I have never had a bad life — no poverty, abuse, neglect, or any other such things as countless other people have gone through, including my own father — but have long been dogged by the feeling that -I myself- am bad and undeserving of the good in my life, because I am hopelessly defective at just being a human. I fail to process basic instructions, I cannot coordinate well in physical tasks or group work, I have long felt disconnected from and unable to relate to anyone (even family and my few friends), I make people angry with my stupid little mistakes that seemingly no one else makes, and I have essentially no relationship experience — all at 25 years old. Thus I feel shame, embarrassment, and self-loathing basically every single day now, and am in agony and want to die. I turn 26 next month and I feel utterly unworthy of the number, and at a loss as to how to measure up to it. Suicide has occurred to me several times, complete with various ideas for methods and notes. I have been trying different ways to rectify my inexperience, such as bar mingling, meeting people through my friends, and even trying the online dating thing, but nothing really comes to fruition. I have even had a few promising leads on that front that seemed to vaporize at the last minute for no apparent reason — I actually managed to get a few numbers but no callbacks. I want to consult some kind of local coach to help guide me firsthand through how to navigate the world of connecting with people and getting socially assimilated, but there isn’t one here. That’s probably because there doesn’t need to be one, because most people are able to climb that millimeter-high curb by the time they’re in high school. Why haven’t I? What is it about me that’s always been so defective at this? Sure, I was diagnosed with HFA last year (something which my dad seems pretty fond of bringing up as like a hopeless catch-all explanation for my issues), but I don’t think that really explains it enough. I’m also aware that I feel this way despite my not having a bad life, which in a way further feeds into the idea that I’m just not a good person. I’ll grant that I’ve never done a specifically awful thing, like abusing anyone, but I feel like my very being is like a plague upon the social cohesion necessary for good things to happen in the world. It makes me feel like I’m not a real human — humans can find their people and assimilate and do things and properly process what they’re told without embarrassing absurd trains of thought. The vast majority of people seem to just -get- that innately over the course of their lives. I never have. Even my earliest memories seem to involve me being the only kid in the room who just didn’t -get it-, for whom whatever we were supposed to be doing just could not register. Occasionally I’ll be out and see even people as young as junior high kids hanging out together, sometimes even holding hands as couples, and I’ll hate myself intensely because I realize that even they know more about life and just being a regular person who does things than I do. I remember being at that age and dreaming of what it would be like, thinking that in the course of my life I would get that sense of human closeness and I could stop being this aberrant freak in the corner who’s so out of step with everyone and feels far away all the time. Now those dreams are in the advanced stages of decay right before my eyes and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to just keep going out downtown aimlessly without a plan and “just get [my]self out there and talk to those people!” and hope I get something right — I want to be able to learn a solid gameplan to say and do the general right things. Right now I don’t know how to do that, or if there’s a way. Even if there was, I’ve lived so long like this that I kind of feel like I already ruined myself and lost my life; and besides, I feel like there’s a barrier between myself and the people I know anyway because I just can’t relate to people, so I would likely just be phoning it in and lose them anyway. I have hardly ever been able to hold a connection for more than a couple of years, and it takes such effort for me to forge a connection that I could find myself back at square one anyway and ultimately never get anywhere. I don’t think at this point that I can find and feel any form of love and I probably don’t deserve it anyway. What’s more, in my teen years I insecurely developed a monomaniacal obsession with being a “good kid” and “good high school student” to redeem myself, and in the process I not only wasted my adolescence but totally lost sleep; and now I have irreversible eye bags that, when coupled with my residual acne, make me look shamefully awful even though I get much better sleep these days. So by the time I quit chasing that chimera, I had created a new reason to hate myself, one that is permanent and that I did to myself for stupid reasons and for people who didn’t deserve it. Somedays I just feel so ugly, dumb, weak, and totally incapable of assimilating into the world, and I just fail to see the point of my existence or why my parents even had me in the first place (I’m the sole and unexpected product of an ultimately failed and divorced relationship, and I’ve heard that I’m “stupid” and “retarded” from them and several other sources throughout much of my life). Now I’ll give myself some credit — in a weird way, if you take away all the issues I’ve had just as a person among humans, I’m actually glad about myself. I finished college, I have a career, I have a creative life and joined a band recently, I have interests and a deep curiosity about the nature of reality, and I even have a solid physical life with running, weights, and martial arts. I know what I want to do with my life purely as an individual with ambitions, and I feel pretty secure about how to go down that path — in a way, I’m already doing that these days. But if I can’t make myself be of purpose to others and stop being so embarrassing, I just don’t see the point. For that matter, I don't know how to juggle those pursuits with my need to undergo the long, arduous process of figuring out just how to be a real human (if that's even possible). Therefore I find myself self-harming and fantasizing about just ending what seems like this nearly 26-year-long error. This feeling may have seemed more oh so funny and cute and romantic or whatever when I was a teenager, but now that I’m starting to push 30 it just feels disgustingly pathetic. I definitely don’t expect or want to be catered to by others. I just want to know how to even connect with them at all so I can stop this idiocy and not have a breakdown from shame. I really feel like I’m slowly folding in on myself because I’m just so embarrassed at what I am. Thank you for reading this and I’m sorry if this is ridiculous or petty. But I think I at least did something right by just letting it all out. Shout out to the forum and its people for being willing to create a space like this.