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#308942 - 11/02/09 12:27 AM Feeling different from everybody else
Riley Offline

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 599
Loc: USA
Last night a group of friends and I went to a club for Halloween (I went as Elwood Blues and a friend went as Jake Blues). I enjoy going out to like a bar or something but I hate going to clubs, waaay too much touching, awkward flirting, being trapped with all these people, and an overall just lack of personal space. I agreed to go, to be social and normal and I overall enjoy stepping outside my comfort zone from time to time, I think it's healthy.

I went hoping to have a good time, and I did, I'm glad I went, I even broke down some dance moves after a few drinks, haha. But I just felt so different then everybody else there. They were all just having a good time with seemingly no worries. I was on hyper alert mode the entire time. How are you supposed to just let loose when every time someone bumps into you get a shiver of fear or when ever a girl starts flirting with you you feel dirty and uncomfortable. I just felt so disconnected from everyone else there. More like I was watching a movie then actually being there.

I don't know, I guess I'm just venting, organizing my thoughts. Thanks for listening.

#308951 - 11/02/09 01:48 AM Re: Feeling different from everybody else [Re: Riley]
jcm Offline

Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 37
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I can relate to a lot of the things that you are saying, I don't know if its the same for you as it is for me, but I do understand what you mean.

Last night I went to a party at one of my friends houses, there was a whole bunch of people there. I did have fun and I tried to let go, but part way through the night I found myself sat outside on my own just thinking about things. Random things. I was asking myself "Why aren't I normal? Like everybody else? Why did I come out here away from everybody?"

Although I look and act the part, and none of my friends would ever know that I was any differen't, I just don't feel like I'm normal.

When I read what you are describing about being in a club, I just find so many similarities to how I have felt in the past being in that environment. I have a distinct fear of being touched by people, I flinch when people go to touch me.

At least you say you had a good time. You can't regret that.

#308985 - 11/02/09 08:27 AM Re: Feeling different from everybody else [Re: jcm]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Over the years I've discovered there is a difference between feeling different and normal. Every one is different, depending to what degree. Normal is what people accept as respectable. Like you I have always felt different, alot of it due to abuse, at least as far as my identity goes. However, when it comes to how other people see me I can't say since that is up to them.

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

#309060 - 11/02/09 09:01 PM Re: Feeling different from everybody else [Re: jls]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2687
Loc: durham, north england
This rather reminds me of a discussion I had with some friends a while ago about penny drink games played in Durham Uni's various colidges.

to exploain, I'm talking about where a bunch of people will chuck a penny around the table, attempting to get it into people's glasses. The person who's glass it ends up in must then down their drink in one go.

My friend was explaining that her tutor made certain she knew all the various rules and niceties, --- and how not to get too drunk, such as holding your glass to exempt it from pennying.

I asked my friend, if she didn't want to get drunk, ---- why bother playing at all.

she said "Well even if you don't drink much, you've got to play to join in" I asked "why"

Personally, when in colidge and people were doing such things I just told people I wasn't too bothered about playing and would rather drink my wine as normal.

My friend was mortified.

I don't thnk I've ever felt as though I fitted in at all, ---- it's a perminant condition.

there are however, two sorts of "feeling different" which I've experienced, ---- positive and negative.

Some times, ---- as with the pennying drinks example, I feel different in a positive way. There is a group of people doing something simply for the sake of being a group, ---- often something stupid, and I feel no compunction to belong or follow sute, because I'm me, ---- different.

this isn't to say superior or out standing, ---- just conscious that there is a difference betwene me and them, and feeling quite happy about that distance.

a less obviously biased example of this might be one of those circle affairs where people are asked one question or choice.

it seems just natural to me to choose the answer or choice which most appeals to me personally, ---- where as I understand for many people there is some sort of compulsion to go along with the majority.

Then, there is feeling different in the negative sense. This is very much as you've both described, and I have to admit that social gatherings like that are occasions I've felt that way too.

there is everyone, ---- being together, ---- and me outside. Often this gets tied into feelings of worthlessness, because I start to feel that it's not worth anyone's time to bother interacting with me, ---- the physical and touch triggers are also very familiar indeed.

I in fact don't go to clubs even if I'm with people who are going. this is partly because I cannot dance and feel stupid when I try, partly because I see litle point in going somewhere where the music (which is most often not interesting music to begin with), is so loud as to uttery prevent all conversation, ---- and partly, because I feel all the same senses of self disgust and fear about physical triggers etc that you've already mentioned.

One realization which has helped me with feelings at parties though, is that there is absolutely no reason for me to stay if I'm not having fun.

why should I sit outside feeling alone, when I can leave and do something more fun later.

while this has meant I've left some social gatherings feeling pretty low, it does save the hours of feeling low at social gatheings which I'd otherwise feel.

Pluss, of course there are also occasions when i stay right up until the end because I'm genuinely enjoying myself.

appologies for the ramble, this is just something that comes up for me a lot.

#309080 - 11/02/09 11:55 PM Re: Feeling different from everybody else [Re: dark empathy]
Casmir213 Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA
Riley et al,

I think it's normal for us survivors to feel disconnected and unsafe in that type of environment, although I agree that these aren't pleasant ways of feeling. I agree that it's good that we respect these feelings and our differentness, but yet at the same time try to find ways of feeling safe and connected regardless of how different these ways may be. I have all my life found myself so disconnected around others that it felt like I wasn't even able utter one word to people, and that's the way I acted. For me, trying to be just like everybody else is a goal that I now realize I don't even want to attain, but yet the obvious difference between me and "others" was always a self-evident reason for me to feel less than. I don't know if I feel that way anymore. I think for the first time in my life I'm happy being me. I honestly think this shift from self-rejection to self-acceptance came from attending the WoR in Ohio.


I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

#309085 - 11/03/09 12:42 AM Re: Feeling different from everybody else [Re: Casmir213]
Riley Offline

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 599
Loc: USA
Thanks for the replies guys, it helps to know that other people know where I'm coming from. Maybe I'm not so disconnected from everyone after all.


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