myself away from drama and people. I am slowly pushing my family away. I just like being alone.

But if you're tired of being alone and want to assert yourself in the right direction, then I would suggest doing it.

#2 Posted by Slag (4736 posts) -

@despoticdave: I'm an introvert myself and over the years I've learned a hard truth about how to "find people" . People will not come to you, you need to go to them. Friendships don't just happen, you have to make them happen.

People can read that interest or conversely disinterest almost subsconsciously in your words and your body language frighteningly well. If you're unresponsive or uninterested, people will get the message and leave you alone.

Regular postal mail isn't really a thing anymore, but back in the day if you wanted mail I discovered you pretty much have to send out more than you wanted to receive. And expect to get a lot of non-satisfying responses, basically go in with no expectations and it'll work out. But when you find a good friend it makes the 100's of misfires seem unimportant.

#3 Edited by TyCobb (1976 posts) -

@lord_xp said:

I've always preferred being by myself. Until I got a girlfriend. Dont get me wrong that I love her, but I always still want my alone time. I feel happy by myself away from drama and people. I am slowly pushing my family away. I just like being alone.

But if you're tired of being alone and want to assert yourself in the right direction, then I would suggest doing it.

Be very careful with your girlfriend. I am the same way as you. I love my alone time. However, you have to sacrifice it in order to keep the ones you love. I don't have some social disorder or anything like that, but after a long day of work, I just want my alone time and sometimes I didn't even get any time for anything after work because I worked 8AM to 12AM. Unfortunately, this cost me my marriage. I didn't know how to sacrifice my alone time in order to spend it with my wife. It sounds really stupid and selfish when you say it aloud and I kick myself everyday. I just wanted to let you know and hope that my experience can help someone.

#4 Edited by armaan8014 (5440 posts) -

I really enjoy solitude but in the company of games, movies, music and books, even though I have really close and loving friends. They think that I am just like them, and want to be out spending every hour of my weekends doing crazy things, but while I do enjoy that time to time, I often get annoyed when they force me to join them. I try making excuses and slipping out of the plans, but usually they manage to drag me.

Somehow, because of recent events, my perspective on that has sort of changed. After that terrible monday, I feel like spending as much time of mine with those I love as possible. I realized I'd been giving myself too much importance, and while that's good to some extent, I now feel like devoting maximum time to people. Suddenly from hating "people" I sort of understand how everyone's somewhat lost and trying to cope with life their own way. I also felt that I was possibly avoiding company to give myself a feeling of self- importance.

When I go i'd prefer to go like Ryan, loved by those who knew him and even those who didn't. Rather than be forgotten by even those who tried to love me.

#5 Posted by MrPilkington (722 posts) -

I really enjoy solitude but in the company of games, movies, music and books, even though I have really close and loving friends. They think that I am just like them, and want to be out spending every hour of my weekends doing crazy things, but while I do enjoy that time to time, I often get annoyed when they force me to join them. I try making excuses and slipping out of the plans, but usually they manage to drag me.

Somehow, because of recent events, my perspective on that has sort of changed. After that terrible monday, I feel like spending as much time of mine with those I love as possible. I realized I'd been giving myself too much importance, and while that's good to some extent, I now feel like devoting maximum time to people. Suddenly from hating "people" I sort of understand how everyone's somewhat lost and trying to cope with life their own way. I also felt that I was possibly avoiding company to give myself a feeling of self- importance.

When I go i'd prefer to go like Ryan, loved by those who knew him and even those who didn't. Rather than be forgotten by even those who tried to love me.

It sounds like you and I have the same mindset. A lot of mine is due to personal tragedies that I have experienced in recent years, but when I get calls from friends, I too have a part of me that feels annoyed and wishing that I could just be alone. I actually reach out way more than I used to and make myself a prominent part of others lives and people generally love that about me and they love having me around. However, I can't help but have a part of me that wants to just get away from all of it. I wish I didn't feel that way and I am trying to mold myself into a different person and I am succeeding slowly over time. I've come a long way, but it's a personal battle that has developed over my own turmoil of events in my life.

#6 Posted by armaan8014 (5440 posts) -

Yep, same here. I've made efforts and its taken me good places. I think it's all about learning the right balance for people like us, between spending time with people and staying alone. And if we do that then it's healthy and awesome, because being happy and productive all in our own company is important too. :)

#7 Posted by Sanity (1950 posts) -

I can relate alot, i tend to stick to myself and keep things inside way too much. I have a few friends but no one i would call close anymore, not that its there fault so much as me having other interests but living in a rural area sucks sometimes as far as that goes.

#8 Posted by armaan8014 (5440 posts) -

Yep, same here. I've made efforts and its taken me good places. I think it's all about learning the right balance for people like us, between spending time with people and staying alone. And if we do that then it's healthy and awesome, because being happy and productive all in our own company is important too. :)

#9 Posted by Lord_Xp (606 posts) -

@tycobb: yea I take a step back all the time to ensure that I'm not neglecting her or our relationship. I'm just so used to being single that I'm still adjusting to a relationship even after 2 years of dating.

#10 Posted by Jams (2965 posts) -

I got something you can embrace.

#11 Posted by MrPilkington (722 posts) -

Yep, same here. I've made efforts and its taken me good places. I think it's all about learning the right balance for people like us, between spending time with people and staying alone. And if we do that then it's healthy and awesome, because being happy and productive all in our own company is important too. :)

Just talking in these forums is some sort of bubble I am trying to break for myself. I haven't ever been much for talking in forums, but after Ryan's death, I starting thinking that I need to be a little more apart of this community that I have been apart of since the beginning. I'm very happy that everyone who follows this site and the guys in the office have banned together in such a positive and healthy way.

#12 Edited by psychrage (25 posts) -

I too prefer to be by myself. I find it very difficult to make an effort to find friends. I've NO idea how to meet friends in real life with similar interests(For me, games, cars, metal... I'm pretty simple.)

Living in a college town there's ALOT of the party/stoner crowd that I've no interest in persuing these duders.

Occasionally I will hang out with some people from work outside of work, but they're not really my style.

I do have 6 or 7 close friends. But we've all moved out and now live in different areas. So really its just hanging out on the internet, and a few times a year meeting up.

I did find a wife, and she is great. But she's a bit more social than me.

#15 Edited by MarkTheSlark (25 posts) -

@psychrage said:

I too prefer to be by myself. I find it very difficult to make an effort to find friends. I've NO idea how to meet friends in real life with similar interests(For me, games, cars, metal... I'm pretty simple.)

Living in a college town there's ALOT of the party/stoner crowd that I've no interest in persuing these duders.

Occasionally I will hang out with some people from work outside of work, but they're not really my style.

I do have 6 or 7 close friends. But we've all moved out and now live in different areas. So really its just hanging out on the internet, and a few times a year meeting up.

I did find a wife, and she is great. But she's a bit more social than me.

So you call people who like to party "these duders"....they are "duders" to you because they actually want to fucking go out and socialize unlike you? No, I think thats just called being young and having some fun, or "having a lifers" if you will.

Do you ever think maybe you are by yourself because you are pretentious and think you are better than others? Seriously, grow up the hell up.

#16 Posted by psychrage (25 posts) -

I'm not better than anyone. Nor did I imply that.

I'm just not interested in the club life in my city.

#17 Edited by WiredFolf (93 posts) -

@marktheslark: Easy there, buddy. He wasn't making himself out to be better than people who enjoy staying up all night and/or getting stoned daily. It's just not his bag. No need to jump down his throat.

Also you might not know but the term "duder" is a phrase that largely floats around this site. It's not meant to insult or harass anyone. It's just a spin on "person" or "people."

#18 Posted by JouselDelka (966 posts) -

@jams said:

I got something you can embrace.

Ba-bam!

On-topic, I'm 22 and I've been like you for 6 years, OP, and I realize that DNA is more involved in this dilemma than I can handle. However, I manage to remain occupied, and when there's the occasional socializing, I act cool and I do well.

You're older than me so you've been in my shoes and I haven't been in yours, so you're wiser and more experienced when it comes to this. I wish you the best..

#19 Edited by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

@despoticdave said:

1998

It's the last year I could truly say I had any friends that cared as much about me, as Giantbomb has cared about Ryan.

Considering how common it is in life to have to uproot, as well as the prevalence online half-measure 'socialising', you might be surprised how many people are in the same boat. My own situation is not dissimilar. The easy solution might appear to be to just flock together with others who have become disconnected, but this isn't necessarily as easy or practical as it sounds. Some people are just burnt out. Disclaimer: I won't be practising what I preach here.

If you've ever had good, fast friends in life, however long ago, then that's something to be cherished and remembered fondly. Not everyone can boast that. What I would say is that it's no coincidence that the last time this happened for you was in your school days. School is a unique experience in life, because at no other time are we compelled without choice to work in close proximity with so many strangers, for so long. In an adult job, you have more space, more choice, more turnover of faces, and often fewer years or hours spent there overall. That's what can make school memories uniquely horrible or wonderful depending on the person and place: the forced familiarity.

If you would like to have that kind of connection again, you will probably have to force yourself into that kind of prolonged proximity and forced familiarity once more. If it doesn't happen naturally as part of a job, then you can try creating a similar situation where you have a bit more control over who you come into contact with: becoming a mature student, taking an evening class (eg. cooking, languages, martial arts), joining a local book club, doing some voluntary work abroad... hell, even a guild in an MMO can create lasting connections if you're lucky enough to find compatible people, as I have done a couple of times. With these choices (apart from the MMO one), you're also able to compensate yourself with the knowledge that you've tangibly broadened your horizons, hopefully learnt something new even if it doesn't work out socially.

Obviously, as you've realised, the other piece of the puzzle is your own mentality. You have to decide for certain if you want to be social again or not. It may help to think back to 1998 and remember the good side of what 'social' means, rather than allowing it to be drowned out by all the hypocrisies and infuriating illogic of modern living, glaring as they are. Good luck.

#20 Posted by RareSpine (32 posts) -

I hope nobody minds me sharing a little life story of my own here.

I'm twenty-three, and up until last year my life was at a complete standstill. When I was thirteen and just starting high-school, I loved it. But it didn't take long for me, a quiet and sensitive kid, to get picked on and bullied by some of those in my class and for my (at the time) lifelong friends to ditch me for a 'cool group'. I had a couple kids stalk me around the playground, I had strangers spray deodorants under and over the toilet stalls while I changed for P.E., and even had them trying to bang the doors down. Now for me, this was really rough. I went through Primary pretty effortlessly, no real enemies or anything. The teachers did nothing for this and eventually I refused to go and ended up in home schooling.

This all wound up destroying my social skills and I developed something of a social phobia. Groups made me nervous, getting out there and making friends was now frightening, and a job? That was going to be difficult enough with my issues.

This went on for years, and over time I got so jaded that I didn't care if I ever had any friends. Even now I wonder at times if I'm better off alone. Eventually I somehow found a woman who would be my 'first love', and got my heart shattered months later in January of last year. After that I don't know what happened, but it all just clicked for me and I went back to education to achieve a Certificate IV and Diploma in Accounting. Now I'm studying at the University level.

But It's still not easy making friends for me. I'm fortunate to have two good friends, but nobody super close. I'm still very awkward in social situations with strangers, having missed out on sharpening those skills in my teenage years. I have to work hard on getting a job with no prior experience at my age, and other bits and pieces I never achieved due to my fear. This is something I'm working on every day, and I'm hopeful that eventually I'll make connections with more and more people. It's most definitely not easy!

In any case, I just want to say that if any of you guys want somebody to talk to, feel free to send me a message. I'm a great listener and I have a bunch of gaming-related accounts you could add me on if you so desired. Nobody should have to go through stuff alone.

#21 Posted by CaLe (4041 posts) -

@marktheslark: From your comment here and one in another thread about Ryan, you don't seem to understand much about this site or these forums. You might wanna keep that in mind before making any more abrasive posts.

#22 Posted by RandomHero666 (3182 posts) -

@marktheslark: I can see why the people at gamespot weren't nice to you, no need to bring your negativity here

#23 Posted by Slag (4736 posts) -
#24 Edited by Jeust (10823 posts) -

I understand what you feel man. It is not easy, but it is worth it to search for the environment where you can flourish.

#25 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5903 posts) -

#26 Posted by WiredFolf (93 posts) -

@slag: I fail to see how I was a jerk offering some calm defense to another community member who was needlessly insulted by someone who might have misunderstood his comment.

#27 Posted by Deranged (1856 posts) -

Eh, I like being by myself a lot. Gaming, streaming some shows, etc -- having that time to myself. But I'm not a recluse or something similar to that. I am extremely friendly with people but I like to keep a tight knit group whom I consider family and have been my best friends since childhood. I go out sometimes just because my friends ask me too, most of them love clubbing which isn't really my scene but I act as the designated driver and it's nice to catch up with some people I haven't seen since high school or earlier since it's not the biggest town.

#28 Posted by Slag (4736 posts) -

@wiredfolf: you'r totally fine man.

I apologize I don't know what happened. My comment was aimed at someone else, actually the same person you were talking to , but I think the comment I was responding to got deleted and some how it sent it you instead? Either way I never intended for it to be addressed to you and wasn't aware that it was until you responded.

That's my total bad.

#29 Edited by Miyuki (176 posts) -

Just wanted to point out... being introverted isn't a disease. It's who you are (as am I!) I wasn't happy until I stopped fighting against that and realized that I could be happy without being someone else.

#30 Posted by VoshiNova (1736 posts) -

Absolutely brilliant, could listen to Jobim & Sinatra all day.