Not There

(This was written during a period of depression and does not necessarily indicate my views at the present time. It is not directed at any one person in particular.)


None of my friends will ever admit this, but I have come to believe of late that more often than not, they are glad that I’m not there.

I see the pictures.  I see the smiling faces on social media, drinks in hand, bright faces turned towards the sun.  I see the invitation sitting in my email box.  I see myself clicking ‘no’.

No, I won’t go.  No, I won’t bother you.  No, I won’t demand anything special.

Yes, it will be easier.  Yes, you’ll have a better time.  Yes, you can admit it – you are glad that I’m not there.

I just wish that I could be, too.


Thea-the-therapist swears that I am not an evil person, and that the evidence of my empathy lies in my feeling so terrible.  She says that not everything is 100% my fault.  50%, maybe. 25%.

I don’t know how to explain that yes, everything is my fault, but wait, isn’t that awful egocentric and selfish of me to say?

I’m so confused.

I’m so utterly puzzled and stymied and dismayed by my own and other people’s behaviors.  I don’t understand humans.  I simply don’t.  Maybe I’m not human at all.

I understand autistic behavior.  I understand autistics.  I will crawl under this rock here and only communicate with my disabled friends.  I am not terrified of them.

But I am terrified of you.

I hurt someone.  I hurt someone I love.  I did something – many things – wrong, and I had no idea I was doing it.  I hurt someone I trusted, but nobody told me, not for weeks, months, until somebody did.  And now it is days, weeks later and I am still crying, I am still in pain because I hurt someone I love and I am fairly certain that there is no other worse feeling in the world.

And if talking about my pain now isn’t selfish, when I did the hurting in the first place, then I don’t know what is.

I cannot figure it out.  Human behavior continues to stymie me.  Rules and laws and social mores, I try to obey them but they are so very confusing.  I want to do as X asks of me, and as Y, but Z says that their behavior is unreasonable and Q says to not listen to them.  Gossip is wrong, but my brain craves information.  It wants to know why and how come.  I try to gain insights into other’s behavior by expressing my confusion to third parties, but oh, wait, gossip is wrong.  And Thea is a lifesaver but ze doesn’t know these people and I don’t know what to do.

So I do the safest thing.

I stay home.

I stay home so that people will not have to bear the burden of being around me.  I stay home because I’m scared that, if I am comfortable around you, I will slip up and slide a knife into your throat.  My words are like tiny daggers that my mouth throws around at will.  My actions are matches that light fires that burn, burn, burn, burn our friendship to the ground, burn our community, leave charred bits of ash, bitter tastes in my mouth and yours.

I’m not doing it right.  I’m not doing it right.  I know this, but I don’t know how to do it right, and so I continue to fumble along, wrongly.  You say, but how can it be so hard?  I told you what to do.  But just because you were talking about apples and oranges doesn’t mean that my brain doesn’t get stuck on notebooks and ceramic bowls.  How is it that my memory is so good for facts and figures but so terrible when it comes to remembering how to behave?  How is it that all my friends ask, all that they ask is that I just do this one thing, and I can’t?

All I understand is that I hurt people.  I hurt people that I love.  And so you don’t want me to be around you anymore, and I respect that.

Lessons learned:

You are better off without me, for I am the one who hurts people.

If I hurt people, they may not tell me the truth.  Therefore, I can trust no one.

And – in case this isn’t clear enough above – I am sorry.

I am so, so, so very sorry.

I am sorry that I hurt you.  I am sorry that I burdened you.  I am sorry for flippant remarks and my runaway mouth and my very existence.

I am sorry that we cannot communicate better.  I am sorry that we cannot trust.  I am sorry that you are hurting, and that you have your own issues that I can do nothing about. I am sorry for the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and if I could apologize for breathing I would probably do that, too.

I am sorry that you are annoyed by all my apologies.

But I still don’t know what to do.

Except stay home.

And hope

That you will have

A better time without me.


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