I don't understand what it is that drives people away from me. Of course, there are those who spend a fair amount of time doing drugs and want people, sometimes me, or anyone really, to do them with at any time. And then there are those who want to pour their problems on other people's chests. Then, still others who, on the off chance that they do have to vent, will call someone like me, because I'll listen while trying not to judge them. But what about people who truly want me as a friend? Well, I do have some friends in the bipolar disorder support group I used to attend quite often. Some of them have turned against me in an instant whilst going through a severe episode, after claiming to be a good friend of mine. That just happened to me a week or so ago, to throw it out there. And sure, there are group members who get along with me just fine, but the group connections have become a base excuse, for me at least, to have close friendships. It has become normative for people to spend time with each other after group, and I guess there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I met me best friend through the group. Still, the group's prime appeal is to provide an artificial setting for people in search of a routine to keep themselves from spiraling into a mental abyss. Maybe there's a simple answer to this conundrum of mine. Perhaps there's something about me that's been kept secretive, something that's been hidden from me to keep me from being livid. But that would be silly, of course, since I am not special enough to have people conceal something from me for years. Maybe I am exaggerating without realizing it. Maybe it is hard for anyone to maintain wholehearted, trustworthy connections with other people, especially in this isolating age of technology. If this is the case, then I am conceited. And if I am conceited, then that would be a perfectly good reason for nobody to talk to me. Maybe I need to take a step back, stop complaining, and care for others more. I have felt rewarded by caring for special needs kids by playing sports with them early this year. There would be a social hour at a bar afterwards, so that the volunteers could relax and get to know each other. The first time I volunteered, I met an attractive, bubbly young woman at the social hour. We seemed to get along just fine, and she touched my arm when she said goodbye and gave me her number after I had asked for it. She had a boyfriend, she said later on, after I wanted to go with her to an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant that she had recommended, but she said she would introduce me to her pretty friends and we could all go out to eat. It never happened, and I haven't seen her. The last I heard from her she was busy, her work schedule was unpredictable and she didn't know which day that week would work best for her and her friends to meet with me. That was months ago. It feels like I have heard "I'm busy" more than I've heard a woman say my name. It's not easy to care for friends when they depart from my life so quickly. And really, how can I be all that conceited? In the days of middle school, when brutally honest scandalous judgements were abuzz, I was told to be too nice. (I guess there's still some of that in me, because at college I made soup for a sick friend, and I called her until she finally allowed me to take it over to her.) I was also told that I was friendly and great to talk to on AIM, but it was too bad that in person conversations did not feel the same. So is it that I am I ugly, and does my appearance cast people away from me? Well in high school, I was called ugly nearly every day, and by that I mean I would have to wonder what interaction I had forgotten if I did not remember hearing that I was ugly. But that was bullying, and it was at a preppy all-boys school, so would it really matter to most of my classmates if I really were ugly? They wanted to bug me, and they knew they could crawl inside my ego by spraying hatred about my looks. That is just the top of the cake of the hell that I endured, but I need not get into more. Older women tell me I'm handsome all the time, but younger women seem to pass by me like I'm the plague. And although my expertise used to be in avoiding mirrors, I am able to look at myself now, and I generally look fine. Artificial friendships, unsuitable care for others, conceitedness, ugliness, where and how does it all add up? It adds up to one thing: It seems I don't fit in. Speaking of fitting in, I had a fitting for a film shoot today, and the woman sitting at the desk seemed perturbed by my presence, not that I took it personally. Maybe she was tired, or wanted to be doing something else at the time. But once the next actor came in, she lit up and she chimed to her coworkers that there was a new entry in the building. It may not seem like I had much involvement in this situation, and that is understandable. But it is quite often that I feel I am getting the short end of the stick. If someone were to call me and genuinely want to spend time with me, I would be ecstatic. But then again, I was invited to an event tomorrow, and the same person invited to travel around the country with him and his friends. My friendships have not lasted, so I don't know how that one will either. I am pessimistic, aren't it? So maybe I am pessimistic about my social life, in part due to bullying and my environment growing up and therefore, I feel that I don't fit in, and by feeling that I don't fit in I really don't. Fit. In. But I don't walk around every minute of every day thinking that I don't fit in, that I don't mesh with other people. In fact, when it comes to individual situations, I feel I deserve respect, honesty, and consideration. It is only when I take time to think about my position in society that I feel I am being undermined for a reason unbeknownst to me. Why is it that acquaintances, and even some people I consider friends ignore my calls, not after the first or second conversation, but often soon afterwards? Why is it that I am told, as if cued by the girl who had just told me the same thing, that I am not liked by someone as much as I like them? And why I am ignored by them thereafter, turned down for friendship after I am turned down for suggested intimacy? On most days I am easy going at heart, whether I appear that way or not. I have patience for people. I care and feel I should care about people, but I don't feel that it is being reciprocated. At the same time, I believe good karma gets passed on, and I should try to make the world a better place for others, thereby making my life more enjoyable. But I think when women say they like "assholes," rather than nice guys, when people try to show toughness and respectability by being rude, and when friends ignore my calls, it is hard for me to stay positive about gaining and maintaining a healthy social circle.